There is little sign of crisis or recession at the Doha Motor Show which has opened in Qatar. That is hardly surprising, as the tiny Gulf state is by some calculations the richest place on earth.
The latest models from some of the most prestigious manufacturers are on display.
Companies like Porsche saw a 16 per cent rise in sales in the Middle East last year.
“We have an increase in our sales in Qatar and that’s because of several reasons like the latest pay increases, and the fact that Qatar has the highest income per capita in the world,” said Porsche’s brand manager for the Middle East, Ahed Daoud.
Qatar also has the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the world, according to the UN. Perhaps it is not surprising given the popularity of 4×4s for driving in the desert.
“My passion is for luxury cars as well as sports cars. We Qataris love to go off road and that’s why you find at least three 4×4 wheel drives at each house,” said one visitor to the Doha show.
Visitors had the chance to test-drive vehicles they liked the look of. Meanwhile stunt riders were back for the second year running as motor sport took a front seat at the show.
Our correspondent in Doha Maha Barada said:
“Certainly the visitors to this exhibition have come to see the latest models on offer in the car market, but it is these kind of shows that have added a lot of excitement, entertainment and enthusiasm.”