Role models hold key to UAE green car use

Car buyers would be more inclined to consider greener energy sources if more role models used eco-friendly vehicles, according to one Emirati motorsports enthusiast.

Saif bin Adhed is a well-known collector of desirable vehicles; from his Honda S2000 to BMW Z4 and Lexus SC300; and is also noted for his work for Honda. Mr bin Adhed has some interesting views on both the industry and culture of cars in the UAE, and the Dubai-based car fanatic recently put his opinion forward on the future of eco-friendly vehicles in the country.

Speaking recently to The National newspaper, Mr bin Adhed suggested that in a car culture which follows fashion leaders, getting some traction from famous figures who take to the wheel in eco-friendly cars would be vital for the movement.

Tesla DubaiHe explained: “For instance, in the US you find famous actors driving cars like the Toyota Prius, which make such cars ‘cool’ to have. So, I can see the same happening here only if our leaders and role models are driving small cars for the sake of the environment.”

Mr bin Adhed went on to highlight price as another key factor in the slow progress of eco-friendly car sales in the UAE, musing that: “There are no incentives here for people to squeeze themselves into one”.

Recently, support has grown for a Salik exemption scheme to be set up in the UAE, offering reductions on insurance premiums, vehicle registration and even cheaper parking fees. It is hoped that the measures would encourage an increased number of car buyers to purchase cars which come under the eco-friendly category. An electric car charging station was recently launched in the Garhoud district of Dubai.

The Electricity and Water Authority has thrown its weight behind the initiative, and it might not be long until the roads of Dubai, and the other Emirates, are significantly more populated by eco-friendly vehicles. Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority is another organisation to get behind the eco push, opening its doors to electric car drivers who wish to use its electric charging station.