Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

First impressions? It’s a petrolhead heaven: As soon as you drive in from the entrance off the Nadd Al Hamar Road, one of the first sports cars waiting to greet you at First Choice Motors is a Fisker Karma. A car made famous by Carlos Santana, Justin Beiber and Leonardo DiCaprio, the owner of the first Fisker ever built. This specific 2013 Fisker retails for half a million dirhams, negotiable of course.
With the bar set quite high, Abdullah Al Halfi from Super Sports Motors across the road shows off one of its many desirable vehicles — a 2011 Dodge Challenger RT for Dh95,000, again negotiable. With at least three to four sports and luxury cars in each showroom, the car complex is worth visiting even if you are not looking to buy a vehicle.

Squashes the misconception surrounding imported US muscle cars: Dodge Challengers and Chevrolet Camaros are two of the most desirable muscle cars in the UAE; unfortunately, the majority of those models are dodgy reconditioned US imports. “You might find those in Sharjah, but not here in Aweer,” says Ramees Mubarak, the showroom manager of US Motors. Gesturing to a brand-new Dh130,000 Chevrolet Camaro, Mubarak says, “This one for example has been tested in California before being shipped and once again here in Dubai when it was received.”

Many exotics and classic cars: There are at least 200 exotic cars in Al Aweer Car Market. However, one that trumps the lot, including four dozen Rolls-Royces, is the 2011 Hennessey Venom GT at Diablto Motors with a price tag of Dh5 million. Having (unofficially) stripped the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport of its title as the world’s fastest production car, the Hennessey Venom GT is accompanied in the Diablto showroom by none other than the Koenigsegg Agera R, another entrant on the list of the top five fastest production cars in the world.
There is something for everyone at the market, two cars that might please old-school automobile fanatics is a 1974 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and a 1962 Land Rover, retailing for Dh90,000 and Dh88,000 respectively.

The presence of well-known outfits: If you are finding it hard to trust a few of the showrooms and vehicles on display, several household names of the UAE automobile industry are present throughout the complex as well. Salman Akram, Sales Consultant, Certified Pre-Owned Cars Division of Gargash enterprises, explains that their cars are the safest buys since they go through stringent tests before hitting the showroom floor. Also present within the complex are Al Futtaim Motor’s Automall, Al Naboodah Group’s Swaidan Motors and Al Tayer Motors.

Showroom names that make you smile: The cars parked outside a showroom play a big part in getting customers off the pavements and inside the establishment — another important point is the name of the showroom. Look out for a few interesting names such as Nice Cars and Romeo.

Warranty and insurance offers: Warranty is a big deal with any second-hand vehicle and luckily, the majority of the used car showrooms in the mart offer various warranty packages on their vehicles ranging from one-year coverage from the lesser-known showrooms to up to three years from the bigger showrooms. With regards to insurance coverage, Jameel Basha, Manager, Car Dot Com showroom, says, “We have been here for a long time and have tie-ups with several insurance companies all across the UAE. We can tailor-make an insurance package to suit your budget that will definitely be more affordable than quotes from the major insurance brokers.”

And a few really good deals: A few showrooms offer some pretty good deals including part exchange offers and buy-now-pay-later schemes. “Earlier we didn’t even require an initial down payment, however those rules have changed now,” admits Humayun Khan, Showroom In-charge, Sun City Motors, “After a 20 per cent down payment, buyers can opt to start their payments after 45 days.”
If you are to finance your car, Khan explains that the entire process will take no less than three days. If you already own a vehicle and are interested in a trade-in deal, your car will be taken to a contracted garage for a check-up after which, an offer will be made which can be deducted from the price of your next car.

The chance to spot some rare and tuned automobiles: You can get easily distracted at the auto mart and spend more time ogling cars rather than looking for a car you would actually buy. Especially when you spend at least 20 minutes soaking up the incredibly rare Hamann-tuned 2013 BMW M5 for Dh650,000 at Al Ain Class Motors. Our advice: get there early and spend the entire evening.

There are always surprises. Always: The Al Aweer Car Mart is filled with many surprises. One, for example, is an ambulance. Yes, an ambulance. Equipped with a siren and radio along with a stretcher and medicine cabinets in the back, you can find it at the export-only Ghassan Aboud Cars Showroom for Dh131,000. If you need it stripped back to a standard automobile, they can arrange for that as well.

Monster trucks and jet skis: The name Used Car Market is rather misleading. Especially when, if you look hard enough, you will be able to find monster trucks, rally-ready 4X4s, caravans, boats and jet skis. Royal Motors, for example, has five Yamaha WaveRunners for sale for Dh100,000 — and if you ask nicely they will throw in the trailer for free as well.

You can also tint your ride: The Al Aweer Used Car complex caters to your every requirement in the long process of purchasing a car. And one of the first things you do after you buy a car, especially here in the UAE, is to get it tinted. Luckily, a small automobile accessory shop next to the cafeteria on the outer end of the complex has that covered.

In-house RTA testing and registration available: Once you find the car you were looking for, you can head to Tasjeel located within the complex for the official RTA testing and registration. The facility will be able to determine if the car is suitable for Dubai roads, however a second opinion never hurts. If possible, arrange for the car to be sent to an external workshop that you trust or bring a mechanic with you.

Winding down — Hospitality and refreshments: As soon as the sun starts to go down, the tables and chairs start to come out. Come sundown, managers and staff sit outside their showrooms along with coffee, tea and snacks, chatting with potential customers and visitors until it’s time to close. If you are not a people’s person, head over to the cafeteria near the masjid and enjoy an equally pleasing mango milkshake on a bench within the little park. By the end of your trip, you would have spent a minimum of four hours in the complex — you will need the rest.