SUPERCARS CLUB ARABIA
BY ANAAM IKRAM
With over 120 members, an envious selection of the world’s most prized cars, and tours around the GCC and Europe, the SuperCars Club Arabia (SCA) is perhaps one of the most distinguished clubs amongst supercar enthusiasts across the region. Founded in 2014, the club is headed by Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, who fulfils the role of President, and by Vice President Auf Al Delaimi. Perle Magazine spoke to Sheikh Salman about the club’s recent tour across Europe and their upcoming plans for SCA.
With a penchant for supercars, Sheikh Salman decided to take his hobby a step further in the form of SCA. Bringing together various supercar brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Bugatti, Pagani and so on, under one roof, the club started with drives in Bahrain and had participants coming in from neighbouring GCC countries; eventually expanding into the GCC with tours in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The club, however, achieved its biggest milestone, when it toured Europe in August 2015. The 12-day tour’s starting and finishing point was in London, as the 20 car-battalion drove on some of the most famous routes in Europe including Route Napoleon, Stelvio Pass, passes in the Alps, as well as the famous Monte Carlo Route. Travelling through England, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, the Euroabia tour took around 9 months to plan, with the members not only driving on some of the most famed roads, but being car enthusiasts, they planned their trip to incorporate visits to the Ferrari Factory, as well as the Lamborghini and Pagani factories.
Having been sponsored by the likes of Bahraini companies such as Batelco, Alba, Bahrain EDB, as well as famous international brands such as American Express, D1 Milano, Herra Hair Perfume, and luxury watches and menswear blogger Watch Anish, the SCA tour set out to represent Bahrain in the most impressive manner.
What sets SCA apart, Sheikh Salman explains, is when deciding the routes of their tours, to ensure that not only the scenic routes are selected, they carefully orchestrate a path based on the cities, roads, and scenery they want to visit during their journey. “We select [meeting] points, we select the cities, we select the roads, and then we try to put it all together”. For the Europe tour, the roads were selected keeping in mind the areas they were in, traffic, and how car-friendly the roads are. The club worked together with a tour management company to make sure the best track was selected. “It is a really exclusive club, not just in terms of the car, but also the kind of tour we do, whether it’s the roads, the entertainment, or the actual activities during the tour itself”.
An integral part of the tour, however, was to make sure that every hotel the members were staying at had a spacious, on-site parking. With security of the cars being top priority, SCA ensured there were secure parking spaces available at every leg of the journey.
The most memorable part of the journey, Sheikh Salman recalls, was being able to take his car and drive on some of his favoured parts in Europe such as Cannes and the French Riviera, alongside his friends. The entire reason for these tours, he adds, is to allow the supercar owners to experience their cars to their full potential, in a fun environment with great scenic views and historical sights as far as the eye can see. Citing his dream car as the Swedish supercar Koenigsegg, Sheikh Salman says of the cars he has owned, his favourite to date has been his famous orange 50th anniversary limited edition McLaren.
Contributing heavily to philanthropic efforts as well, SCA worked in association with UK based charity, Shooting Star Chase, the leading children’s hospice, to raise money during the Euroabia tour. The charity members were given the opportunity to meet with the Euroabia attendees and share details about the charity. The charity, which is set up by media mogul Simon Cowell, was involved in the tour through an auction that took place at the closing ceremony of the tour, raising £10,000, as well as donations made by Sheikh Salman himself. The items that were auctioned off were one-off valuables such as football jerseys, which served as important memorabilia for the event attendees.
The club makes a conscious decision to involve a charity in the region they are touring in and had previously also worked in association with Bahrain’s Royal Charity Organization during their tours in Bahrain.
With no signs of slowing down, SCA is already working on “Omanya” tour, which will be taking place 23-28 January in 2016.The tour will take place in Oman, where the drivers will travel from Muscat to Sur to Nizwa, and then enter the United Arab Emirates and drive from Al Ain to Abu Dhabi and making a stop in the Yas Marina Circuit, followed by a closing ceremony in Dubai. The club will also be embarking on another trip to Europe in the summer of 2016, in the hopes to explore Europe once more.
Hosting various events throughout the year, SCA has decided to launch a supercars themed café for car enthusiasts and potential members, set to open by 2016. While there will an exclusive section for existing members, the café will be open to the public to meet like-minded people.
Whether it is driving through the GCC, or exploring the European roads, Supercars Club Arabia has established itself as the only notable supercars club in the region.
For more information:
Supercars Club Arabia
Photos by Sam Moores & James Cole
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