In the last two years we have seen a huge increase in numbers at car shows. The 2016 Gulf Car Festival had this very issue, so for this year’s show the organizers were left with no option but to find a larger venue. Now in its fourth year, the Gulf Car Festival moved to Dubai Festival City, which offered around 4-6 times more space than the previous year’s venue.
2016 saw the show move to a three-day format to incorporate different styles of cars on each of the days. This year it was much the same, Muscle cars on Thursday evening, Super Cars, Classics and Euro’s on Friday and JDM on Saturday. Due to the luxury of having more space over the previous year, these rules weren’t always adhered too, which for us made it more interesting than usual.
The red-carpet cars were centre of attraction and most stayed for the full three days. Some familiar faces were seen on the red/blue carpet and some, not so familiar.
We love a classic pick up, more so if its bagged and stanced. This 1950’s Chevy pick up has gone under the radar during the build phase. And we only caught wind of it from the GCF insta page in the lead up to the show. It does look remarkably similar to the Qatari based GMC that we saw back at Custom Show Emirates earlier this year. Nevertheless, it’s still a real looker.
This Willies Jeep was in its own league. We didn’t meet the owner to find out much about it. But it offered the variety that we have got used to in the UAE.
And, staying with the classic vibe, there were more than a few familiar faces.
We have seen a few VeilSide RX7’s around the UAE. But all have been resting in workshops awaiting repairs. This one was not only running, but it still featured the original rotary engine. A first for us here at CC. This thing got all sorts of attention on Thursday. It sat proudly at the front of the show next too an all original, R34.
Behind the red carpet cars there were an array of stands, which included ours. Directly opposite us were the guys behind FOS. They brought along their biggest and best builds from the past year. Some that we have already featured, and some that we are yet too. This won’t be the last time we see these boys this season.
The car clubs came in their numbers, and we saw many come and go throughout the three days. The Dodge club had one of the largest turnouts on Thursday. And on Friday, it was the turn of the Corvette Club. They came in early enough to beat us!
The Mini Club also showed good numbers, bringing along a wide range of classic Mini’s.
These Jeeps snuck into the JDM day, the were more than worthy of their place in the parking though.
We get tarred with the JDM brush all too much. And truth be told most of us at CC are more than appreciative of Japansese cars. But, why do we cover so much JDM content? Well it’s the most supported format, not only in the UAE but throughout most of the Middle East. And nine times out of ten the owners are some of the most passionate and approachable people. Plus they love to display their cars at as many shows as possible. So as expected, with Saturday being JDM day, it brought out the biggest numbers of the weekend.
No one made a better entrance than the Supra Club UAE. It’s been over Social Media, so I’m sure you have already seen it. If you didn’t let’s just say it featured a lot of anti lag. They ended up settling not far from our stand. And I instantly fell in love with this slightly widen example on Weld Racing wheels. Simple yet more than effective. I can see us making the trip to RAK to get some proper pictures of this.
There was a huge turnout of Z’s with the UAE Z Team gathering behind our stand.
At the end of the main parking GCF’s drifting display was back. This year we saw both Akodra in his Siliva and Ahmed in his 350Z. They put on a number of tandem displays and were later joined by Fahad in his 1JZ powered Cressida.
The drifting display was thoroughly outdone by the rev battles which took place throughout the three days. On the Saturday, the Super cars attempted to join in, but they didn’t stand a chance against the Supras and their Anti Lag. There was also a certain R35 GTR that destroyed not only our ear drums but pretty much everyone else’s!
Jon’s well known SRT Charger was the highlight from the Thursday Muscle car rev battles. His charged 7.0 Charger caused quite a stir.
The total number of cars that attended across the three days are currently unknown to us. But they definitely exceeded previous years. Based on the past two years of growth around the car show scene, it again raised the question of whether there is a market for smaller, more regular, niche meets. Based on the large number of car clubs that showed up over the three days I’m pretty sure they will start to pop up soon. Still, one thing is for sure, GCF are leading the way when it comes to Dubai based car shows. And we are sure that next year’s show will be even better. And the organisers deserve a big pat on the back for finding a bigger venue for this years show.
A big thanks needs to be given to both the Dubai Police and Civil Defense, both were present during the three days. This is definitely something that needs to be implemented at other shows.