x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

‘I have 15 cars but I decided to bring this one’

Yehya Bel Helli's 6x6 stood out amongst the hundreds of vehicles at the Yas Island parade.

Yahya Bel Helli brings his decorated Peterbilt semi-truck to participate in Abu Dhabi’s bid to enter the Guinness World Records as the largest parade of decorated cars.
Yahya Bel Helli brings his decorated Peterbilt semi-truck to participate in Abu Dhabi’s bid to enter the Guinness World Records as the largest parade of decorated cars.

Thamer Al Subaihi

Abu Dhabi // With so many impressive vehicles on display on Yas it was difficult to pick a stand-out one.

But an easy argument could be made that Yehya Bel Helli’s 6x6 stood head and shoulders above the rest, literally as well as figuratively.

His 12-metre, seven-tonne Peterbilt Ultra Sleeper Truck dwarfed all cars along the parade and provided lots of space to decorate on.

It cost Dh2million and Mr Bel Helli, also a competitive rally driver, bought it in the United States.

“I have 15 cars but I decided to bring this one so I could put more decorations on the side,” said the Emirati, who recently retired from the Air Force.

His other vehicles include four GMCs, two Hummers, two Range Rovers and a 6x6 Range Rover.

Having won last year’s “Best Dressed” vehicle prize at the Yas parade with the same truck, which was adorned with a detailed map of the UAE, he hopes to scoop this year’s top prize as well.

“This year I wanted to thank our leaders by painting all of them on the side and writing ‘You are for Us and We are for You’ in Arabic.”

Mr Bel Helli, who is in his fifties, said the message portrayed the appreciation he had for the country and its Rulers. He said the event had changed significantly since his first involvement.

“The creativity is definitely growing year by year and what is nice to see is more women and children participating in the parade.”

Mr Bel Helli felt it was a national duty to participate in parades, saying they give a lot to the Emirati community.

“I feel it brings together Emiratis and expats alike and has the potential to help cut down on reckless driving.”

Mr Bel Helli will discover if his car has won this weekend at the Life & Style Show’s Speed & Power event.

tsubaihi@thenational.ae