DUBAI // It may well be the most valuable queue of traffic the country's roads have seen. Around 80 high-performance vehicles - including Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Mercedes McLarens - will feature in the Royal Drive 2010 next month. The inaugural three-day rally will run between Dubai and Abu Dhabi - and entry is still open to anyone who has the Dh25,000 (US$6,800) fee and a sports car.
The March 18 to 20 event will include six hours of driving around the Yas Marina Circuit, a jaunt along the Abu Dhabi Corniche and a performance by DJ group Gorillaz Sound System. The cars will be driven in convoy along The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Resort on the final day, enabling enthusiasts see the cars up close. Participants will stay at the Yas Marina Hotel and the Intercontinental Festival City, and will be given track access, an invitation to a gala dinner and VIP entry to the concert.
"It's the first supercar event in the Middle East, which will take in all the major routes and landmarks of Dubai and Abu Dhabi," said Rabih el Zein of Luce Che Vola, the event promoter. One European wanted to bring four cars, Mr el Zein said. "We will not be vetting the entries, but we do have the right to refuse cars," he said. The peformance by the Gorillaz will be the band's first in the region. The band usually performs as an animated image on a large screen.
Maher al Yaqoub, the operations director of Luce Che Vola, would not disclose how the band would appear. "It will be a big surprise," he said. Sean Kingston, a reggae artist best known for his song Beautiful Girls, will also perform at the Festival City site. Abu Dhabi is to play host to additional festivities when the American hip-hop trio De La Soul and the British band Maximo Park headline the Wakestock 2010 festival on the Corniche.
Maximo Park will appear on March 5 and De La Soul on March 6. Entry is free. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org * With additional reporting by Lynne al Nahhas This version corrects an earlier version which wrongly said that the event would include a performance by the former Blur frontman Damon Albarn's group, Gorillaz. DJ group Gorillaz Sound System will be performing at the event.