Safety first for Sheikh Marwan
Renowned auto enthusiast raises awareness of driver safety as the Custom Design Cup highlights the importance of genuine parts
Sheikh Marwan bin Rashid Al Mualla, the brother of the Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, and a renowned auto enthusiast has agreed to be patron of the Custom Design Cup (CDC) as he aims to raise awareness of road safety and counterfeit parts among the UAE’s growing customising fan base.
More than 1,000 entries were submitted for the CDC, which is part of the Middle East Motor Tuning Show (MEMTS), taking place at Expo Centre Sharjah from 14-18 October 2010. However, only those who paid attention to safety when re-designing the Ford Mustang made the shortlist.
“We all too often hear about young people being injured or losing their lives in road accidents through driving cars that are either too powerful or do not follow the UAE’s safety guidelines. Young people should be able to have fun and customise their cars but must stick to the rules of the road when doing so,” said Sheikh Marwan, the Chairman of the Emirates Motor Sports Federation.
Sheikh Marwan has one of the largest collections of customised vehicles and classic cars in the region. His collection of more than 30 classics includes Lotus, Audi, Mercedes, Buick,
Lincoln, Cadillac, Corvette, Rolls Royce and other limited editions.
He is also an experienced rally driver, who has competed around the region, in addition to being owner of Emirates Motorplex in Umm Al Quwain, which installed the first professional drifting and drag race track in the region.
“At Emirates Motorplex we show them how to drive safely but also deal with any obstacles they may encounter to prevent losing control of their vehicle,” said Sheikh Marwan, who leads the judging panel of the CDC. The winner will be unveiled on the first day of the show.
He also expressed concern for parts emphasising that they should be purchased from authorised dealers to ensure they not only meet safety standards but are suitable for their vehicle. It is also important that professional customised car centres are chosen to carry out any work and ensure that it meets the required safety standards.
“Drivers should be educated about their car engines before they begin modifying them. Counterfeit parts can be appealing as they are cheaper than genuine parts but because they are not subject to safety checks, there is no way of knowing what their shelf life will be,” added Sheikh Marwan.
In other countries around the world, young drivers can take advanced driving tests, which not only improve their knowledge but can reduce their insurance premiums, however, we are yet to see such initiatives in the UAE.
But Sheikh Marwan is not the only person working to improve road safety in the Emirates. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, himself a world rally champion, gives regular talks around the country highlighting issues on our roads.
“Education is vital and it’s important that we do everything we can to build road safety awareness among drivers and passengers of all ages but we all, as individuals, must take personal responsibility to make our roads safer. We must always keep road safety at the front of our minds,” said Ben Sulayem, Vice President of the FIA and President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE.
Meanwhile, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced earlier this year that there had been a drop in accident fatality rates in from 21 cases per 100,000 of population in 2005 to about 12.7 cases per 100,000 cases of population in 2009, which although encouraging shows there is still work to do.
“The RTA is doing a good job but it is through initiatives and shows like MEMTS that we can educate drivers, because they will listen and look up to people in the industry and then we can hopefully cut down on the number of road deaths,” added Sheikh Marwan.
MEMTS is this year running in collaboration with the International Automobile Show (IAS), the
Middle East’s most popular auto exhibition, hosting some of the finest automakers from across the globe. The show attracts car lovers and auto enthusiasts alike, not only from the UAE but from across the
Middle East and with events for all ages.
MEMTS and IAS together will span 58,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor space and is supported by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Emirates Motor Sports Federation. There will be a number of visitor-focused initiatives, including safety, which will be one of this year’s main themes. Instructors will give demonstrations and offer driving tips to visitors in a purpose-built area.
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About Expo Centre Sharjah
Expo Centre Sharjah is the premier exhibition facility in the UAE. It was the first established trade fair centre in the country and is considered a pioneer in its field.
Since its establishment in 1977, Expo Centre Sharjah has become one of the region’s most popular trade exhibition venues, and hosts some of the top-of-the-range, highly focused B2B and B2C shows. As the exhibition wing of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it is a prime meeting venue that offers the perfect combination of state-of-the-art facilities and professional services across a broad spectrum of events.
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