My Dubai Car: UAE resident on her 'Magic Carpet Ride’

'A car to me means freedom,' says Elli Cox

By George Kuruvilla

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Photo by Neeraj Murali/Khaleej Times
Photo by Neeraj Murali/Khaleej Times

Published: Thu 25 Jan 2024, 8:52 PM

Last updated: Sun 28 Jan 2024, 12:54 PM

Name: Elli Cox

Rides: 2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn Fashion Edition & 2011 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

Nationality: Greek

Profession: Director

In Dubai since: 1982

Dubai, once the land of promises, has become the promised land for many. Long-time UAE resident and coffee tycoon, Elli Cox has witnessed the metamorphosis of this great nation, going from being a desert landscape with separate commercial and cultural enclaves connected by narrow strips of tarmac to a cosmopolitan city beaming with life and opportunity. And like many residents of the UAE, she too shares an undeniable love for luxury cars.

When asked to touch upon her adopted home and her beloved Rolls-Royce cars that she drives to get around the city, she had nothing but appreciation. Here’s what she had to say…

When did you move to Dubai and what do you like most about this city?

I first moved to Dubai with my family in 1982 when it was a much smaller city with a smaller expat community. Wherever you went you always bumped into someone you knew. The 80s and 90s were the best decades. Since then, it has grown into an international metropolis at an astonishing rate. What I love most about Dubai apart from the architecture, weather, cleanliness, and safety are the people. There are so many different nationalities here, but everyone lives together in harmony, supporting and celebrating each other’s cultures and religions. I am proud to call Dubai, UAE my home.

Ellie Cox with her two Rolls Royces in Dubai. Photo by Neeraj Murali/Khaleej Times
Ellie Cox with her two Rolls Royces in Dubai. Photo by Neeraj Murali/Khaleej Times

What do you do for work?

My husband and I have a few companies in Dubai. We own Eurocoffee and are the distributors for Lavazza Coffee - Italy’s favourite espresso brand. We supply coffee and coffee machines to many hotels and businesses in the UAE. We also have a sister company called Bev Wizard which distributes coffee machines, vending machines, Toschi syrups, Ronnefeldt Teas, and 3 Cent sodas. We also own PK Properties & PK Holidays which is a property management and rental company.

What kind of car-related activities do you enjoy?

My husband and I love motorsports. One of his first companies in Dubai was a secondhand luxury car showroom. We are a petrolhead family. Our two teenage daughters go karting every week at the Dubai Kartdrome in Motorcity. Lavazza is the official sponsor of the F1 Williams Team, thanks to which we get to attend the F1 race in Abu Dhabi every year. Last year we also sponsored the Dubai GP Revival weekend that was held in December at Dubai Autodrome. It’s nice to see so many classic cars in the race. We also love attending the Grand Prix Historique in Monaco where we get to see all the classic F1 cars racing, usually by the owners. We also attend The Grand Picnic, held at Safa Park each year, which is a great place to see some great machines.

What car or SUV do you drive and when did you get it?

At the moment, I’m driving an orange 2011 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe and a 2017 white and orange Rolls Royce Dawn Fashion Edition. I’ve always had convertible cars from a Mercedes to a Jaguar to a Maserati. The weather in Dubai is perfect for convertible cars. Both my cars have been discontinued from Rolls Royce and are becoming collectables. Originally, I had the Phantom Coupe which I sold so I could get the Dawn but missed it so much that I bought it back. Once you drive a Rolls-Royce then it is difficult to enjoy driving anything else.

What made you purchase your vehicle?

I always had convertible cars with back seats so both of my daughters could fit in the back. As they got older and taller the back seats got a bit cramped and hence, I chose the Dawn. It has the biggest and most comfortable back seats in any convertible and it’s very fast, thanks to its 563 horsepower twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 engine. I also loved the colour combo of the Dawn. It is white with an orange roof and white interior with orange piping and is part of the Fashion Edition Series. They call the Rolls Royce the ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ because it is so smooth, quiet, and comfortable to drive. I used to have a Maserati Grand Cabrio Sport which was fast and loud but the older you get the more you crave comfort, peace and quiet.

What do you like most about your car and what could be improved?

I love the colour scheme on both cars. My favourite colour is orange and that played a huge part when I was buying the cars. You don’t see many orange cars about, but I think they are becoming more popular lately. I love the fact that the Dawn is a convertible. It gives me an excuse to wear my hats whilst driving with the roof down. I don’t think that there is anything I would like to improve on the car.

What does your car mean to you?

A car to me means freedom. I got my driving licence at the age of 17 when I was in college in the UK and have loved driving ever since. I have had my UAE licence since 1994 and trust me, driving was a lot easier and safer back then. My Rolls-Royce cars are a part of my identity. You don’t need to speed when you have a Rolls-Royce, you just cruise. When I drive my Dawn (my everyday car) I feel like a princess and when I drive the Phantom I feel like a queen.

What is your next car or SUV? Where would you like to drive it?

To be honest, I don’t know what I want for my next car. Where do you go after owning a Rolls-Royce? My dream car was always a 1955 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing. When I was younger, I always thought that it looked so cool and futuristic. You can’t beat some of the old classic cars, the designs and craftsmanship were unparalleled. I would love to drive it around the French Riviera or the Italian Almafi Coast. I also have a Meyers Manx Beach Buggy at my holiday home. It only has a VW Beetle engine, but it’s so much fun to drive and it gets more looks than any other supercar I’ve driven.

When did you become a part of Arabian Gazelles and how has the experience been so far?

I joined the Arabian Gazelles in 2020. My first event was a drive to Fujairah with an overnight stay whilst being filmed by BBC 2 for their Dubai documentary – Playground of the Rich. Late last year, we did our first out-of-the-country drive to Muscat – Oman with a 2-night stay at the Shangri La Muscat. The founder of the Arabian Gazelles, Hanan Sobati has established a unique brand and has organised some amazing events and collaborations, and it’s truly a pleasure to be a part of a female-only supercar club. In this day and age, it’s not just the men who can afford to drive and own supercars, women can be just as passionate about cars and motorsports. The best thing about this club is that through it I have met some amazing, powerful, and strong women whom I am now proud to call friends. We all come from all walks of life but our passion for cars unites us, and I look forward to more such events and gatherings with my Gazelles.

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