to street-race in the United Arab Emirates.
The hottest drag strip around is in the Persian desert, a half-hour drive up the gulf coast from Dubai City, where Emirates Motorplex sits atop a pile of sand. On a typical night, spectators can watch a procession of exotics (like Lamborghini Gallardos) and American-built muscle cars – and, when religion calls, take time out to pray in the onsite mosque. The racing club is a pastime of its chair, Sheikh Marwan Bin Rashid al Mualla, whose likeness appears on some drivers’ cars in a show of deep affection and respect for their benefactor. The UAE government kicks in some cash, too. It sees the track as a way to reduce deaths from drag racing on public streets.
- Michael Spinelli