Supercars Club Arabia, is not just another car club but an exclusive grouping - the first one of its kind - in the region involved in organising supercar gatherings both regionally and globally. The club’s objective is based around arranging road trips for exotic car owners, and taking them to destinations where they can open up their machines and really enjoy the thrills of driving their high end race cars in beautiful locations. As the club embarks on its third GCC tour entitled Delmonya we sat down with AUF Dailami… the founder of the club as well as several key participants of the tour, to talk about all things supercar.
When did Supercars Club Arabia start and why?
The club started about 4 years ago, and it grew out of the passion we all have for motorsports. We wanted to create something different and exclusive for the members and therefore to decided to arrange drive trips around the region. Our first tour was from Dubai to Oman in early 2014 and since then we have been to Europe three times and this is out third tour in the GCC.
Where is Supercars Club Arabia based?
We are based in Bahrain, that is where the company is registered, but we are also looking to expand the enterprise and open another office in Dubai very soon.
Talk to us about how Supercars Club Arabia has grown, and to what do you owe your success?
The club is getting bigger and bigger. We have over 200 members now from all over the world, and the exposure we are getting is increasing dramatically and all of us are really proud of what we have achieved. It is by far the most exclusive supercar club in the world. The other rallies do things differently, compared to the way we do ours and this is why we are attracting many different members from outside the GCC to join.
What is your background in relation to Supercars, or the car industry in general?
I started in the automotive industry back in the UK many years ago. My background is originally in Architecture but I left that career path mainly because of my pure passion for motorsport. It's something that I really love and enjoy. I use to work with a lot of the big brand names like McLaren, Bugatti and Lamborghini doing something similar to what I do with Supercars Club Arabia.
And what cars do you own?
At the moment unfortunately I don’t have a supercar, my last one was a McLaren. I don’t use the cars a lot, because of my role within the organisation and management of the events for the club. We have the US tour coming up in October, so I’m definitely going to have to have a car for that.
How did you end up getting involved in this?
I am the founder of Supercars Club Arabia. We used to get together and do little mini tours, like one day drives around the country, meet up for a coffee and have a drive for an hour or so, that kind of thing. Then we decided that we really wanted to start touring outside of Bahrain, just for a couple of days and it all came from that. We started the company in early 2014 and arranged the first tour and we were shocked because almost straight away we had about 50 people in cars wanting to participate.
How is Supercars Club Arabia different to other Supercar clubs?
Exclusivity is key. We have a specific list of cars that we accept into the club, which has caused quite a few issues, because how do you define what a supercar is? You have the obvious brands such as Lamborghini, McLaren, Ferrari and so on. These brands can enter without any exception but then there are certain brands that we do put certain limitations on what models we allow to enter. For example, with Porsche we only allow a GT3, GT2 or 918 to enter. There are various ways on how to define a supercar and we have put together our specific list and criteria for people to apply and become members.
When you say exclusive is it an invite only club or can anyone apply to be a member?
Anyone can apply to be a member, as long as they own one a prerequisite car. The club is really open to the public and to anyone really, our only stipulation is owning a supercar.
Are there any joining fees or membership fees?
There are no fees to become a member but there are fees to participate in the tours. The price depends on which tour it is, for example the European tour is going to cost more then the GCC tour. Each tour is completely different, but if you want to attend one of our tours yes there is a fee.
Do you do smaller events that are more local, or is it just these big tours?
Actually this is our next project, we want to start doing one day drives in the region so there will be a calendar for Bahrain, Saudi, UAE and so on all the other GCC countries. We are thinking we will have one day a month where all the participants or whoever wants to join can come along for a coffee or maybe a meal - that sort of thing and that will be accompanied by a focused day drive.
What are some of the rarer cars that you have had in the club?
We have had classic cars, all the Ferraris at one point or another for example. We have also had the new hyper cars such as the La Ferrari, the 918, and McLaren P1. Some of these are actually participating in the Delmonya tour.
Do you find that the majority of your members are collectors, or is it that they just happen to have one supercar and want to be apart of the club?
