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Old 3rd March 2013, 13:39   #1
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Default Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around

April 2011- Instead of coconut trees and greenery, miles and miles of nothing. Instead of Gypsies and tractors, GMC trucks and F-250s were pottering around the runway. Instead of glass and steel, the beige mosaic covered airport stood just like it did two decades back. Yeah, i finally landed in Riyadh after 8 years

13,May 2011
Farooq :Make sure you post 'em pictures in the forum
Me :Yeah, will sure do.



Days passed , months passed, almost three years this May, yet am still to post the pics or write anything about that visit to the Ferrari showroom which had been made possible only by TeamBHP and Farooq bhai, and yet almost like a betrayal i sat there lazy, to start a thread or even hijack a thread. It went on like Lord Ganesha's marriage, tomorrow , tomorrow, never.
Scores of holidays have passed and even though i felt guilty of being lazy, didn't do anything. So exactly two years and 1 month later i sat down to do it in the assembly section, don't knowing how the 'assembly section' worked.
Still, better late than never, and here i start it. Two months in Riyadh.

psssttt... it's not a detailed travelogue or anything. Just my visit to the Ferrari showroom, seeing a drift event and generally taking photos of cars that are uber rare in India and ones that pretty common here too
Teaser...
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Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-29042011002.jpg  


Last edited by DicKy : 7th May 2014 at 23:28.
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Old 6th July 2013, 22:42   #2
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Default re: Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around

Laziness should have been named after me. After two years, started the thread in 'Assembly section' in March and 3 months later, including two months of vacations can't even post some pics and one-liners, really feeling respect towards the members who actually contribute to the forum.

Landing in Riyadh, was mostly an exercise in nostalgia for me, seeing the place were i grew up as a child. But the 8 years in India had made a big change in me.
Even though i was fond of cars (could identify cars by seeing tail lights lit up at night by the age of 6), it was not an obsession. But in India as a teen, instead of games and girls, it was cars and books that fascinated me. Almost addicted to my monthly dosage of Autocar ('04-'08 ) and by TeamBHP since 2009, i was a proper car nerd.
And living in India at the time when Endeavours were considered 'large SUVs' and Skodas as luxury cars made me yearn to go back once again to Riyadh , just to see the cars....

Saudi Arabia, to many is a conservative ,socially backward country with anarchic laws and too much money (well, true in some ways), and many members doesn't seem to like the place a bit.
Well am not here to defend the place, but its the place where my joint family has been earning their bread since the late 1970s. You just have to respect the rules here and as long as you are here for business and not for reforming society you are good. In fact the best place to make money if you have the will.

Coming to the meat of the matter. Cars. Well… as everyone knows Japanese and Americans rule the roads here, with the Koreans growing rapidly and the Germans still only at the upper luxury segment.
The Chinese, Malaysian and us Indians are at a position where the Koreans were a decade ago.

Wide roads, petrol costing less than a bottle of mineral water, an absolute lack of public transport, privacy loving people and vast stretches of land allowing the city to expand beyond and beyond has lead to one of the most car dependent places in the world. Don't get me wrong, the total car numbers is nowhere near ours, but if you do not have a car here, then you are handicapped for the only public transport existing are the taxis.
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Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-07052011032.jpg  

Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-10042011008.jpg  

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Old 6th July 2013, 22:53   #3
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Default re: Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around

Most of the travelling done as in my dad's late '90s Mitsubishi L300, uncle's 2001 model Toyota Corolla and the pics were taken by a Nokia 6120, so please forgive the low quality pics.
Also since the infamed mutaween were cracking on camera phones just a couple of years back, I was not comfortable taking pics in most public places, hence the places will look mostly deserted and also dusty since it was the peak of summer.

So as to start ,a week there was beginning to becoming boring (carwise)
Back home, an old imported 80s Cressida or a W126 S class would have made me look at it moth wide opened and even go to sleep thinking about them. But seeing many of them as regular rides was starting to loose the sheen.

