Bling drives bespoke car sales in luxury-loving UAE

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
The Middle East is Rolls-Royce’s biggest market globally for bespoke cars

The Middle East is Rolls-Royce’s biggest market globally for bespoke cars

Semi-precious stone inlays, customized paintwork and intricate floral designs added to cars in garages across the UAE underline the oil-rich GCC’s love of customized cars.

The UAE, the Gulf’s largest market for luxury sales, has seen bespoke services continue to soar as wealthy petrolheads look to ensure their cars to stand out from the crowd.

[Click here for images of customised cars]

“Our customers here are a bit more discerning; they want to have something that is different. Having a car that stands out is something that is looked for a lot more in this region,” James Crichton, regional director MEA at Rolls-Royce, told Arabian Business.

“In your typical European or Asian markets, a black or silver car is about as exciting as it gets but here customers want to have something that stands out…they want to have something that is different to the car that their neighbour, friend of colleague has,” he added.

The UAE was hit hard by the global financial crisis but last year’s political unrest across the Arab world boosted car sales across the Gulf state. Total car sales are expected to increase 32 percent to 25,010 this year after a16 percent rise in 2010, according to consultants IHS Automotive.

The Middle East is Rolls-Royce’s biggest market globally for bespoke cars, said Crichton.

“Bespoke is something we have been doing for a very long time… it really has been a key element [of the business] and more specifically for the Middle East.”

The 107-year old company sold 23 percent more cars in the Middle East last year compared to the same period the previous year, the firm said Jan 9. In 2011, the company’s Middle East arm exported its most expensive car to the region, valued at $1m due to its “high bespoke” design.

Rolls-Royce bespoke starts at $15-20,000 for customised paintwork and can go up to $100,000 for more intricate designs, said Crichton.

“Abu Dhabi last year created a car that has a semi-precious stone built into the veneer – it was the same stone used for prayer beads,” he said.

“Our dealer in Dubai created another car around horse racing called Thoroughbred, where the inlay in the veneer included the silk shirts of the 35 jockeys that raced in the Glorious Goodwood race in 2011,” he added.

Dubai-based Al Ghandi Motors, regional dealers of GMC and Chevrolet cars, spent $68,000 hand-painting falcons on the sides of a Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD, customising its interior with new leather and suede upholstery, raising its suspension by seven inches and upgrading the electrical system for the MBC Action Battle of the Garages competition, which it won in September.

“We’ve been asked two more almost identical vehicles since with different paintwork,” said James Liddle, director of after sales at Al Ghandi Motors.

“We’ve done custom vehicles and had two or three of them exported to Sudan. On Kamal’s, which is a good selling car, we’ve done two wide body kits and increased the break horsepower on them to 570, which is approximately AED70-75,000.”

But it’s not just luxury buyers that are seeing a rise in bespoke sales. Buyers are also snapping up cheaper bodykits in a bid to personalize their cars, according to Dubai-based Performance Garage.

“Lots of customers choose to change the body style which might involve changing the bumper style, spoilers and sometimes the full body kit with alloy wheels,” said general manager, Jaics Joseph.

The garage customises up to seven cars a month with prices starting from AED6,000.

“People are still spending – a lot of people are going for it,” said Joseph.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Abdul

Pretty sad to see all the money being wasted on these vehicles!

Posted by: Imthishan

What exactly is the best selling 'Kamal'?

Posted by: Mick

Imagine what they could do with just a fraction of the cost of these detailings in impoverished sub-saharan africa and south asia. I'm sure that I read that humility was a key focus in certain sects. Maybe I dreamt it.

Posted by: Suleyman

As a Muslim convert I must agree with what Mick is saying. When I see the way many Muslims, especially the rich ones, behave, I am ashamed. I hope you appreciate Mick that indeed you are right that humility (and charity, and peace, and, and.... etc ... just like Christianity is also "supposed" to be) are all basics to Islam - but "people will be people" - don't blame the religion for their failings.

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
The gentleman’s lounge

The gentleman’s lounge

The new GQ bar delivers a true sense of masculinity with its...

Are you fit enough to run a business?

Are you fit enough to run a business?

We look at what the consequences are of being unfit or overweight...

Guide to getting married in Dubai on a budget

Guide to getting married in Dubai on a budget

Alarmed by how expensive weddings are? Our experts reveal how...

1
Most Discussed
  • 54
    Three UAE women attacked with hammer at London hotel

    I really feel that Arabian Business.Com should now close this comments page. This should be all about sympathy for the families not what it is/has turned... more

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014 1:06 PM - Adrienne
  • 51
    Why Dubai isn't a plastic city

    What is definitely not a plastic city. The Arabs have a culture dating back to several centuries. 50 years back Dubai was just a fishing village. Today... more

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014 3:49 PM - P. MADHUSUDAN
  • 48
    DMCC boss Ahmed Bin Sulayem entertains Robert Mugabe in Dubai

    @fga ''However today, simply because he decided to dispossess a few white farmers of their land and redistribute to the poorer indigenous blacks'' more

    Sunday, 13 April 2014 3:02 PM - Matt Williams