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Old 21st July 2007, 12:29   #1
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Default Emirates Auto Museum - A Visit

Hi all, here's a report of a visit we made to a unique car museum here on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. Now for the history: Its the late Eighties, a member of the Royal family is about to get married to the daughter of the then ruler. Which groom doesn't want a unique wedding gift, so he did this: Pick up the phone and call Mercedes-Benz in Germany, and ask to speak to their Special Orders department (probably). The order is so unique that he is flown in to personally supervise the production of 7 special 500 SELs. This is his order: Each car 100% colour-coded in one colour of the rainbow! Legend is that Mercedes actually stopped production at one of their plants to concentrate on this order purely.

So 7 cars were shipped to Abu Dhabi in Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. He used them as his daily drives for a while. Am assuming he used the Blue on the first day of the week!

He is also an avid collector of anything that claims to move on the road! His latest project is the Emirates National Auto Museum, around 60km outside Abu Dhabi. A huge pyramid-shaped structure that houses easily around 150-200 cars/trucks/SUVs and others. (ENAM has more information). Pictures are all mine, and taken on an N70, so not exactly centrefold material.

One of the most interesting exhibits is this Dodge caravan.

Its HUGE! The interiors are actually multi-storeyed, and includes bedrooms, sitting rooms, and the top of the bed is tennis-court sized. Thats a regular sized pick-up truck parked in front of it. In the next pic, my Bro-in-law is standing at the rear left tire. He is just over 6 ft tall

Now check out whats left of the Rainbow collection. The interiors are fully coded in the same colour, including dashboard, rear-view mirror, steering wheel, and gear.

The yellow in detail..

Now some general pics..
A Premier convertible, actually. It has the PAL badge on the grille.

This had a Lamborghini logo. Never knew they had a 4x4, unless it was another special order!

Hummer anyone?

Some classics

Kenworth trucks. Regularly used here in the desert to carry other trucks!

Jeeps - My favourite section

Wondering where all the M&M Classics in India are gone??

Mini: then & now

Queen Elizabeth's transport during her last state visit to UAE

Unique unexplainables!

Industrial strength

If anyone is coming to Abu Dhabi, and wants to see this place, do let me know, and will be happy to go again! I guess PM'ing me here would be the best way to contact. Enjoy!
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Old 21st July 2007, 12:39   #2
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Awesome pics there Kurian. Thanks for sharing. I believe some of these mamouths were shown years ago on Jeremy Clarksons Motorworld. He has the Globe, the huge Dodge truck (the interiors of which are like a house) and a few others.

I'm also pleasantly surprised to see a Mahindra as part of the collection.
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Old 21st July 2007, 13:34   #3
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Those are awesome pictures Kurian. Had first seen them in Motorworld. I guess they call him the Rainbow Shaikh. Where is this museum located and how do they charge for visit? Nice the see the Mahindra Classic there too. That E class monster truck is crazy.

The Lambo 4x4 is a the LM002. They made a few of those which initially came with the Countach engine and later with the Diablo V12.

Last edited by Dippy : 21st July 2007 at 13:35.
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Old 21st July 2007, 16:34   #4
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Awesome collection of cars and great pics thanks for sharing.

Love the Jeep collection.

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Old 21st July 2007, 16:56   #5
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Great pics buddy. What a collection. BTW did you know that the Lambo LM002is Amitabh Bacchan's most desirable car?
I remember seeing somewhere on Telly on some programme Caravan and the Globe Car. Complete palace on wheels. Will definately take your offer of showing me around there when I visit Abu Dhabi. Will have to plan to go there now.
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Old 22nd July 2007, 00:58   #6
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LM002 was reviewed by Jeremy on Top Gear. Awesome piece of machine, but breaks either down every 10 miles or so or need to be fuelled.
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Old 22nd July 2007, 01:10   #7
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Those were some great pics. What a collection this man has. On personal note didn't like the rainbow colors of Mercedes. That Dodge truck was awesome. Is it the only machine of its kind in world ?
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Old 22nd July 2007, 08:02   #8
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I Loved the Bigfoot Merc.. Looked kind of mean.

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Old 22nd July 2007, 09:51   #9
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[quote=Dippy;507138] Where is this museum located and how do they charge for visit?

Hey Dippy,

The museum is off the Abu Dhabi - Tarif road, which is the road to the Saudi border. There is a turn off from the main road which is marked by a 'Car Museum' board. Officially, the museum is not opened, so there is no charge to enter. We just paid the caretaker a little something for his cheerful patience while we ogled at each car!

There is a small cafeteria in the compound, and i guess the price of the tea/juice/sandwich can be factored into the cost of the visit..
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Old 22nd July 2007, 21:23   #10
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hmmm..nice pics there....there's a vid on youtube showcasing the globe and the other interests of the sheikh who owns this museum...it also features mmd bin suleyum talking about his cars....search for "Middle East's Richest People"
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