x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

The Air Bag: Winter is the time for petrolheads in the UAE

There's plenty for general-public petrolheads to start enjoying as the winter months fall upon us.

Have you felt it lately? It's getting cooler, isn't it? And when it starts to get cooler, things start to heat up for us here at Motoring.

It's funny, but the lower temperatures mean a busier schedule for us; all the car companies seem to come out of the woodwork with events and experiences that strain our diaries; we even have to refuse a few, just because we're so busy. Hey, don't get me wrong; it's a nice problem to have. I'm not complaining.

And you shouldn't either, because there's plenty for general-public petrolheads to start enjoying as well as the winter months fall upon us.

First off is the car racing season, and I'm not just talking about the Formula One race in Abu Dhabi. The local scene here is packed with good, seasoned drivers in a variety of race series, ranging from small hatchbacks to high-powered Ferraris and Corvettes; there's even a thrilling motorcycle series to follow. The best part for you as a spectator is that entrance to the Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina is free on these weekends. The Dubai Motorsport Festival is next weekend, so why don't you plan to take the family down to the Autodrome?

If you're interested in cars you can actually drive on public roads, the weekend after that - November 10 to 14 - is the Dubai Motor Show. It should be a good one this year with most major manufacturers in attendance, and there will be a few regional launches and even one international launch at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre; car shows are always good fun for those who love cars.

From brand new cars to the classics: in the first three days of December, head to Emaar Boulevard in Downtown Dubai for the Emirates Classic Car Festival. The street will be lined with some of the beautiful vintage cars residing in the UAE that are rarely seen by the general public; it's a petrolhead's dream. Just for an example, last year a beautiful and exotic Lamborghini Miura took top honours.

If you're a motorcyclist, you've probably already donned your leathers and hit the highway at least once in the past couple of weeks (if you're not the type to ride all year long), and I'm sure there'll be more rides to follow. Whether you ride on the road or on the dirt, the cooler weather makes longer rides much more enjoyable - no A/C on a bike, remember? Here's another thing to consider - there will be more bikes on the roads in the next little while, so watch out for them for safety's sake.

And finally, let's not forget the simplest yet possibly most enjoyable byproduct of this cool weather: going for a drive in your car, just for the enjoyment. Roll down your window; if you've got a convertible, don't be one of those schmucks who leaves it up; put it down, the way the car was intended to be driven. Feel the wind; turn down your air conditioner and listen to the world as you drive by. Sometimes, the simplest pleasures in life are the best. Enjoy it while you can.