It’s like a carnival! Everyone is outside, the weather is great, and we’re getting to see some beautiful cars!” screamed Joshua McDougall from Connecticut who had his three-year-old son Adam perched on his shoulder at the Madinat Jumeirah roundabout, as the police sirens roared in chorus with the helicopters above filming the parade of magnificently shiny luxury cars that were a part of the Dubai Grand Parade on Friday.
Besides Joshua and Adam, hundreds of families lined the streets of Dubai as they patiently waited to catch a glimpse of the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 and Range Rover wrapped in dirham coins. Tomoko Tsuchida with her three toddlers and husband had walked across from her Palm Jumeirah residence and waited half an hour in the sun to watch the parade. “The boys and my husband are here for the cars. I don’t know much about these but I am here for them.” Her youngest had even gotten along his collection of dinky cars and was making zooming noises in excitement.
The ambience was reminiscent of a beach festival. Everyone — from businessmen in suits who had cut short work meetings to grandparents from south India visiting families — was out on the roads waving flags with logos of the motor show. Almost everyone out there had cameras, iPads, and camera phones if not tripods with telescope lenses.
The parade started a little after 3pm from the Trade Centre Roundabout and went on to the first spectator zone at Madinat Jumeirah — where there was no hotel parking — and continued on to the spectator zone at Downtown Dubai around 3.30pm, running only slightly behind schedule, and finally ending up back at Dubai World Trade Centre to be parked at the post-parade cars gallery of the International Motor Show 2013 at 5pm.
The crowds thinned not for a moment. An excited Adel Mohamed in his grey kandoora said excitedly that his day was made as he had just seen “the Bugatti, man!”, that is, for those less clued in, the Bugatti Veyron, the fastest production car priced at Dh10.2 million.
The other popular drool-worthy dream machines were the Spanish super car GTA Spano, Hennessey Venom GT, Lykan HyperSport, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ Bespoke Phantom Coupé Chicane.
The show’s most affordable vehicle was the Piaggio rickshaw priced at Dh8,000.
The excitement caused by the motor show was palpable even after the parade cars had passed. Some residents who wouldn’t call themselves car enthusiasts seemed to have succumbed to something of a herd mentality as they were there even hours after the cars had passed only because they “had heard something was happening”.
Near First Gulf Bank and Business Bay metro stations, the police had even hauled up some drivers in cars who with their families had pulled over to the side of the road, cameras and ipads out, just to digitise their experience for the benefit of presumably their friends on social media platforms.
An out-and-out family event, the Dubai International Motor Show will end today at Dubai World Trade Centre. The show is open from 11am to 10pm.
Tickets are priced at Dh55, with children under five getting a free entry. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.