x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dh10m for a private jet on wheels

But Big Boys Toys is not all about blowing your bank balance on the biggest and best gadgets just to show off to your friends. Some of the products on offer also have a use, like getting you into shape.

Pere Bascompte takes a test drive in a fully integrated F1 driving simulator at the CXC Simulations stand.
Pere Bascompte takes a test drive in a fully integrated F1 driving simulator at the CXC Simulations stand.

DUBAI // It weighs almost 20 tonnes, has a top speed of 160kph and looks like it could star in the next Transformers movie.

And with its giant cyclops-like windscreen sitting above a sleek sports car styled bonnet, the eleMMent RV mobile home could quite easily double as the preferred mode of transport for a James Bond villain.

Described by its manufacturer, Marchi Mobile, as a private jet on wheels, the luxury German-made vehicle has a price tag to match: it will set you back a cool Dh10 million.

The massive machine is one of hundreds of toys, games, planes, cars and gadgets on show at Dubai's annual two-day celebration of extravagance - Big Boys Toys, this year being held at Atlantis The Palm hotel in Dubai.

"Everything is made of the highest quality," beamed a proud Mario Marchi, the company spokesman.

"The driver's cabin has Porsche leather upholstery, there is a sky bar area on top and we even have sports wheels."

The 12-metre long mega-vehicle can be used as a mobile home, VIP transport and as a promotional platform.

Fuel economy comes in at about 20 litres per 100km, so trips to your local petrol station will be a regular occurrence.

Typically, the eleMMent RV can seat five people and its interior can be configured to have a lounge and bedroom with an en-suite rain shower.

Tables and seats can be rearranged at the press of a button and everything from the air conditioning to the lighting can be tampered with via interactive panels. The proud owner can even take a tablet computer from a console to monitor his multi-million dirham investment while he's away spending even more cash.

"We think the UAE is a good potential market and we have already sold units in Russia, Turkey, Germany and Austria," said the spokesman.

"We also provide a 24-hour service for customers and can monitor systems onboard remotely from our headquarters in Vienna."

For those looking for something a little more rugged, the Dual Tracked Shredder from Toronto-based BPG Werks offers the ultimate in off-road craziness.

The machine looks like a skateboard mounted on tank tracks and is controlled by shifting the driver's weight back and forth on the board. "We looked at the power sports sectors and found that it was shrinking, whereas extreme sports like skateboarding were growing fast," said Benjamin Gulak, the company's CEO.

The machine is proving to be a success, with 5,000 on pre-order in the United States already.

It comes in a basic 48kph model costing US$2,600 (Dh9,500), a 72kph version for $5,000 and $16,000 top of the range option that can hit speeds of 110mph. All run on regular petrol.

"It's a real thrill racing one of these. Although they don't go as fast as a motor-cross bike, the fact that you have to balance yourself makes it an exhilarating ride," said Mr Gulak.

"It can go on snow, mud, sand - pretty much anything. It's really robust as well. The US airforce had one for eight months and ran it into the ground - but when they returned it, it carried on working."

Also on show is the ultra-light Prime aircraft from Blackshape Aircraft in Italy, and a five-metre widescreen MegaGlass television from Slovenia's ARS Studio.

But Big Boys Toys is not all about blowing your bank balance on the biggest and best gadgets just to show off to your friends. Some of the products on offer also have a use, like getting you into shape.

Fitness fans can try out the Dh250,000 Huber Motion Lab that uses a tilting platform and vibrating bars to help you shed the pounds - and the dirhams, of course.

Model collectors need look no further than the 1:8 scale size radio controlled Leopard tank 2 A5 made from aluminium and complete with authentic engine sounds.

The machine is precision made in Germany, construction will take you six months to complete and it will set you back $49,000.

One of the most popular attractions at the show was the fiendishly addictive Laporte Archery system.

The game, similar to clay pigeon shooting but with bows, arrows and high density foam discs, was attracting big crowds eager to put their shooting skills to the test.

Players must hit the discs with the special foam-tipped arrows as they are fired into the air.

It costs between €3,000 and €5,000 and has proved popular with archery clubs and schools in the US.

nhanif@thenational.ae