It's one of the world's most recognisable symbols of prestige and wealth and today luxury car maker Rolls-Royce said sales across the Gulf had gone into overdrive.
Rolls-Royce sales motoring in the Gulf
The Gulf was a driving force in shifting Rolls-Royce's sales into high gear, as sales in the region doubled last year.
This helped the luxury carmaker to sell a record 2,711 automobiles, which can cost more than Dh1 million each, up 171 per cent from the year before, Rolls-Royce announced today.
Sales in the Middle East rose 100 per cent, 95 per cent of which is in the Gulf, but UAE growth far outpaced the region, said James Crichton, the regional director for the Middle East for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Abu Dhabi was the top market in the region, with sales up 176 per cent, while Dubai sales rose by 50 per cent, he said.
"The consumer confidence in Abu Dhabi remains stronger than it does in Dubai," he said. "Some of the impact of the property market are still having effects in Dubai... But the good news is every single market [in the region] has grown for the year."
Mr Crichton would not disclose how many cars were sold in the UAE or the Middle East, but said Abu Dhabi ranked among the top five dealerships worldwide.
One key factor contributing to Rolls-Royce sales growth in 2010 is the introduction of the Ghost model, he added. The relatively cheaper model, priced at roughly Dh1.1m compared with the Phantom at Dh1.6 to start, opened up Rolls-Royce to a broader segment of younger drivers.
"The Phantom is our tuxedo, which is a car used for special occasions. Where we are positioned with the Ghost as a business suit, which is really to be used on a more regular basis."