I would say it’s a balance. We do have many collectors in the club, some of which have the best collections in the world, but we also have members that do just own that one supercar and want to show it off. Its their pride and joy and they want to be with other people that share their passion.
So what have you got coming up in the next year for the club?
We have already planned our tours for the next three years. This year hopefully, but still not confirmed, we should be doing the US tour on the West Coast. We have a thrilling route for Europe planned for next year and I think our next GCC tour will be our biggest so far, in terms of driving wise and the roads we have chosen. It's going to be the best so far.
How do you feel the GCC tours differ from the European tours and the tours you will be doing in America?
hey are a lot larger, we generally have around 50 cars, where as with Europe and the US we have capped the participation numbers at 20 to 25, to keep it more exclusive and to give the members as much attention as possible.
When you do the international tours how are the cars transported to the location? Is everyone responsible for their own cars or is it a service you provide?
We pre arrange it for the members that would like to attend. We give them prices and arrange everything and its down to them if they want to go with our deal. The majority of participants do just for the ease of it and because we get much much lower prices collectively, but some like to make their own arrangements and have their own deals with agents they may have used in the past. When they go with us everything is taken care of. By the time they arrive at the starting point their car is ready with their fuel, cleaned and ready to be driven.
How is the Delmonya tour shaping up, what countries and tracks are you planning on visiting?
The Delmonya tour which had its opening ceremony here in Bahrain will include three circuits. Bahrain circuit obviously, Losail Circuit in Qatar and Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. We will initially head from Bahrain to Doha thorough Saudi Arabia, and spend two nights in Doha. The second day in Doha we will be going to the Losail Circuit and after that head to the UAE. Firstly, we will visit the empty quarter in the south of Abu Dhabi, spend one night there and the second day we will make our way to the Yas Marina Circuit. The final day will be the drive from Abu Dhabi to downtown Dubai where we will have the closing ceremony.
A lot of the feedback I have received from members of Supercars Club Arabia is how excited they are to be driving on the different circuits, was that an important factor when planning this tour, or was it just something that happened along the way?
We have been to lots of different circuits in the past, for example in Europe we went to the Nurburgring, and the last GCC tour we were at Yas Marina, but this year the tour is track focused and that is why we decided it was important to include the three biggest circuits in the GCC.
Here in Bahrain we have seen a lot of rain this month. How do you feel that is going to effect this tour? Or is it that your members are used to having driven in wet conditions in Europe?
Driving in Europe we are used to experiencing different types of weather, although the tour was in the summer there were days when it would rain, and to be honest it was really enjoyable. It made the drive more exciting and different. This is the first time we have had rain on the GCC tour and it has been quite heavy, but its nice... its different. I don’t think it will have any negative effects, unless the weather gets really really bad, but I don’t think it will from the forecast we have received.
Another thing I have heard from a lot of the member is that Supercars Club Arabia is like a giant family, if anything goes wrong with anyone’s car the support is fantastic and no man is left behind. What are your thoughts on that?
This is part of why the club is so exclusive. We have support crew during every tour that we have. We even have a luggage van that carries everyones luggage around from one hotel to another. We pay a lot of attention to detail in terms of the requirements of the participants. I would say we are one big family. The way we run the routes to the different locations are that we don’t drive at night, we want people to be relaxed and enjoy the experience. We don’t do a huge amount of driving compared to other rallies during the day, we try to keep it to a minimum. Safety wise each car has its own walkie talkie so we can continually be in communication with one another. On our European tour each car was fitted with a pre programmed navigation system so it was really easy to use, and it included even the stops. I admit that we have had occasional break downs but we overcome them together.
Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa
Is there anything you would like to say today on behalf of Supercars Club Arabia?
This is the first time that the club is starting the tour from Bahrain. Everyone is incredibly excited and honoured to be here and be a part of this. This time the tour is track based which should make it a lot more exciting and adventurous, taking the drive from the road and on to the track.
This is the third GCC tour Supercars Club Arabia have done. Is there any news on what the future tours may hold?
Well coming up in October is the US tour which will be a first for us. After that, the following year another European tour, starting in Italy and finishing in Spain.
And how many cars are you expecting to take part in this leg of the event?
