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Sharjah Auto Show kicks off
By William Faria November 29, 2012
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SHARJAH: The UAE automotive industry continues to register robust growth with 2013 promising to  be a bright year for auto dealers in the Middle East. The vibrancy of the industry has been evident with the staging of the 11th  edition of Sharjah International Motor Show which begun with a bang on Wednesday.

Right from the start of the show the momentum continued throughout the entire opening with visitors and industry guests impressed by the calibre of the glamorous vehicles on display at the Sharjah Expo Centre.

The display features over 50 participants with their respective 2013 vehicle models. Exhibitors ensured that all visitors were enthralled with the elaborate unveilings and performances to reveal their latest brands to the UAE market.

The four day Show was officially inaugurated by Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Sheikh Abdullah Bin Salim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

The Mini outdoor test driving activity, audio-visual testing, and the Middle East Motor Awards (Mema) also took place in the afternoon session.

Leading UAE automobile dealers have unveiled their impressive line-up of new launches and exclusive deals, especially for would-be buyers who will be offered special discounts if they purchase a vehicle at the venue.  The show is being run after every two years.

Gargash Enterprises, the authorised general distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Dubai, also unveiled the second generation Mercedes-Benz GL at the show.

Liberty Automobiles, the leading General Motors dealer in the UAE unveiled four all-new 2013 models — Cadillac XTS, Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Besides showcasing vehicles, the exhibitors also displayed special purpose vehicles, which included the Kawasaki range of bikes, quads and jet-skis; the customised, high-performance vehicle Wazuma from Lazareth Automotive; the Firebreather, a stunning high-performance car and other special purpose vehicles from VPG.

Arabian Automobiles showcased the much celebrated 2013 Nissan Altima during the show. At the Infiniti stand, the technologically advanced 2013 Infiniti JX will be the highlight this year.

Volkswagen Middle East  was also awarded the coveted prize of the Middle East’s “Best Mid-Size Sedan” for the new Passat, at the 2012 Middle East Motor Awards (MEMA), held at the Expo Centre Sharjah in the after,

The new Passat sets benchmarks in safety, technology, space and luxury, and outshone the competition to secure the prestigious award.

“I am delighted that Passat has been honoured with the title of the Middle East’s “Best Mid-Size Sedan” by the experienced MEMA panel,” commented Thomas Milz, Managing Director, Volkswagen Middle East told The Gulf Today after being presented with the award.

The Passat, which made its regional debut in May 2012, is a revolution in the mid-size sedan category offering affordable luxury, innovative technology, stylish design and German engineering, starting from only Dhs93,500.

All cars that enter the awards are judged on technical parameters such as design, safety, technical innovation and performance. Customer parameters are also scored evaluating driver satisfaction, emotional appeal, value for money and Middle East Friendliness. The Passat marked highly in all categories and was crowned the ultimate winner by the expert jury of regional motoring journalists.

“The Passat has proved to be a very popular model for Volkswagen in the region, and I’m proud that our achievements of redefining the standards offered in the mid-size sedan segment have been acknowledged with this prestigious MEMA accolade.”

The Scirocco R was also awarded the “Best Premium Hatchback” at the ceremony, beating of stiff competition in the premium sector.

The Scirocco R combines power, performance, handling and the fun factor making it an outstanding sports car, and an economical companion on the roads of everyday life.

At Volkswagen we pride ourselves on developing advances in technology, quality, safety and design offering the most sophisticated German

Saif Al Midfa, General-Director of Expo Centre Sharjah, anticipates that this year the show will see more success than last year. He believes the automotive market has jumped to 20 per cent this year against last year.

The general director says at least over 70,000 visitors are expected this year.

We are expecting many sales to be done in the show itself. It’s not just about having a pool of dealers here, it’s about having bargaining options for the consumers through this show, he added.

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