So one day returning from shop with dad as we turned to the street were our house was saw something alien.
You see, our house was in a neighbourhood like thisRiyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-03042011008.jpg <br />
And the last thing we expected to see was a bull, that too sadly on top of a tow truck.<br />
My first bull spotting, but tethered to a truck rather than roaring down a road</div>   <div style=
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Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-29042011006.jpg  

Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-29042011001.jpg  

Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-29042011003.jpg  

Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-29042011007.jpg  

Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-29042011005.jpg  

Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-29042011.jpg  


Last edited by DicKy : 6th July 2013 at 23:52.
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Old 6th July 2013, 23:48   #4
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Default re: Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around

The roof design of the King Khalid Intn'l airport.
Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-airport-2.jpg
Once world's largest airport terminal, two decades later sadly its on the decline.<br />
Sorry the only pic i have got is it.<br /> <br /> <br />
About the buildings except for two skyscrapers, there is nothing much of a buildings scene in Riyadh, unlike UAE.<br />
 Its a huge urban sprawl and the majority are brown coloured low rise buildings. The two main skyscrapers, Kingdom Tower and Faisaliyah tower were built in the early 2000s, finished a couple of years before i came to India. <br />
Except for show off these buildings do nothing much else, usual shopping mall at bottom floor and apartments, offices above.<br />
But recently there has been a rush to construct high rises and many are now lined up near the new King Abdullah financial district.<br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-faisalah-tower.jpg <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-kingdom-day.jpg <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-kingdom-day2.jpg <br />
In the Kingdom tower , you can see a skybridge above the U shape. For 500Rs and two hi speed lifts later, we could see the whole city in front of us.<br />
More info  <a rel=http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g2...tre.Tower.html
Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-view-kingdom-towr.jpg <br />
The whole city was like in a rectangle shape with the dark desert on its fringes, felt something like those '80s closed world video games.<br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-view-kingdom-towr-2.jpg <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-kingdom-night-2.jpg <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-kingdom-night.jpg <br />
On the ground floor was a shopping mall with hi end brands<br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-inside-kingdom-towr.jpg <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-inside-kingdom-tower-2.jpg <br />
A random building<br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-misc-building.jpg <br />
Another random building, barrel shaped.<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-misc-building-2.jpg <br />
A coffee cup shaped cafetaria<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-coffee.jpg <br />
A cable stayed bridge over a dry river bed (Wadi), hence called Wadi Leban bridge.<br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-bridge.jpg
More info...<a rel=http://en.structurae.de/structures/d...fm?ID=s0004165

And couldn't help it, but an irrelevant random pic. Just can't get enough of these
American landyachts, white Jap pick ups and an unfinished building...
Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-misc.jpg   <div style=
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Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-building.jpg  

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Old 7th July 2013, 03:07   #5
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Default re: Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around

Now comes the Ferrari bit.
Thanks to Farooq bhai and TeamBHP who made it possible for two of us to meet.
Saw his threads on Ferrari/Maserati and also other threads, but didn't even dream of visiting a Ferrari showroom, let alone coming to Riyadh.

My residency visa had expired years ago and had to take a new one, but since i had passed 18 years of age, had to go through the hassle of taking a visiting visa. Looked impossible till the last moment, pulling some strings did the trick.

Seeing the Murcielago sure did pump me up , but to the end of April me messaged Farooq bhai on TeamBHP and he replied saying why don't i come over to the showroom and gave me his mob. number. I was like on cloud nine, and was acually sceptic that it would happen cause it was a bloody good thing to happen.
Won't believe, but first time talking to a stranger on phone that too in English, mumbled jumbled up and my hindi was rusty. He must have thought i was a dork, but he fixed upon a Friday, may 11th to be exact.

So armed with a box of arabian sweets as a present we set out. The showroom was in Tahlia street, a posh locale that we less frequented. We always travelled by the parallel highway to get to Olaya, but even after 28 years in Riyadh, dad lost his way and we were going around in circles.

