x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Vintage cars drive fans wild at Dubai's Emirates Classic Car Festival

Automobiles from the past 100 years are lined up at the Emirates Classic Car Festival in Downtown Dubai.

More than 200 classic cars from the past 100 years are on display at the fifth Emirates Classic Car Festival in Dubai. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
More than 200 classic cars from the past 100 years are on display at the fifth Emirates Classic Car Festival in Dubai. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
DUBAI // More than 200 eye-catching automobiles from the past 100 years have gone on display.
A 1980s DeLorean - made famous in the Back to the Future movies - and a vintage 1920s Bentley are among the memorable motors at the fifth Emirates Classic Car Festival.
Thousands are expected at the event, on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai, which runs until tomorrow.
"It's fantastic to see so many amazing cars on display, I really feel as though I'm in my element," said Abdullah Al Refaee, an Emirati classic-car collector who has five vehicles on show, including a 1961 Bentley, a Rolls-Royce and a Jaguar.
"It's hard to explain where this passion has come from but I have about 15 in total at a showroom in Ajman," he said. "I built up my collection from imports from the US and Japan and hopefully one day would like to take part in a show in Europe or the US."
Mohammed Al Redha, founder of R Autos, a classic-car restoration company in Dubai, has five vehicles at the festival."I've had this passion for classic British cars since I was a child," he said.
His first restoration projects were a 1981 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and a 1977 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II he bought from his grandparents.
"The finer details you get with classic cars like the Rolls-Royce are unique and you just don't get that from modern cars," he said.
"It's about the attention to detail they have on things, like the type of leather used on the seats to the metal they use on the finish.
"It was unheard of at the time and they have lasted many decades."
The festival has been organised by Emaar Properties, the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development and the Automobile Touring Club of the UAE.
Suhail Marar, a Federation Internationale de l'Automobile member from Jordan, is on the judging panel.
He said cars would be rated on their rarity, the quality of the restoration and the public appeal of the model.
"This is a wonderful festival and it's been growing each year.
"Classic cars are a national asset and heritage of a country and they should be preserved," he said.
nhanif@thenational.ae