Dubai diaries: Icons of Porsche museum pop-up a must visit

Let's hope it's the first of many


David Light

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Porsche 356 “No. 1” show car
Porsche 356 “No. 1” show car

Published: Sun 14 Nov 2021, 2:44 PM

What is the number one problem faced when visiting a museum? No, I’m not talking about the often odd opening hours many keep. How many times have you been on holiday and turned up at the nearest city’s main centre of exhibits only to be told it’s closed every third Monday of the month? Infuriating. Today I’m in fact lamenting a lack of diversity of subjects upon which museums base their themes. Obviously national treasure displays and major art galleries are exempt from this musing, as their purpose is clear. I mean the quirky little houses of curiosity which seem to have become thinner on the ground. For example a trip to Beirut a few years ago was enhanced no end when I stumbled across a diving museum situated above a person’s garage. The proprietor had been a deep-sea frogman for 40 years and chose to put all the odd findings out on show in glass cases. It was magnificent. Likewise, the Emirates National Auto Museum (ENAM) in Liwa is a must-see. Not only is it homegrown, the establishment’s originality has to be commended. Where else would you be able to see a 4:1 upscale Willy’s Jeep? Here comes that phrase again: ‘only in the UAE.’

It is this country’s love of automobiles and exclusivity which can be found at ENAM that has prompted Porsche to bring a display of rare and classic models celebrating more than 70 years of sports car manufacturing (the likes of which has never been seen in the Gulf) to Dubai. I’m very happy to let you know it will take place this month at the “Icons of Porsche” event being held at The Slab in the Dubai Design District from November 19-20. Representing the largest gathering of the brand’s cars ever in the region, the festival will include some of the most exciting highlights from its rich racing history as well as rare classic road cars making their first ever appearance at a public event outside of Porsche’s home country Germany. For example, a Porsche 356 “No. 1” show car will be here. The car was registered in 1948! This will feature alongside a Porsche 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’ Le Mans racing car, one of the most creative executions of the 911 theme with only two models ever built. If these don’t whet your petrolhead appetite, I don’t know what will.

More than satisfying a hankering to see unique vehicles, though, I’m glad the carmaker has thought of us to hold an original get-together of heritage motors. We’re hungry for one-of-a-kind history and this event will hopefully be the first of many.

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