Automotive giant Jaguar Land Rover has opened a new engineering test centre in Dubai that will conduct research, development and testing in extreme weather conditions.
The 11,120 sqft facility is located in the Gulf emirate’s Al Barsha district and will conduct tests in areas including heat, humidity, durability and calibration. Temperatures in Dubai can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius during the summer period.
Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, had previously conducted weather testing at a smaller facility located elsewhere in the emirate.
"Our new facility in Dubai is four times the size of the previous test centre and will enable us to enhance our testing of future products and technologies," Martyn Hollingsworth, Jaguar Land Rover director of engineering technical services, said in a statement.
Jaguar Land Rover’s other global test facilities are located in Nurburgring, Germany; Arjeplog, Sweden; Phonix and International Falls, US.
The company is also planning on opening a manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia which will be capable of producing 50,000 vehicles per year. Based on a memorandum of understanding signed last year, Jaguar Land Rover will invest $1.2bn in the project, which will also use locally sourced aluminium and steel.
The factory will start up in 2017 in either the Jubail or Yanbu industrial cities. Saudi Arabia is seeking to develop local industry to diversify its economy away from oil exports.
JLR has seen huge demand over the past year from emerging markets such as China, Russia and countries in the Middle East for its luxury SUVs and sleek sedans, offsetting sluggish growth in developed markets.