Visit us at the 2008 Sharjah Auto Show
As you may have noticed, the website has seen almost no updates for the past week. I made the mistake of accepting too many press events and test cars, all in the week when I’m supposed to prepare our stand for the 2008 Sharjah International Auto Show at the Expo Centre. I was thinking of dressing up my BMW M Roadster, but have now decided to display it at our stand in all its beaten-to-hell glory, since I don’t have the time or the space to turn it into a shiny garage-queen show-car. Now, everyone who wants to meet up at the show, do tell me when you guys want to visit, as I don’t intend to man the stand always. I’ll have a little remote-controlled slot-car drift game set up on a table too.
Show Dates: November 18 to 22, 2008
Show Timings: 11 am – 10 pm daily (except Friday 3 pm – 10 pm)
The International Automobile Show to be held at Expo Centre Sharjah from November 18 to 22 will see the launch of several new 2009 models.
The show is the Middle East’s most popular biennial auto exhibition for car lovers and enthusiasts and hosts some of the finest automakers from across the globe.
Prominent among the launches will be Mercedes-Benz GLK, the Middle East preview of the “Most beautiful European car” of 2008 PGO Hemera, and several Lamborghini, BMW, Audi and Nissan vehicles, among others.
“The move by prominent auto makers to launch their new vehicles at the International Automobile Show is proof of the vibrancy of our market and the opportunities if offers to manufacturers and dealers,” said Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah.
“Several best vehicles in categories such as four-door sedans, two-door coupes, station wagons, 4x4s, convertibles and sports cars will be lined up at Expo Centre Sharjah. Auto enthusiasts can expect an adrenalin-pumping experience at the show,” said Mr Midfa.
The Mercedes-Benz GLK had its world premiere in April 2008 and is being introduced here for the first time. The GLK packs superlative performance courtesy of the powerful yet economical engines.
It features a choice of 4MATIC models including two V6 petrol engines (GLK 280 and GLK 350). The GLK 280 has 231 horsepower, with a 3.0-litre engine and an acceleration of 0 to 100 kph in 7.6 seconds.
The GLK 350 has 272 horsepower and 3.5-litre engine with acceleration from 0 to 100 kph in 6.7 seconds; the vehicles have a top speed of 210 kph.
The highly robust body is a key to the pioneering passive-safety setup, extremely low noise levels, exceptional degree of interior comfort to produce that typical Mercedes feeling of wellbeing and the high value retention.
In addition, state-of-the-art systems such as the leading-edge PRE-SAFE® safety concept and the Intelligent Light System (ILS) are available in this market segment.
Lamborghini, the Italian manufacturer of sports cars, will be represented at the show by Al Jaziri Motors, the authorised dealers for ultimate sports cars in the UAE. Several current and new models of the manufacturer will be on display at the show.
Owned by Abdul Rahman and Bader Al Jaziri, Al Jaziri Motors has the highest number of sales annually in the Middle East and Asia. It recently set up Lamborghini Abu Dhabi to better serve this rapidly growing capital city.
“Some of the sports cars are absolute jaw-droppers. The Middle East has been a good market for these niche vehicles and continues to have excellent prospects to drive up sales and marketing efforts,” said Mr Fasahat Ali Khan, Adviser to the Chairman and Board of Directors of Expo Centre Sharjah.
French replica-maker PGO is showing its first self-designed, all-new model PGO Hemera. Set to be the eye-catcher at the show, the Hemera is a low-slung shooting brake-style coupe, with a 1.6-litre, 150 hp natural gas-compatible engine, and can accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in seven seconds.
Audi, through the participation at the show, is aiming to boost its Middle East sales further. Audi Middle East sales rose by 38.2 per cent to 6,380 cars in 2007 (2006: 4,616).
The current Middle East model range comprises the Audi A3 Sportback, A4 Saloon and Cabriolet, A5, A6 and S6, TT Coupe and Roadster, the A8, S8, the Q7 and the R8. Visitors can expect to see the 2009 models of some of these vehicles at the show.
AGMC, the exclusive importer for BMW Group products in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, is also looking to boost its sales figures. It sold a total of 1,953 vehicles in the first half of 2008, a growth of 19 per cent over the same period in 2007, representing the highest sales figures across the Middle East for any BMW Group importer.
In 2007, AGMC delivered a total of 150 BMW 5 Series vehicles to Dubai Police, as well as a fleet of BMW 7 Series and BMW 5 Series to the Dubai Protocol and Guest House department.
“Leading automakers are also looking for ideal venues to showcase and promote their fuel-efficient and environment-friendly vehicles and attract bulk buyers such as transport authorities, government establishments and big companies,” said Mr Khan.
The International Automobile Show will feature a Hummer Driving Zone, where visitors can test-drive latest models of Hummer 2 and 3.
“In addition, BMW will host a speed driving challenge. Visitors to the show who own a valid driving licence can participate in the contest and take home valuable gifts,” Mr Khan said.
The current edition of the show will host more than 40 exhibitors and over 25 brands including Toyota, Lexus, Lamborghini, Nissan, Infiniti, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Maybach, Skoda, and Hummer, among others.
The show will also feature the latest models in convertibles, prototype cars, 4×4 vehicles, luxury coaches, motorbikes, water vehicles, vintage cars, accessories, audio and video systems, navigation systems, commercial vehicles and auto finance facilities. The exhibition space will cover 16,000 square metres in addition to the boulevard and outside display areas.
The International Automobile Show is organised by Expo Centre Sharjah in association with Emirates Motor Sports Federation and Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
See you there!