x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

My Car: Jeep Wrangler is perfect for a man and his dog

Marcus Taylor, a Scottish recruitment executive living in Dubai, says he and his Saluki mix Scout ride to their weekend outdoor adventures in a 2004 Jeep Wrangler.

Marcus Taylor with his Jeep and dog Scout at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai. Taylor is thinking of trading up for a 4x4 large enough to carry all his outdoor gear.
Marcus Taylor with his Jeep and dog Scout at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai. Taylor is thinking of trading up for a 4x4 large enough to carry all his outdoor gear.

Born and brought up in a wee, green and very wet village near Glasgow in Scotland, 34-year-old recruitment executive Marcus Taylor has lived in Dubai for more than five years and drives the perfect car for an action man - a 2004 Jeep Wrangler Tomb Raider edition.

A partner in Leirus, a recruitment firm which he amusingly describes as completely unlike the type of High Street company where all the guys drive yellow Porsche Boxsters and the girls have Range Rover Sports on hire purchase, Taylor mainly uses the Jeep during his leisure time but also has an Audi RS6 for his professional alter-ego. "The RS6 is great fun when some fruit loop decides to hang his little German sports car off your rear bumper - either showing off to the peroxide blonde in his passenger seat or clinging on to his youth - then boom, one touch into Sports mode and I'm off like Road Runner leaving Wile E. Coyote in a dust cloud wondering whether he left his handbrake on," he laughs.

However, this outgoing Scotsman believes his leisure car says more about his personality as he prefers to be out and about exploring the great outdoors and tackling the elements. "This car loves a bit of rough terrain - not much stops it going where you want it to go and it looks good with its top off," he says with an accompanying wink.

Single, but not lonely, Taylor has a special lady in his life, whom he takes driving whenever possible. "My dog Scout loves sitting in the passenger seat. She looks a bit like Yoda and is named after the little girl in the book To Kill a Mockingbird," he says fondly. A Saluki-cross, Scout is three years old and was rescued from K9 Friends. "I was meant to look after her for two weeks and that was well over a year ago. She used to be super-nervous but now has more friends than me. Considering she spent her first two and a half years in the shelter and had never seen a set of stairs, never mind the ocean, she has a lust for life that is just inspirational. I never owned a dog before Scout and she has transformed my life into a series of comedy sketches. Her face when she first saw a camel was priceless, and she comes into her element when we go adventuring. She will take on any terrain and often ends a day in the outdoors covered in scrapes and cuts but always with a huge grin," he says.

Taylor adds: "It's sad, I know, but she has her own Facebook page, Scout Taylor, and is always a crowd pleaser when we are in the Jeep, and she sits upfront like she owns the thing. She slightly freaks out the staff at Fat Burger on Jumeirah Beach Road when we drive there for our weekend treat - she has the double and I get the single burger. Last time the girl serving asked me if my dog wanted diet or regular cola. I replied that a girl needs to watch her weight and she actually gave me diet - only in Dubai," he laughs.

Despite Taylor's love for his car, he is looking to sell it for a larger 4x4. "I can't get all my camping, fishing, climbing and outboard gear in the little Jeep," he says. Again, the Scotsman is thinking of his prized pooch before himself, this time with his next car purchase: "I think Scout might like the Ford Raptor as it's bulky and savage - these pimped up sports cars are all very well but how fast can you take a Lambo over a JLT speed-bump?" he asks.

This country boy is happiest conquering mountains, rivers and oceans and catching his dinner on a line or armed with only a gun and a lungful of breath. "I'll try anything once and mostly twice. I love adrenalin kicks, whether jumping out of a plane, climbing or spear gun fishing - anything that involves expanding my comfort zone," he adds. It seems there's life in the old dog yet.