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Sun 6 Dec 2009 01:53 PM

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GCC's first gold car to go on sale at Dubai motor show

Lexus SUV will be transformed by 40,000 gold leaves added over the five day show.

GCC's first gold car to go on sale at Dubai motor show
GOLD CAR: The Lexus LX570, which will be turned to gold at the motor show. (Getty Images)

Al-Futtaim Motors has announced it will turn a Lexus car into gold at this year’s Dubai International Motor show.

Visitors to the distributor’s stand will witness the world’s first transformation of a vehicle into gold when four craftsmen apply 40,000 gold leaves to the luxury flagship SUV, the Lexus LX570 over the five day show.

“This is the first time such an event has occurred live at a motor show, marking the first commercial 24 carat gold car in the GCC,” the firm said in a statement on Sunday.

"There is a growing demand for custom design within the UAE automotive market and we want to explore this avenue for our Lexus customers,” said Hugh Dickerson, general manager, sales and marketing, Al-Futtaim Motors.

The gold car will be put on sale once the transformation is complete, Dickerson said.

Gold Emotion, a Paris-based company, is applying the gold leaf, which is protected by a varnish that protects the cover, allowing the car to be “driven like any other vehicle.”

The firm is an expert in the tradition of gilding, a process historically associated with the restoration of frames, and has worked on a number conservation projects at The Louvre, in Paris.  

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Doug 9 years ago

You obviously haven't seen the hot-pink Hummer with the Louis Vuitton interior over in Al Awir....

Prince of Arabia 9 years ago

I wish we here news of more viable ventures other than plating a car in gold! Gives the wrong impressionof the type of people living in the region. Why does AB even publish this stuff!

Wildwine 9 years ago

Well said, however, in the current context gold plating would have looked much better than stuffing with $100 bills!!!!!!!!!!

Fares 9 years ago

This country has been blessed with wealth, and that is why there are many people here who can buy such a car. Publicising this event isnt a bad idea, particularly after the recent media attack on Dubai due to jealousy. This should show Dubai is still prosperous and that people here can buy what others can only dream of

Jon 9 years ago

Fares - the region hasn't been blessed with wealth, it's been blessed with natural resources which are currently in demand by the rest of the world. When the price and demand of these resources decreases, so will the "wealth". If you can't see the concept of a gold plated car as completely vulgar after everything that has happened, then there is really no hope. Maybe if Al-Futtaim had floated the concept and then said it would donate the cost of doing so to a children's charity, people would be a lot more supportive.

Philbert Suresh, Academic Professional 9 years ago

It is parody of the economic situation to see the business enterprises in autmotive sector of GCC that toy with the concept of gold plating as conspicuous consumption. Something like Nero playing the fiddle when Rome was on fire. Dubai must stop flouting its sovereign wealth now. i-FUN Intelligent Freinds in the University Nework

acp 9 years ago

You're right, Fares. This is not wrong. Al Futtaim are completely within their rights to do what they like. They are a private company etc bs etc bs... The point is that it is grotesque. Flagrant displays of wasting resources that are finite and precious, were hard to swallow in the boom times. To announce this marketing ploy as the country sits squarely in the global spotlight, squirming around about how it is going to pay its debt, and refusing to really answer, is just tasteless. I completely agree with Jon, but unfortunately, giving kids charities money won't sell blinged up cars to those amongst us still stupid enough to blow money in this manner.

Sam 9 years ago

Oh lighten up for heavens' sake .. Why is it that ONLY when such a thing happens in the Middle East, every couch surfer becomes a goody two shoes and starts lecturing on virtue and "helping the 3rd world" instead? Europeans and Americans have been 'blinging' up their rides for years, and when they do it .. its "ART". Mexico lit up the tallest xmas tree a couple of days ago and i don't see anyone whining about global warming.. a restaurant in NY serves $1000 sundaes with edible 24ct gold leafs and i don't see anyone criticizing them... oh wait, thats also art. I am sick of these selective, pointless, and borderline-racist observations...

Mart 9 years ago

"This country has been blessed with wealth, and that is why there are many people here who can buy such a car" Unfortunately the banks that blessed the region with this wealth appear to be asking for it back. Have you considered how bad this looks in the parts of the world that have lent billions to Dubai? Dubai (like most states) depends on continued credit. It does look rather bad form to default on debts whilst buying a gold plated lexus don't you think? What happens if these institutions decide not to lend any more to Dubai in the future? Similarly when bankers at RBS in the UK (a bank bailed out by and now largely owned by the UK tax payer) say they will resign if they don't get whopping bonuses this year, they are quite rightly ripped apart in the media. If these bankers were out buying new gold plated cars, I can assure you it would not go down very well with the British taxpayers that they owe billions to. Its time for Dubai, (like the RBS bankers) to tone it down a bit. Both had a few very good years - but now owe billions to other people. Its time to accept that things won't be the same for a while, to be a bit more modest and think a bit more about the longer term damage that short term showing off might do. Sure these kind of promotions might be designed to show that its "business as usual" in Dubai but trust me - that isn't what those who Dubai depends on for financing want to hear.

Hanan 9 years ago

It amazes me how some people jump into negative comments on how vulgar and unacceptable this idea is without understanding the purpose behind it. First of all, it made you talk and comment and later on tell your friends about it. This is called BUZZ and that's the purpose of the story! Suddenly, if part of the money goes to charity, this idea becomes acceptable. What you need to know is that companies spend millions of dirhams on advertising campaigns and none of that money goes to charity but no one bothers to blame. Now that this marketing campaign for lexus is announced, suddenly people in this region are wrong. If Al Futtaim displays a million dollar car, no one cares. The fact that they have added this 'different and new' look to the car offended people. Well, I guess working on the car for 5 days seeing it transform into Gold is a great campaign and people would want to come and watch the process and will difinately create a buzz, irrespctive of whether the car is sold or not.