The GCC tours are limited to 50 and starting today at the BIC we have about 30 so far. A couple more cars will be joining us in Doha and around 15 will be coming along in Abu Dhabi.
Any thing to say to the fans of the club? Or people that may be looking to participate next time?
They are all welcome. Their support and comments are all very important to us. Please feel free to come along and watch the event and check out the amazing cars. Anyone is welcome as a member as long as they have own one of the Supercars on the list. Please feel free to join.
How long have you been a member of Supercars Club Arabia?
I have been a member of the club since 2015 when they did the first European tour called Euroabia. I was a participant in that event in my Bugatti Veyron. It was one of the best experiences in the world for me. I would say the best experience ever!
Is That why you have come back for the GCC tour?
Yes! I was at the GCC tour last year which was called Omanya and then I also went to this year's Scandiera and now I’m here for Delmonya.
Do you live in the GCC?
I live between Bahrain and London.
What car are you driving today?
I’m driving an F12 Ferrari on this tour.
Do you own any other super cars?
I own 2 Bugatti Veyrons, a Porsche 918 Spyder, the F12 here and a McLaren 12C Spyder. I am a massive Supercar collector and fan.
Why Supercars Club Arabia as opposed to the other super car clubs?
It’s a very different club. Its all about cars, the people, the safety and I really just want to say thank you so much to the organisers for making this such an amazing experience.
Fikry and Faris
What car are you driving today?
A Lamborghini Superleggera Technique 2014, while my brother is driving an Aventador SV.
How long have you guys been members of Supercar Club Arabia?
We were members right from the start, since the club started in 2014.
Is this the first GCC tour you have done?
Faris: This is my second tour
Fikry: this is my first
Have you also participated in the European tours? And how did you find them?
Faris: Yes, I have participated in all the tours, I’m a committee member.
Fikry: It was amazing, breath-taking.
Faris: It was mostly interesting because when you buy a car you usually drive it, and it collects history, so that in 20 or 30 years when you park it in a garage, or you see it in a museum it brings back all the memories you had with that car. So one of the amazing memories for us was being able to drive our cars in Europe. Driving them in countries that we are not from.
Did you find the actual driving different in Europe than lets say driving in the GCC?
Faris: Every country has its own rules. For example, in Germany we could drive as fast as we wanted, but in Switzerland it's incredibly strict. France is France and in the UK we drive on the wrong side of the road.
And will you be participating in any of the upcoming tours?
Faris: Yes, of course hopefully we will be attending the US tour if all goes well.
How long have you been a member of the club for?
Since day one. I am one of the Committee members.
Ah so you will have been on all the tours so far then. What would you say you prefer? GCC or Europe?
Both the GCC and the European tours have their own flavours. Each trip has its own benefits. The European ones are a lot of fun because basically we can do whatever we want to do as per the law in Europe. Here we are a bit more limited in terms of where we can go and what we can do, but its still amazing. Last year we did the Omanya tour where we started off in Muscat and drove all the way to Dubai. The memories made, you just never ever forget.
What is it about these rallies that stands out most to you?
I think its the family spirit. We are a family. One guy breaks down we all stop. Someone needs petrol or a charger from the station we all take a break. Ok, it makes the tours a bit slower, but its what we do, its who we are as a group. We have each others backs no matter what.
What are you most looking forward to on this tour?
Well this is the first time that we have done a track oriented tour, so the tracks will be the highlight of the trip. Getting from one place to another we have loads of really exciting stops along the way which will be really fun, but the tracks will definitely be the highlight.
And what car are you driving on this tour?
A Lamborghini Aventador SV
How long have you been a member of the club for?
This is my second year as a member
Have you been on any of the other tours? How did you find them?
I went on the Omanya tour and it was amazing! That’s why I’m back!!
What is it that you are most looking forward to about this tour?
Definitely driving on the circuits. In Bahrain we are used to it, but I haven’t been to Losail in Doha or Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi (I was too scared on the last tour) so I’m looking forward to trying them out this time.
What are you driving?
A Ferrari California
How do you feel about being the only woman on this tour?
AMAZING! I have like a 100 guys to look after me. I think its great, they are all really amazing guys and I really hope more women join the club.
