New car sales in UAE set to rise by 27,600 in 2010

The UAE automotive industry is set to get back up to speed this year as bank loans
gradually become more easily available and affordable and consumer confidence
returns following the global economic downturn.

The latest data from Business Monitor International (BMI) reports that new car sales
are set to rise by 8.5% in 2010 to 355,117 units, which is just below the 2008 level.
“These figures are very promising for the country, which has always enjoyed buoyant
car sales. It is not surprising sales were down last year but the fact people are buying
new vehicles in 2010 is indicative of overall confidence in the economy,” said Saif Al
Midfa, Director General of Expo Centre Sharjah.

“To begin with, banks are making credit terms more attractive. Drivers are being enticed
by some excellent dealer discounts and it is also true that a certain amount of demand
is pent up because owners who bought cars 3-4 years ago and maybe did not upgrade
to a new model last year will be looking to do so this year as warranties begin to expire,”
added Al Midfa.

Expo Centre Sharjah is hosting the biannual International Automobile Show from 14-18
October 2010, which will include the first Middle East Auto Awards to recognise the best
models in each class.

“The luxury vehicles section will be particularly competitive, as it has continued to
perform well with a quarter of all UAE car sales falling into this category. Meanwhile,
the data also shows that the ultra-premium sector has been least affected – a trend
mirrored across all sectors dealing in luxury goods and therefore reassuring to know
that motoring is no different,” added Al Midfa.

According to figures from the Abu Dhabi Traffic Department, the number of vehicles on
the capital’s roads rose 49 per cent in 2008 to 583,015, while in Dubai the figure was
1.045 million – up from 853,827 in 2007.

The knock-on effects will also bolster the UAE’s already thriving used car industry.
Sharjah remains the number one used car centre in the Middle East buoyed by both
domestic and overseas demand. The same can be said for the export and re-export
of auto parts which are currently growing 15% per annum, to countries throughout the
Middle East, Africa, CIS, Pakistan and India.

BMI also reports modest rises in new sales in both Kuwait and Bahrain, although both
countries will remain shy of 2008 figures. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia relaxed credit
regulations will provide a welcome boost to its autos industry where more than 70%
of new vehicles are expected to be purchased with a loan. The value of new sales is
expected to top US$17 billion – a marginal rise on 2009.

“After a period of contraction and consolidation, the Middle East autos industry is set
for positive gains as this study indicates sales will gain momentum over the next four
years,” said Al Midfa.

“The 10th International Automobile Show attracts visitors from around the region and
with the positive market sentiment we expect this year to be a particularly busy show.
With so many drivers looking to buy new models this year, there will be a wide variety of
models on display to tempt all tastes and budgets.”

For more information about the International Automobile Show, please visit or

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