x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

The Air Bag: Car overload not really a bad thing

What a week in the UAE: Dubai Motor Show, Formula One and even a visit from Sir Paul McCartney.

Wow, last weekend was one of the busiest we've seen with Motoring in quite a while.

In fact, it was an extremely busy week for the whole of the UAE, at least when it comes to the car scene. You'll read all about the Dubai Motor Show, which was the largest in the event's history, that happened on the very same weekend that the Formula One race went on just down the road. For anyone even remotely interested in cars, it has been both fantastically interesting and overbearingly exhausting.

But the two grand events weren't the only things I found interesting, at least from a car lover's point of view. Here are a few of the things I've noticed in that hectic few days last weekend:

• The long line of bling cars didn't stop at the Dubai show. If you walked out of the Yas circuit after the race and took a look around for a few minutes, you would have noticed no shortage of some of the highest-end cars in the world out for a cruise. In a short walk, I noticed four Rolls-Royce Phantoms, two Ferraris, countless BMWs, Mercedes, Audis, Porsches and many other very expensive sets of wheels. When they say F1 is a glamour sport, they aren't kidding.

• If you got into a taxi out at Yas Marina - and you're a resident of Abu Dhabi - you might have been a little shocked at the prices that night. The meter started at Dh20, which meant even a short ride from one of the hotels to the concert venue that Paul McCartney played in was much, much more than you would have expected. But, you know what? It was still relatively cheap - what would you pay for that ride in the UK? Plus, I don't blame them for having to come all the way to the island, probably empty, to hang around for a few hours of service. It makes me appreciate the prices we usually pay even more. I'll bet visitors from Europe didn't even blink an eye.

• Speaking of the concert, McCartney gave us one of the best shows I've ever seen. Really, he's 69 years old? I'm not even a huge fan, but it was a concert that I'll remember for the rest of my life. And I only mention this here because, were it not for the grand prix and its evening concerts, it would be unlikely we'd see Sir Paul out here. Thank you, F1.

• The cars weren't the only things that I found interesting during the Dubai Motor Show. The media day gave us journalists an opportunity to talk with various executives, designers, and technicians from car companies that we wouldn't normally get a chance to chat with. It's so good to get an insight of the design and production of various cars and the industry in general from these passionate, knowledgeable people, and I find it fascinating to talk with them. Don't worry; I'll share some of these conversations with you, dear reader, in the coming editions of Motoring.

So, yes, the entire weekend was overwhelming, even for me. I always get like this after car shows, and then add on the big race and it's enough that I don't even want to look at another car again. And then, after a bit of time, I remember how much of it I enjoyed; how much it really held my interest and attention. And then I realise that I like cars again.

All it takes is a few hours.