x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Abu Dhabi offers buyers two unique Rolls-Royces

The latest bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom and Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe will go on sale at the start of next month at Abu Dhabi Motors for a shimmering Dh2.5 million each. There is just one model of each available to buy.

The Ghawwassî Phantom and Phantom Coupe. Photo courtesy Rolls Royce
The Ghawwassî Phantom and Phantom Coupe. Photo courtesy Rolls Royce

The latest bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom and Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé will go on sale at the start of next month at Abu Dhabi Motors for a shimmering Dh2.5 million each. There is just one model of each available to buy.

Kadhim Al Helli, Rolls-Royce brand manager at Abu Dhabi Motors, was inspired by pearls, an old Abu Dhabi and Middle Eastern treasure, in designing the “Ghawwass” edition of the two cars. Ghawwass is derived from the Arabic word for diver.

Mr Al Helli believes that pearls complement the Phantom and Phantom Coupé vehicles as both represent “preciousness, power and wealth”.

Indeed, in the past, crowns of kings and queens were often embellished with clusters of pearls and this ties in with the almost “royal” feeling of owning a Rolls-Royce, the car dealership notes.

Last year the dealership was named the global leader in bespoke Rolls-Royce vehicles — an accolade the it has won for several years in a row for having the richest bespoke specifications and creative concepts.

Mr Al Helli conceptualised the Ghawwass design in Abu Dhabi before sending off the blueprints to be handcrafted by specialists at the home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England.

The vehicles feature a turquoise exterior. The leather of the seats is two-tone: seashell white and turquoise. The colour theme continues throughout the vehicle with turquoise-stained ash wood on the dashboard as well as turquoise headrests, steering wheel and door pocket interiors. This contrasts with seashell white carpets and foot mats.

A dhow logo is embroidered on to the headrests in seashell-colour thread. Pulling down the door of the glove compartment reveals embroidered text that reads: “Exclusively hand-built for Ghawwass, one of one”.

“The power of the bespoke programme lies in its ability to take the world’s greatest car and make it even more unique through exclusive touches unmatched by any other vehicle or manufacturer,” says Abu Dhabi Motors’ general manager Arno Husselmann.

The Ghawwass Phantom and Phantom Coupé will be the only two in the world, he added.

Commissioning a bespoke car is a service that is particularly popular with customers in Abu Dhabi, says Alaa Tarabay, the Middle East corporate communications manager or Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Q&A: Luxury rides find favour in UAE

The “Ghawwass” Phantom and PhantomCoupé are on sale for Dh2.5 million. Is this a typical price for a bespoke Rolls-Royce? 

Prices can soar to as much as a $1m per vehicle if the customer decides on gold inlays or suchlike, according to Alaa Tarabay, Middle East corporate communications manager for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The price is only limited by the customer’s imagination,” he says. In August, an entirely different bespoke Rolls-Royce that was for sale at Abu Dhabi Motors, and that featured a ruby on its dashboard clock, was priced at Dh2.6m.

Other luxury car dealerships in the UAE — Bentley, for example — have reported a robust increase in sales this year. Is it the same for Rolls-Royce? 

The market is upbeat and in the GCC area it’s especially healthy. In the first half of 2013 all dealers experienced double-digit growth, according to Mr Tarabay. Abu Dhabi Motors came out top, demonstrating Abu Dhabi’s dominance in the market for ultra-luxury vehicles. The dealer was recognised for having the highest number of Rolls-Royce vehicle sales during the first half of this year, edging out markets such as Beijing, New York, London and Moscow. .

Wow. That’s pretty impressive. 

Yes. Abu Dhabi Motors, which also imports BMW and Mini, has grown like billy-o since it was founded in 1990. Back then it was a small showroom and workshop employing 24 people. The dealership now employs more than 300 people in 11 facilities in Abu Dhabi, including four showrooms, two workshops, two body shops, one pre-delivery inspection centre and two car storage warehouses.

lgutcher@thenational.ae