My Dubai Car: 'It's more than just a luxury vehicle'

UAE resident shares love for her ride

By George Kuruvilla

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Published: Thu 29 Feb 2024, 8:58 PM

Name: Mala Malhotra Kheskani

Ride: 2024 Range Rover HSE P400

Nationality: Indian

Profession: Fashion and Lifestyle Influencer

In Dubai since: 2004

by George Kuruvilla

Mala Malhotra is a long-time resident of Dubai who has made it her home and earns her money working the dynamic audiences of the glamorous Instagram life. Like any privileged person of passion and citizen of style in Dubai, she too drives a Range Rover, the undisputed king of SUVs. Hear her profess details of her career, family, and love for her Ranger below:

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

I moved from Delhi to Dubai in 2004. From building my career at Emirates Airlines to meeting my life partner to having my kids here, Dubai has been a witness to every major event in my life, post my college years. I made my life here.

Dubai is an easy choice for anyone. The city has an innate cosmopolitan nature. Everything has been set up in such a way that regardless of where you are from, what you do, or who you are, you can integrate into its social and corporate fabric without fuss. Years pass and just like that it becomes home. It is also incredibly safe.

What do you do for work and how do you spend your days?

I used to fly the skies as part of the Emirates cabin crew for a good part of my career. I then took on the role of an L&D specialist up until 2019.

Now, as a fashion and lifestyle influencer, I’m busier than ever, and often, I’m pulled in all directions, attending events, photoshoots, networking opportunities, and business meetings. I work under the Instagram handle @malamalhotraofficial, using which I collaborate with brands to promote and bring awareness to their products and services. It could be anything from a clothing line to makeup to jewellery.

But as a mom, the work never stops. Beyond work hours, I tend to my kids, teaching them, feeding them, and putting them to sleep. Having children is such a joyous responsibility. I also try to squeeze in an hour or two in the gym every day to focus on my fitness goals.

What kind of car-related activities do you enjoy?

The pleasures of long drives are unparalleled. The time spent on the road with family is intimate and helps create memories that will last a lifetime. Even when I’m on my own, returning from work, events, or social gatherings, driving gives me that me time, the opportunity to groove to the latest Bollywood tunes from my favourite playlist …or even be in a meditative space to unwind and collect my thoughts.

What was the reason for choosing the Range Rover?

Range Rover is a coveted badge, both in Dubai and around the globe. It's more than just a luxury vehicle. It signals that one has made it in life. It’s no wonder icons of our time and of eras gone by have chosen the Range Rover as their personal transportation. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has one and so does Bollywood superstar Ranbir Kapoor. I too wanted that kind of magic in my life. And it helps that it's such a functional family vehicle.

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

Range Rover is known to be prestigious, spacious, and luxurious. It is just an all-round good vehicle. While some of these aspects may be considered subjective, none can deny that it is such an incredibly well-appointed vehicle. The giant screen, the temperature-controlled seats, the massage function, and the voice-activated controls — all of these features have been designed to keep one connected, entertained, and relaxed even amidst traffic. It’s a spa on wheels, for the lack of a better phrase.

If anything was amiss, it would have to do with, not so much with the vehicle itself, but the wait time. The year-long wait from booking the vehicle to the day of being handed the key was a real test of patience. But as they say, “Good things come to those who wait”. And now I’m all smiles.

What does your SUV mean to you?

In one word, mobility. The independence that comes with having a car can never be undermined. Also, the city limits of Dubai have grown to the far ends of Sheikh Zayed Road, for which reason it is necessary for anyone, to have a car or SUV. My Range Rover is my companion that I take along while I run my errands and pick up my kids from school.

If money were no object what car or SUV would you have in your garage? Where would you like to drive it?

My dream was to own a Range Rover and as of now, that dream has been fulfilled to the T. I can’t think of anything else that can help me do the things I want and be the person I am besides my Range Rover.

I love driving, but I despise traffic. Put me on any long and winding road or in any city around the world and I’d be happy as a clam. My next “long-ish” drive is to the newly inaugurated BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi.

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