When it comes to car modifications, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are no strangers to one another
Posted December 10, 2018 07:51:54The UAE has been dubbed the ‘car capital of the world’, and a host of car modifications are available to suit everyone from the uber-popular to the quirky.
A new series of car magazines is here to tell the stories of the various cars that have been added to the UAE, but it’s not just about the fancy paint jobs or customisation options.
We caught up with local car enthusiast, Jason Brown, to find out how the city of Dubai has changed the way it looks over the years.
We visited the Emirates and Abu Dhabi recently, and the first thing we noticed was the lack of traffic.
Not just that, but the cars were very empty.
“It was very depressing, it was quite depressing,” he said.
“You see a lot of cars here, there’s lots of cars and people and they just disappear and they don’t have to go anywhere.”
There’s no cars that you can see and say ‘oh, I saw a car in the parking lot’.
“So you have to walk around in the dark.
I don’t think you can be bothered with anything, just go to the next one.”
So there was a big change in Dubai in the last decade or so.
“It’s been a long time since Dubai’s been on the car map, and for many people the UAE has always been associated with its reputation as a city of cars.
But this was a different kind of car, one that was not driven by motorbikes but by taxis and private vehicles.
A taxi driver, who wished to remain anonymous, told us how he’d once seen a black cab with a white stripe.”
They don’t run any business, they don ‘ride’ on a regular basis,” he told us.”
When you see the number plate of the car, you know it’s a taxi.
“While he could see that he wasn’t the only one who’d seen this, he was more surprised that it hadn’t been noticed.”
I guess, you could say, the city’s not that much changed,” he continued.”
People are used to seeing black cars on the road, so they don´t even think twice about it.
But he admitted that this type of car wasn’t always as popular as it is today.
“Nowadays, people drive taxis instead of cars.”
For example, one recent driver we met was from New Zealand.
“I have never really had any trouble driving a taxi,” he admitted.
He added that he now drives taxis on weekends, and was surprised to find that it’s quite a different experience from driving a car.
“If I had a problem, I can call the taxi and they will come out and help me,” he explained.
“But nowadays, they only go out once a week or once a month, so I don´T really feel like I need to be driving a cab.”
And I think it’s also different for a lot people who have never had a car, because they don`t drive them any more, so when you have a problem with a taxi, you just walk up to the driver and say, ‘I’m stuck, I donít know where to go’.
“That kind of situation was the main thing that was really hard for a taxi driver.”
It wasn’t just about cars though.
In the last five years, the UAE added several new cars, some of which were unique to the country.
“Dubai has been the city for cars since the early 90s,” said a local driver who wished not to be named.
“We’ve had cars since we were in the Middle East.
Nowadays the cars are all new, the whole city is different.”
While there’s a fair amount of variety, the main drivers we met all have one thing in common: they all love the cars.
“Everyone has a car,” he added.
“The ones that are new have a lot more modern, it’s like a different breed of car.”
He continued: “But the ones that have always been there, are still there.”