Guest author Zaid Hamid visits the Porsche GT Club UAE to check out one of the world’s most exclusive sports car collections and discovers that the language of Porsche is universal.
There may be 4,773 kilometres separating Zuffenhausen in Germany and the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, but you wouldn’t know it standing in the circuit’s car park. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many Porsche GT cars in one place – not even at Porsche HQ in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Full of cars in every colour of the rainbow, those gathered aren’t here to strike a pose for Instagram – they’re here to be driven.
It’s all about Porsche cars and friendship
Social media has made the world a much smaller place, enabling people with shared interests to connect at the click of a button, even if they’re halfway around the globe. When I flew from England to Abu Dhabi, I made contact with a Porsche enthusiasts club I had stumbled across on Instagram. Mohammed Seyfi, one of the Porsche GT Club UAE founders, invited me to meet some of its members, and this is how I find myself ogling at dozens of GT cars lined up at the gates of Abu Dhabi’s Formula One track.
Set up by Mohammed Seyfi together with Faris Al-Munaiei and Fahed Al-Marzouqi, the club hosts track days, road trips, morning coffee meets and evening barbecues – anything at which stories and experiences can be shared. As much about friendship as cars, the club has a diverse membership, thanks to the international make-up of the local population but also the no-borders adoration of all things Porsche.
Track days are the focus
Track days represent the bulk of the club’s events and for good reason. Both Dubai Autodrome and the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi are easily accessible for the majority of its members. The pace is scintillating: it’s clear that the drivers are not here to pose on parade laps, but to exploit the performance of their various Porsche. There is a unique and magical feeling when you hear a fully revved-up 911 GT3, a Carrera GT and a 918 Spyder piercing the silence of a night-time gathering.
Paint To Sample (PTS) cars stand out of the crowd, from Gulf and Golf blues to British Racing and Signal greens, there are colours for every taste and mood. ‘Special Wishes’ cars from the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur also mingle in the crowd. One exceptional example of this is Al Munaiei’s Gemini Blue 991 GT2 RS complete with blue leather interior and matching tartan seat inserts. It’s one of many Porsche models the club co-founder owns.
Al-Marzouqi, meanwhile, is no stranger to the PTS programme either: his Golf Blue GT3 Touring sits on silver wheels and is one of the smartest looking examples of a GT3 anywhere in the world. Not one to let the standard drop, Mohammed Seyfi also has a vast array of Porsche, including a couple of extremely special PTS cars.
The Porsche GT Club is an experience off the racetracks, too
The cars are not museum pieces, however. Rather than being too precious to enjoy they have been designed and tested so that owners can push them to the extreme – until the hairs on the drivers’ necks are standing on end and everyone’s cheeks ache from smiling.
As a car lover, it brought me great joy hearing stories from owners about how much they adore their Porsche and how they are forever looking forward to the next opportunity to jump behind the wheel. It might look like an Instagrammer’s dream, but the Porsche GT Club UAE was born and exists for nothing less than enabling like-minded Porsche enthusiasts to get out and drive.
Text and photos: Zaid Hamid