x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

UAE set to welcome Dh4.3m McLaren P1 supercar

McLaren P1, billed as the next generation sports car, will be available in the UAE at Dubai's Al Habtoor Motors by the end of the year.

Al Habtoor Motors brought the McLaren brand to the UAE in 2011 and since then it has seen steady sales. Pawan Singh / The National
Al Habtoor Motors brought the McLaren brand to the UAE in 2011 and since then it has seen steady sales. Pawan Singh / The National
Billed as the next generation supercar, the P1, with a top speed of about 350kmh, will cost about Dh4.3 million and will be introduced to coincide with the company's 50th birthday.

Al Habtoor Motors, based in Dubai, which is the sole distributor of McLaren cars in the UAE, brought the brand to the country in 2011 and since then it has seen steady sales.

McLaren's history goes back to 1963, when it was founded by the New Zealander Bruce McLaren. It made its debut in Formula One races three years later.

While the luxury sports cars are manufactured in Surrey, Dubai's Al Habtoor Motors Prestige Car Division has a workshop, which customises and maintains luxury models.

The division opened its after-sales facility in Dubai Industrial City two years ago.

The workshop looks after general servicing, accident repairs, accessories, cosmetic repairs, software updates and custom styling options.

"We believe that this is the only facility of its kind in the [Arabian] Gulf and is one of the leading prestige after-sales facilities in the world," says Sean Jackson, the group service manager at the Al Habtoor Motors prestige division.

"All McLaren technicians are fully trained at the McLaren Technology Centre in the United Kingdom and are qualified to undertake any work that a customer may require on their McLaren 12C or 12C Spider."

While McLaren Automotive declined to reveal its sales figures in the UAE, it said the popularity of the cars is on the rise.

"We expect to sell the same numbers of cars in 2013 as we did in 2012 despite seeing an increasing demand to be a McLaren owner," says Ian Gorsuch, McLaren Automotive's regional director for the Middle East and Africa. "Supply will be carefully managed as we want to ensure we maintain exclusivity for our existing customers and protect the resale values of their McLaren 12C and 12C Spider supercars."

A 12C starts at Dh945,500 and a 12C Spider, an open-top model, at just more than Dh1m.

This month, the Dubai showroom is also stocking three retro-styled, limited-edition apparel collections that have been inspired by cars and their drivers to commemorate this year's 50th anniversary of the marque.

The McLaren 50 by Hunziker and James Hunt Racing Collection includes clothing and accessories such as T-shirts and caps.

This month, McLaren opened its second showroom in Saudi Arabia.

"McLaren plans to have 50 retailers around the world by the end of 2013," Mr Gorsuch says.

The Riyadh dealership is McLaren Automotive's sixth showroom in the Middle East and 43rd global retail location. The company's retailers are also located in Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Kuwait and Manama.

The cars to go on display at the new Riyadh facility include the 12C and the 12C Spider. McLaren-qualified used vehicles will also make a debut there later this year.

In the Middle East, McLaren Automotive is based out of Bahrain, which is also the home of its largest shareholder, the Bahraini government investment unit Mumtalakat.