By Steven McCombe  www.thenational.ae

Classic car fans in the UAE are now able to register to participate in the fourth Emirates Classic Car Festival.

The Dubai event coincides with the UAE National Day celebrations and is a great chance to see beautifully designed cars from yesteryear gathered in one location.

The festival will be held on Emaar Boulevard, overlooking the Burj Khalifa, and is being organised by Emaar Properties in association with the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development; the Automobile and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates (ATCUAE); and the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens – the international authority for historic vehicles.

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Emaar’s managing director, said: “Highlighting Downtown’s emergence as a trend-setting destination, the festival brings the best in classic cars from passionate collectors and the new addition of classic motorbikes this year.”

Classic car and motorbike owners can register by emailing their entries with a description and photograph of the vehicle proposed to be displayed, to: eccf@ emaarinfo.ae.

Mini set to host Drive Out Loud festival in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Fans of Minis are in for a good weekend next month as Abu Dhabi and Dubai host the region’s biggest-ever celebration of the car.

The Drive Out Loud festival will feature a gathering at the Aloft Hotel in the capital before drivers take off in a Mini convoy to Dubai Autodrome.

Once there, festival-goers will be able to watch and take part in a variety of activities, including track drives, stunt shows, training, parades and competitions.

Sarah Klippert, Mini’s manager in the Middle East, said: “Drive Out Loud will follow the format of the international Mini United and will include a multitude of racing-themed activities and festival fun.”

Mini has organised a tickets competition on its Facebook page where two people from each GCC country will be invited to attend the event. Find the competition online at www.facebook.com/mini.middleeast.

For those not lucky enough to win, the event takes place on October 27 and 28 and tickets can be purchased via Virgin Megastores and TimeOut.

Mini will also use the event to launch its new Coupé.

Desert driving eBook on sale

As good as the roads are in the UAE, we are surrounded by sand and, if you’re into cars, it’s understandable if you’d want to take your big 4×4 out onto the dunes and put it to the test.

The problem is that desert driving is an entirely different proposition to road driving and requires a solid knowledge and understanding of what you’re letting yourself in for, as well as a decent amount of skill to boot.

That’s why we were pleased to hear about a newly released eBook called The Desert Plunge, written by Guild of Motoring Writers member Philip Shane.

Aimed at daring 44 and SUV owners who are considering tackling more challenging terrain, the 100-page-plus publication covers everything you need to know to get started.

The Dubai-based motoring journalist is a seasoned adventurer who, in the eBook, shares his extensive knowledge and experience. The guide outlines the off-roading basics and prepares you for the excitement you’ll experience and how a 44 will behave in extreme conditions.

Most importantly, it shows you how to be adventurous off-tarmac, with a sense of safety and environmental awareness.

To download a copy (Dh37), visit: thedesertplunge.wordpress.com.

Most expensive model car ever to sell for at least Dh17.3 million

A model car is set to go on auction in either Dubai or New York with bids starting at US$4.7 million (Dh17.3m).

The 1:8 scale replica Lamborghini is being billed by the Guiness Book of Records as the most expensive and precious model car ever made, and it’s on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The creation is based on the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 and has a carbon body kitted out in gold, platinum and diamonds, according to reports.

The materials used to create it alone are worth Dh9.9m.

At those prices, the model is selling for roughly 12 times more than the actual Aventador, which costs around Dh1.5m.

Sotheby’s is set to auction the model car in December, if it has not already been bought at Frankfurt.

However, it’s reported that anyone wanting to buy the model at the Frankfurt show will have to fork out another Dh4.8m for the privilege.

Tweeting earns UAE student chance to ride in new Mercedes

A young Twitter user from the UAE has won the chance to drive a new Mercedes-Benz for a whole month thanks to his tweeting abilities.

Student Marzouk Abu Madi, of Sharjah University, earned a ride in a brand new two-seater C-Class Merc by posting a tweet on the @MercedesBenzME Twitter account.

The 23-year-old’s winning tweet was: “In 2010, I worked so hard to avoid a ‘C’ in class. In 2011, I’m dying to get into a C-Class.”

His entry came out on top after more than 200 tweets were made from people across the Middle East.

Abu Madi was so pleased with getting his hands on the keys, he posted pictures of himself and the car on the social networking website – including one where he’s superimposed The Stig from BBC’s Top Gear show alongside the car and himself.

The new C-Class has had more than 2000 components added to it since its predecessor.

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