For the GEEK in you

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Here In My Car, I Feel Safest Of All

Considering that we spend most of our 'life' in Dubs in our cars, it's no wonder that we are intimately familiar with them. With no public transport solution in sight either, the future still looks car-shaped, even if petrol prices have tempered our love affair somewhat.

It also means that most people are quite familiar with most of the popular vehicles in Dubai. I'll wager the brands Corolla, Camry, Sunny and Land Cruiser have absolutely phenomenal brand recognition among us (the last one because it's usually been embedded into your back bumper once or twice) .

That's just regular people, driving regular cars. Enthusiasts are well catered for too, by the absolutely INSANE amount of flash metal on display here. Chances are, if you've read about a fast, drool worthy car, you've seen it on Diyafah - the equivalent of the Paris, Geneva and Tokyo motorshow bundled into an orgiastic frenzy of automotive pornography, availabe for viewing every Thursday night.

So for goodness sake, if people love their cars so much, why isn't there more of a car culture here? Print, online, whatever? Most of the good magazines - okay, all - come from the UK or the States. Car has opened a Dubai branch, selling a cut down version of the UK monthly (Dh50) with some local content for a bargain Dh10. Is it any good? To put it bluntly, no. Oh, the UK stuff is fab, no question, but everything local is hopeless. What was their latest group test? Four of the most expensive SUVs on the market. Very handy, for the person who buys Dh10 car magazines.
There's also Wheels and the weekly columns in the weekend glossies. The latter are just hopeless - crappy, sugar coated reprints of the brochures, mostly. Shamefully, I haven't read Wheels yet, but one is reminded of the cardinal rule in Dubai when dealing with car companies - Face.

Lose it, and you'll never review one of their cars again. Childish, but then what did you expect, anyway? Still, I'll love to see Wheel's sales figures. Obviously, they are selling enough to keep going. Print journalism may well be out these days - 30 days is just too long

What the heck am I getting at, anyway? Simple. I'd like to open a proper car blog - news, reviews, opinion. News about the global car market, about the UAE, about every damn thing I can get my greedy paws on. Reviews - honest, honest, honest, willing to slam if necessary. And opinion - the hardest thing to do, possibly, in a place where no one speaks their mind.

Am I out of my gourd?

Tell me!


Blogger secretdubai said...

A dedicated UAE or Gulf car blog is a good idea for this region.

The only one I know of is Autoguy, which isn't UAE specific, it just happens that the blogger recently moved to Dubai. It's very well written.

I think a car blog is one of the few types of blog that could become commercially viable here. You'd need to have good quality content and images, but there is so much material and so much interest in cars here.

12:55 PM  

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