However, each summer London is seeing an increasing number of a new kind of boy racer…the young millionaire Arabs who fly over £100 million worth of supercars and turn the streets of Knightswood into their very own playground.
While it is clear their budget is much greater than the average British boy racer, sometimes it can be questionable whether they have more taste!
A little bit too much Pink? Ghastly Pink Lamborghini Murcielago
The young Arabs visit London for a 4-6 week period before Ramadan to avoid the heat of their summer and enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle with access to casinos, clubs and the freedom to socialise with women – things that are prohibited by religion in many Arab countries. This time, which has been dubbed as “Arab Super Car Season” is a showcase of some of the World’s most amazing supercars – there is no shortage of Ferrari’s, Lamborghinis, Rolls Royce, Porsches, and some of the most exclusive cars such as the Bugatti Veyron.
However, there has been mounting tension amongst residents of the upper-class areas being used as race circuits. Channel 4 recently aired a documentary showing the sides of both the young Arabs and the disgruntled residents. The resident’s main complaint is the noise of the cars late at night when they drive laps of a circuit in the Harrods area. It is not hard to see why this is causing resentment as super car engines are not known for being quiet. Mix this with the affluence of the area – people who pay millions for their homes with an SW1 postcode do not expect to be kept awake at night by roaring V12 engines!
The police have launched a number of operations aimed at ensuring the cars are road legal for the UK by checking license and insurance documentation. However, this is causing some amount of annoyance from the Arabs as quite often they feel they are being targeted and have their cars impounded for any reason, regardless of whether their documents are correct or not.
This is a difficult debate as a small minority of people are confusing their argument with the motorists for a cultural one. Most of the young Arab’s families have been visiting London in the summer since the seventies, long before the supercar influx. Many of the families own summer houses in London and do business in the UK. In general, the tourists from the UAE are very welcome – Britain prides itself on being a multi-cultural nation and our economy benefits greatly from our rich visitors. Arab tourists spend far more than any other nationality when on holiday here, but they have also inadvertently turned themselves in to a tourist attraction!
London is fast becoming the new Monte Carlo with many people visiting the city just to take part in a weekend of super car spotting! A simple search on YouTube for Arab Supercars London will bring up a huge number of hits for videos uploaded by car enthusiasts who take trips to London for this sole purpose!
Have you been to London and witnessed the super car showcase? Do you really think there really is a problem?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below! Or tweet us @CarhootsUK #Supercars