Dubai: No, Batman hasn't arrived in the United Arab Emirates.
Rather, the man stepping out of the dark Batmobile-styled sportscar is Nadeem Dweik, international sales manager of Capital Manufacturing, a Dubai-based automaker.
A smile breaks out on his face as he glances at the racing lines of the newest Made-in-the-UAE sports car dubbed the Capman Roadster.
"This isn't a kit car," says Dweik. "Our new cars are much more sophisticated. The big difference is that we manufacture everything in this car except for the chassis and drivetrain.
"We're the only company in Dubai to get a manufacturing licence to build cars. We're the only ones manufacturing cars in the UAE as far as we know." The fibreglass body, interior and virtually every other piece in the car is handmade.
Dweik is gearing up for this weekend's official launch of the muscle roadster's latest model at Capital Manufacturing's head office and small manufacturing plant on Umm Suqeim Road this weekend where new dealers of the UAE automobile will visit from GCC countries to get acquainted.
The company has big plans for the growling road beast based upon the world-famous Cobra design of yesteryear.
"We're expecting a lot of customers to come in to see the car. Some of our customers feel very patriotic and want to support a new nationally built product," Dweik said, adding there is a fierce passion among UAE residents for sports cars with classic looks.
"A lot of people in the UAE already have a passion for the sport and own a Ferrari or a Porsche. But they want something else, they want something special, unique that no one else has," Dweik said.
Part of the business strategy to build and manufacture a UAE-built car is keeping it affordable.
Despite its exceedingly rich looks, the price for a basic model starts at Dh185,000 and can rise to Dh295,000.
"We're making it affordable not just to penetrate the market but also to gain trust in new customers."
Compared to upscale sports cars costing upwards of millions of dirhams, the new muscle roadster is "not a lot of money for a car that has your own signature", he said.
By providing a full package of amenities in a relatively inexpensive but custom-built sports car, Dweik believes the market will welcome the new Capman Roadster in the year ahead.
By mid-2011, Capital Manufacturing says it hopes to sell 40 of the new Capman Roadster in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait through licensed dealers across the GCC.
As more cars sell and the business broadens, Dweik said he expects the firm to open a mini manufacturing plant in Dubai capable of mass production on a small scale at first.
"For now, we're building our cars one at a time but in future we're planning on building a mini plant that will see production increase," he said.
For now, it takes about 12 employees to build a single car, taking it through all stages of production.
The new Capman Roadster is a car that promises to deliver on performance with a 5.0-litre Mustang engine producing 215 horsepower.
Overall length: 4013mm
Overall height: 1219mm
Overall width: 1790mm
Ground clearance: 115mm
Fuel capacity: 60 litres
Would you prefer to buy a car manufactured in your own country? Or would you rely on a well known brand? Should the UAE set up its own car manufacturing plant?