Ivaylo wanted a Seat Ibiza ever since he clapped eyes on one at the Dubai motor show. Image Credit: Kishore Kumar/ANM

You are passionate about cars, right?

It is my hobby and I'm always keeping myself updated with all the new models and new innovations in cars. I also really love Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship, they are my two favourite sports.

While at school, you spent a lot of time on cars instead of science or maths…

Ever since elementary school, I was interested to find out as much as I could about all the different types of cars out there. I wanted to know the difference in body styles, brands, the meaning behind each logo and the origins of the manufacturers.

I remember drawing lots of cars in my school books.

Is it true that you used to make your own car magazine?

Yes, I collected newspapers and magazines with car reviews and articles and I used to cut out all the best photos and then make my own catalogue out of them.

I also had many Matchbox models in my bedroom too and then, as a teenager, I discovered AutoBild magazine.

It became my car encyclopaedia. It was crammed with information every single week and it taught me a lot about cars in general.

Which type of cars do you like and why?

I like those which have a timeless and memorable shape. The Porsche 928 was my favourite. Then, I grew fond of the Alfa 155 and 164 and I also liked the Alfa GTV. But aside from the exotics, I also like practical and affordable motors. Nowadays, there are a lot of choices, but I have a soft spot for the Audi A7.

What was your very first car?

It was a second-hand 1995 Volkswagen Passat. But when I saw the Seat Ibiza at the Dubai Motor show, I fell in love with it.

Tell us about your Ibiza FR…

It has a 1.8-litre Turbo, 20-valve engine making 150bhp. It's mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. It comes with 16in alloys but what I love best about this three-door hot hatch is the way it accelerates and how stable it is in corners.

It's totally stock, apart from an MP3 player, and I don't plan to modify it; I am quite happy with the way it is. It was my first ever brand new car. It still looks new even though it has 80,000km on the clock.

The bright yellow paint makes it easy to spot during the day and night. That's important as we all know how people drive here.

Which other cars were you considering?

I was contemplating buying a Seat Cupra, but these were not available when I was shopping for a new car back in 2006. I also liked the look of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, but I couldn't afford one at the time.

Has anything ever gone wrong with it?

Nothing major. I just had to replace some of the bushings, had the discs skimmed and changed a fan motor. It's been completely reliable otherwise.

Are you part of any car clubs?

Not at this moment, but if there is a Seat club in the UAE, I'd love to join it.

What do your family and friends think about it?

They like it and have lovingly call it the crazy fast yellow car. Me and my wife are very happy with it. It's effortless to drive around town and is easy to park!

What is your dream car?

A yellow Porsche 911.

  • Name Ivaylo Saraliev
  • Job Assistant food and beverage manager
  • From Bulgaria
  • Wheels 2006 Seat Ibiza FR
  • In the UAE 11 years