Do you think you will get involved in the US tour if it goes ahead?
Well I have an apartment there and I’m there half the year anyway. The tour should be going through San Diego and my place is in LA so definitely, it will be great and I am looking forward to it.
How long have you been a member for?
Just over 2 years.
Where are you from?
I’m actually from Qatar, and I have come here specifically to join in the Delmonya event. This is the fourth time that I have joined the guys here at the club with the supercar run. I was previously with them in Europe and their other middle eastern tour as well, so it has been really good so far. There is so much spirit and love here!! For those who aren’t members yet you have to get involved its not something to miss!!
What car are you driving today?
I am driving my green Lamborghini Gallardo
How did you find the European tour?
It has a different vibe. Europe is always going to be different to the Middle East. The sights the places the atmosphere the whole feel of the event is different. It's amazing and we had a fantastic time driving all the way from Stockholm to Monaco, through Paris and Italy... Germany where we went all out on the autobahns which was the exciting bit for the guys. It was really fun, all good memories.
What would you say you are most looking forward to on this GCC tour?
Its going to be thrilling, because its track focused and everyone will have the chance to really push their cars to the maximum. But the most important thing with Supercar Club Arabia is that we drive safe. It is great to meet new guys that have just joined the club, as well as meet up with old friends from the previous tours.
Why this Supercar club over any others?
It has something different about it. It is the other members that make it special. You feel like your part of a family and that’s what makes it unique. The love between each other, they are always here to support you. I had an issue with my car when I was on the European tour and they stayed behind with me, even the guys that I didn’t know. They helped me out and its just a really good feeling to know these guys have your back. This what makes me keep coming back, the guys... we are just one big clan.
How long have you been a member of Supercars Club Arabia for?
This is my first time, so far I’m finding it incredibly well organised. The opening ceremony was really nice and I enjoyed watching the video displaying what I have to look forward to.
How come you decided to join the club?
Well I had an invitation come through my group of friends, and we decided we would join with two cars both Ferrari 458’s.
So you haven’t been on any of the previous tours, but do you think you will participate in the international ones, or is it only the GCC tours that interest you?
No we will definitely be participating in the international tours. Something I’m really looking forward to is the US tour. It should be really exciting. I’ve heard a lot from the guys about the last European tour so if it's anything like that, it should be a whole lot of fun.
The main word I have been hearing a lot about the club so far is family, would you agree with that?
Yes you can 100%! I feel that these guys are a big family, they all know each other so well and for most of them this isn’t the first time that they have been out on a tour. I have found them so kind and welcoming, its almost as if I’ve been part of the group for years. It's one of the reasons why I know I'll be back.
Zackaria Abdull Rahman Al Abdulqaher
Actually I consider myself a founding member of the club, so we have been running it for three years, and the first tour we went on was called Desert Run.
Out of all the Supercar Club Arabia tours that you have completed what would you say was your favourite so far?
That’s a tough one, I have loved all the tours we have been on but I think I would have to say my favourite was Euroabia which was summer 2015. It was the best.
What was it about the Euroabia trip that stood out for you?
I would say definitely the sights, the beautiful mountains, the scenery. The autobahn was amazing because that allowed us to really open up the cars and push them to the extreme. There are just certain things about Europe that make it better then the Middle East (sorry to say)
What do you think makes this car club so different to the other Super car clubs?
It is the one family spirit we share. All of our members become a part of the family. We welcome everyone with open arms. We have the same interests, the same passion for cars and the motorsport industry.
What are you most looking forward to on the Delmonya tour?
Well I now take my vacation time during the trips so I will be traveling to all of the countries on the GCC tour and I’m just looking forward to enjoying my time off on the open roads.
And what car are you driving on this tour?
I am driving the Ferrari 458 Spyder.
Yousef Al Ghassan
This is my first time actually and so far so good. We have just had the opening event, and then we came straight to the track. From what I can see its been a really well organised event. I'm really looking forward to the entire tour to be honest with you.
How are you finding it so far?
This is my first time meeting most of the guys and they have been really kind and welcoming. They obviously all know each other for a long time so I am just getting to know them but it has been great getting to know the. It's really exciting meeting new people, and I’m really hoping to develop the same bond with them, as they have with each other.
