Report: MME Meet 11
Overwhelming attendance, awesome atmosphere, amazing vehicles, despite heat and humidy
By Shahzad Sheikh
We’d moved the June Meet back to our old haunt on Emaar Boulevard for one simple reason – we figured that it being hot and since we were close to the holiday season, attendance numbers would drop off dramatically. We estimated perhaps 40-50 cars. We were wrong. Very, very wrong…
Despite a start time of 5pm, by 4:30 cars had started arriving including a spectacular 59 Caddy, a gorgeous little classic Fiat 500 and a 67 Mustang fastback fitted with a modern Chevy engine and gearbox, having driven all the way from Al Ain.
SRTs and the Top Gear Arctic Truck
This Meet was supported by Chrysler Middle East, Al Futtaim Toyota and our good friends at EMSF. So three sensational SRTs – the new 300C, the Charger and even a MANUAL Challenger were already lined up looking fearsome.
Next to it was the actual Arctic Trucks Toyota Hilux that Top Gear took both to the North Pole and onto a live volcano, surrounded by showgirls happy to pose on the rear toilet seat installed by Jeremy Clarkson.
‘Sorry, we’re full’
Meanwhile the EMSF volunteers immediately took charge of the parking, and thank God they did, because by 5:30 it was mayhem, with cars back up all the way to the entrance.
Cars included numerous modified and classic motors, a fun selection of high-powered R/C cars, a great collection of motorbikes, plus exotics and rarities including an Aston Martin Vanquish, new GT-R, Dodge Viper, a lineup of Corvettes, a Honda CRZ and CRX plus several Type Rs, and many many more.
With 15 minutes to go before a new feature we’d introduced for this Meet – a discussion show held inside the facility’s small cinema hall at 6pm – the venue was actually closed off to any more arrivals – ‘sorry, we’re full’ we announced on our Facebook page.
The chat show
The ‘chat show’ itself went down an absolute storm, thanks to the very special guests and experts we had on the panel. A huge thanks from us to Rob Bryan of the Automobile & Touring Club UAE, Jack Rodencal, MD of Chrysler Middle East, Mohammed Alfalasi (massively popular former racing driver and now organiser of several grass roots level motorsports including Drift UAE, Dubai Chase and Barrel Sprint), and finally the UAE drift king, Ahmed Alamri.
The audience had a lot of questions for Bryan about both classic car registrations and also what the future held in terms of legislation for modified, tuned and street-legal race car legislations. The good news was that answers were coming for the modified and motor sports community, but this topic alone could have filled the hour-long discussion.
This was the first time for a large part of the audience to get a chance to listen and to and ask questions directly of a top motor industry executive from a major manufacturer and the discussion with Rodencal involved the SRT range, Mopar parts and accessories, engine swaps, what the industry was doing for the enthusiast community and the future of the muscle car.
Alfalasi and Alamri were the biggest hits of the evening, however, with the audience keen to learn about how they could get into entry-level motorsports and just ‘have a go’ and all the plans that were being put into place for the future to allow people to safely push themselves and their cars to the limit. People were also fascinated to learn of Alamri’s success and were keen to find out more about drifting, plus the forthcoming Drift academy that Alfalasi will be setting up.
Too quickly we ran out of time, but stay tuned to MME for more information regarding Alfalasi’s plans, all the news from the ATCUAE and of course the latest reviews and stories from Chrysler ME.
Thanks are due
We remained on site till well after 9pm to see off the last few visitors and despite being absolutely exhausted and dehydrated were totally elated at the overwhelming response, enthusiasm, passion and positive feedback we got from all those who attended.
We’d like to show our appreciation to our special guests for taking part and also need to give a very special thanks to Darren Rycroft who helped us out on the day and did all the official photography for us – check out our full album here.
Plus our deep gratitude to Ahmed Al Sharif and the EMSF for managing the cars and parking situation and making sure the proceedings remained trouble-free despite the incredible turnout which was three-four times the numbers we had anticipated.
Tell us what you thought
Were you at the Meet? We need your feedback below:
- What did you think of the ‘chat show’ element, do want to see more like it?
- Did you miss the quiz?
- How did you find the event overall?
- Would you attend a Meet held in August?
We also have some extremely accessible sponsorship packages ready and available for forthcoming Meets – contact us on MME@MotoringME.com to get more information.
Links to more albums and coverage of Meet 11
- MME Official album
- Crank and Piston
- 86cult.com part 1
- 86cult.com part 2
- Common Auto Interest
- Colin Handy
- CaRs Photography
- Justin Nyman
- FaDi Ju
- Shijil Hashim
- Laurie Bridger
- Adil Ahmed
- Soud Alshaiba
- Mohammed Ali Esfandiary
- aLn Photography
If we’ve missed your album, let us know and we’ll add a link above!