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The Dubai International Motor Show returns this week, although you might not recognize it from its previous versions at the World Trade Center as it has morphed into an outdoor urban lifestyle festival in the new port of Dubai.
Gone are the costumes, heels, exhibition replicas and the formal sales environment disguised as light shows and here is an urban street fair that mixes the arts community with fashion, super yachts, outdoor sports, graffiti artists and discos on wheels.
Somewhere there are cars that need to be sold, but the focus of the four-day event, renamed No Filter DXB, is enjoying a cultural festival that celebrates the UAE’s 50th anniversary as a nation. The event starts on Wednesday and continues through Saturday.
Globally, auto shows from Frankfurt to New York were already facing big questions about market relevance amid a changing audience before Covid-19 brought the world to a halt and, with it, shut down auto factories for eight to 12 weeks in 2020. Add to that the well-reported shortage of microchips that overshadows this pandemic supply disruption, and car sales have been hit hard in the region for more than 18 months.
A sharp increase in sales across the board during the first quarter of this year provided some respite, largely based on New Year’s optimism of a recovering economy. But procuring inventory to meet those orders remains the biggest headache in the industry so far this year.
As the automotive and exhibition industries adapt to massive changes, No Filter DXB marks its lifestyle festival on the Dubai Fitness Challenge closing weekend and will showcase a range of sporting activities for visitors. including a floating football pitch by adidas, padel tennis, 3×3 basketball courts, nightly cycling and skateboarding demonstrations.
“We are evolving from the traditional auto show format and transforming No Filter DXB outdoors into a completely experiential and immersive festival,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Events Management at Dubai World Trade Center.
“We have organized experiences in the field of automobile, drift, bicycle stunts, buggy thrills to the lifestyle of street culture, art, fashion, sport , fitness and more to capture and reflect the attractive UAE lifestyle. We have used all the space around the Port of Dubai, 80% of which is dedicated to activities in which the public can participate. “
For auto enthusiasts, the show will be the first chance for the public to see the much anticipated and rock hard prototype Ineos Grenadier 4×4 which is currently in the region performing tests before it goes on sale on the next year.
Meanwhile, the all-new Range Rover will also make its first public appearance after its global debut in Dubai at the end of October.
Aston Martin will showcase its luxury SUV competitor, the DBX, while Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Nissan, Infiniti and Mercedes will also showcase new products. Gargash Motors celebrates the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates by unveiling a limited edition Mercedes-AMG G 63 UAE Golden Jubilee Edition, of which only 50 units will be manufactured.
“As a luxury brand we are delighted to celebrate the automotive industry with this experiential festival and on a momentous occasion such as the United Arab Emirates Golden Jubilee, we are delighted to present some of the latest models from Mercedes-Benz “said Ivo A Kapitzki, general manager of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars at Gargash Enterprises.
Among the many non-auto attractions are a skate park, basketball courts, a roller-skating disco, and street art, while those looking for other ways to get their four-wheeler and fuel solution can enjoy rides. buggy, take the passenger seat in a drift car for high speed skids or watch a parade of supercars.
A collection of the world’s most expensive supercars will leave Dubai Port at 8:30 a.m. and meander through JBR, behind JLT, and return to Dubai Port where the cars will remain on display to the public.
“For the traditional auto show format of halls filled with the latest models and concepts from the manufacturers, these are very difficult times,” GlobalData automotive analyst David Leggett said after the Munich auto show of this year which returned in September after reinventing itself to focus on sustainability. and electric vehicles. “The days of must-see exhibitions and must-see for car manufacturers seem to be over.
“However, there remains an appetite for live events and to see the latest products up close, so the difficult challenge for organizers of auto show events is to make attractive proposals to them. Auto shows need to evolve. to stay relevant and have a chance to survive The whole thing needs to be compelling enough that people want to see for themselves and have a day that complements a simple digital experience.
The show is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are available online through Platinumlist starting at Dh60 ($ 16).
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Update: November 21, 2021 11:32 a.m.