On the way saw my first Rolls Phantom, an f430 wailing away from the lights..
Porsche showroom, yuck, saw the fugly Panamera only now.
Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-porsche.jpg <br />
A Suburban with huge wheels and a gold chromeplated Hummer<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-blinged.jpg <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-gold-hum.jpg <br />
Dad and mum dropped me and kid bro in front of the showroom while they went to the nearby supermarket. It being friday, Farooq was in his prayers and we waited outside the showroom feasting on this<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-glassthru.jpg <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-front.jpg   <div style=

Last edited by DicKy : 7th July 2013 at 03:08.
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Old 8th May 2014, 00:08   #6
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Default re: Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around

While we were waiting outside for Farooq bhai to finish his prayers, a couple of Saudi youth came and after being refused entry peered through the glass and went back. I wanted to just shout at them " Idiots!!! Look inside all you want, am the one going inside !!!"
Couple of minutes later Farooq comes and ushered us in and after exchanging pleasantries and the sweets it was time to look at the ladies...
Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-f430.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-cali2.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-masergt.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-masgt.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-quatro-2.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-quatro.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-quatrpf430.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-maser-stradla.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-random.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-17052011023.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-17052011026.jpg <br /> <br />
But Farooq told us specifically not to touch or sit on them. Oh, bummer!!<br />
But seeing them this close was an experience in itself, and after posing for the usual FB pics took one with Farooq bhai<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-farooq.jpg <br />
Me With Farooq bhai.<br /> <br />
Then we went upstairs were there was a mocktail bar and some really expensive merchandise. Farooq told that Ferrari owners would come and hang around here once every month.<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-bar.jpg <br />
The mocktail bar <br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-owner-lounge.jpg <br />
The merchandise on display and for sale<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-merc.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-merch.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-merchandis.jpg <br />
Then he took us downstairs to the work station where some rare edition 599 was being(unpackaged) readied for a royal.<br /> <br />
My kid brother and me with the special edition 599<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-limited.jpg   <div style=
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Old 8th May 2014, 00:29   #7
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Default re: Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around

The rear seats of the 2+2 models were really cramped. On being asked Farooq told that they were child seats and showed me a tag on the car saying so... Wonder why the auto mags never say so

Rear seat of the Maserati GT IIRC

Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-masinterior.jpg <br />
Then after shaken hands and heartfelt thanks went outside and stood for dad to come pick us. Mean while thought of exploring around the showroom and found these.<br /> <br />
A Syangyongg Actyon in flesh<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-actyon.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-sangyonng.jpg <br />
Note the front end..<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-sangyong.jpg <br />
And a service caddy<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-servic-ecaddy.jpg <br /> <br />
Then walking towards the rear found some slightly ole' ladies<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-behind.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-behind2.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-17052011042.jpg <br />
And had a peek inside...<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-17052011045.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-17052011046.jpg <br />
And under the hood<br /> <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-17052011039.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-17052011041.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-engine.jpg <br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-engine2.jpg <br />
Mahn, what would i do to buy a Ferrari, maybe hunt for a monk who has one and ready to give.<img src=

Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-17052011042.jpg   <div style=

Last edited by DicKy : 18th October 2014 at 22:23.
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Old 20th October 2014, 17:05   #8
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Default Re: Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the International Car Scene. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th October 2014, 18:15   #9
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Nothing makes us enthusiasts proud than seeing Indian cars on foreign roads. We may badmouth their quality and reliability here, but nothing makes our chest puff with pride than seeing our cars abroad.
Couldn't spot any Mahindras. Only saw Tatas and if Indian built is okay, saw new Suzukis (Marutis) and a few Hyundai Atos.

Like i said a few posts before, Tata is now where the Koreans were two decades ago. Kinda like the cheapest cars on sale , but disappointed that Chinese and Protons number more than us.

Nothing better to start off than our first proper export.
The 207, with the Safari petrol engine.
Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-207-2.jpg <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-207.jpg <br />
The Indigo, which the Billionaire Prince Alwaleed Talal gifts off to those who don't have a car. Bah, royals! ! !<br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-indigo-rear.jpg <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-26042011004.jpg <br />
Xenons, Indigos, Tatamobiles. Dad used to tell they were aplenty and i expected to see them. But didn't expect to see a Safari, especially one with a Dicor heart.<br />
Saw this in front of the International Indian School.<br /> <a href=Riyadh: Ferrari showroom, Drift event and generally fooling around-safari.jpg   <div style=
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