What car are you driving?
The Lamborghini Huracan 580
What are you looking forward to the most about the tour?
Well I will be participating in the whole tour, and I’m definitely looking forward to going to Qatar, and Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi. I’ve never driven in Yas Marina so that should be pretty exciting.
Do you think you will participate in any of the other international trips?
Yeah, I would love to participate in the US trip if that still goes ahead. Especially because we will hopefully end the trip in Vegas so that’s a tour I really don’t want to miss. Its going to be crazy! Its going to be a lot of fun, so I’m really excited about that. I’ve never done a road trip through America before, and its definitely something on my bucket list. I studied in Miami for four years but I never got the opportunity do a road trip, so it is something I would love to do.
How long have you been a member of the Supercars club Arabia for?
This is my second year as a member, and it’s the second tour I have been on in the GCC.
What are you most looking forward to about the Delmonya tour?
For me it is more of a gathering of friends, as well as getting to drive on the other tacks around the GCC not just the roads, which makes it more exciting. it will give us a chance to push our cars to the limit. They are going to give us the full open track which they don’t usually do so and that should be really good.
Ah so is that your plan to push your car to the limits?
Well it was until unfortunately I got a flat tyre, the rim is bent and so it has been pushing itself into the tyre which has caused air to leak. So I will have to adjust it and then hopefully it will be ready by tomorrow. Which is a shame because it means I will be missing driving at the BIC.
How about the sights is that something that interest you or just the driving?
Yes that’s another really good thing about the tour. The road from Saudi Arabia to Qatar is very beautiful, really great long flat roads, and amazing views. As well as there being no speed cameras so we can go as fast as we want (safely of course).
What is it that you enjoy most about being a member of Supercars Club Arabia?
It’s the friendship and the family atmosphere. The social side of things is really what drew me to the club, the updates on the cars, all the things that are included in being a member of this club.
How come you decided to become a member of this club?
Actually there aren’t any other supercar clubs like this one. This club is humble, its what really drew me to become a member there is nothing else like it in the world.
What are you driving on this tour?
I’m driving my Ferrari 599, if I can get the tire fixed. Fingers crossed otherwise I may be a little delayed on starting the trip.
Dr. Deepak Kaura
Have you come to Bahrain especially for this event?
Well I am from Canada, but I currently live in Doha, so yes I’ve come over to Bahrain to start the Delmonya tour. I’ve been living in Doha for the last three years. Last year I got invited to attend the club and this is my first year going on the GCC tour with everyone.
Did you attend the Euroabia tour?
I did, but unfortunately it was just a fleeting visit for just two days. Everyone here is like one big family. I was in Amsterdam, flew over to Stockholm to start the rally with them and then had to fly back after 2 days.
What was the highlight for you of that trip?
The highlight would have to be the start, it was incredible. I was only there like I say for two days so I didn’t get to take in all the elements that the other participants would have enjoyed doing the whole tour. but that didn’t matter. The start made up for it. I also really loved the Koenigsegg trip, where we visited the factory and it was just breathtaking to see some of the crazy stuff in there, like the carbon fibre being custom moulded and the guys making the wheel’s little bits at a time.
Why did you decide to become a member?
I just thought it would be a really cool fun experience. I’m living in the Middle East now having come from Canada and I mean where else are you going to see this stuff? It's crazy. It's difficult to beat this. It's amazing! Once you’re in the club its like your part of this amazing family, you meet up everyone now and then and its like you're with your brothers and sisters. I mean I’m not from the region and yet I have been made to feel so at home. Everyone here is so considerate and welcoming and warm.
What are you most looking forward to about this trip?
You know secretly I am looking forward to going back home to Doha so that I can get my kids and take them to the Losail track, so that they can see this mayhem. I’m getting continuous texts from them asking to see pictures so it would be amazing that I can have them experience it in real life when we head back to Doha.
What’s are you driving?
I’m driving a Porsche 911 GT2. And we also have a Yellow Ferrari 458, my buddy from back home flew out from Vancouver just to participate in the tour with me.
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