As you are well aware by now, there is only one occasion where you will see the wheels team dust off their suits, polish their shoes, comb their hair and still look ridiculous... Yep, it’s at the highly anticipated Car of the Year awards gala, one of the premier events in the Middle East’s motoring calendar, and what a bash it was too.
Held in association with event partner Emirates NBD, and associate partners Idealz, Armor All and Enoc Auto Pro at the Grand Ballroom of the swanky Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, over 200 guests — all key players from the UAE’s motoring industry — were in attendance representing every major brand. They were ever so anxious to learn whether their respective models had done enough to fend off their rivals in over 20 categories and take home one of our fancy, crystal trophies.
There were winners aplenty; Johannes Seibert, Managing Director, BMW Middle East was thrilled that the BMW M5 won the Best Super Saloon award while Enrico Atanasio, Brand Director, Audi Middle East was equally delighted that the A8 won the Best Luxury Saloon of the year and the RS5 the Best Sports Coupe. Further winners included Tomokazu Suzuki, Senior General Manager, Honda Motor Company Africa and Middle East Office for the Honda Jazz (Best Compact) Sergio Munao, Group Head of Brand Marketing Communication Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV (Best Super SUV) and Andrew Savvas, Brand Director, Volkswagen Middle East for the Volkswagen Arteon (Best Executive Saloon).
Ian McKellar, emcee of the night, did a terrific job in keeping the guests entertained during the eventful evening and when he bellowed the name of the overall winner, the Stinger GT, it was met by rapturous applause from the Kia corner. Beaming broadly as they made their way to the stage to collect the coveted trophy were Yaser Shabsogh, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motor Corporation, Regional Headquarters, and Samee Akbar Mitkar, National Marketing Manager, Al Majid Motors-Kia.
Not many would have guessed the turbocharged V6 fastback to emerge as our pick of the bunch (four of our six judges chose it as their favourite) but it sure was deserving of the accolade for being Kia’s brilliant first attempt at making driving fun more accessible to the masses.
Our event this year was the most successful yet, and we’ll strive to ensure next year’s edition will be even bigger and better.
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