The Unexplored Car Culture Of Qatar
Changing Preconceptions

Without Google’s assistance, how much do you know about Qatar? Before I spent a week there, I honestly couldn’t have told you much more than it’s probably hot, sandy and located in the Middle East.

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Once you think ‘Middle East’ you might start thinking conflicts, terrorism and wars. I did. When I told my friends where I was going, I was warned to be careful and to look after myself. Honestly, I wasn’t that concerned as I have visited the Middle East previously, but I would be lying if I said that thoughts of something going wrong on this trip didn’t enter my mind.

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Those concerns were almost instantly vanquished from my mind as I watched the sun rise over Doha, Qatar’s capital city, for the first time. Doha is not only a beautiful city which is rich in culture and tradition, but it’s home to some of the most welcoming and friendly people I’ve ever met anywhere in the world.

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How did I end up here? It all started with an invitation from Qatar Racing Club, located on the outskirts of Doha, to come and see Qatar’s rapidly expanding car culture for myself. We often receive offers for trips abroad, but they usually come with terms and conditions attached, like we will only see a particular company or we must only say positive things. As such, we usually don’t accept. We want to document as much of the car world as we can, but not at the expense of our credibility or integrity. However, we received assurances from QRC that their only interest was to have the spotlight shone on all aspects of Qatar’s car culture – one that no outside sources have ever properly documented before.

With no guarantees in place, I headed east to see if Qatar was home to something worth talking about. As it turned out, it delivered on so many levels and more…

Behind Closed Doors
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Qatar Racing Club is the result of Sheik Khalid bin Hamad Al-Thani’s unbridled passion for cars and motorsport, and his drive to establish motorsport in Qatar and to put the country on the world motorsport stage. The venue is host to the world’s flattest quarter mile drag strip, its own customisable drift circuit and is the home of the Arabian Drag Racing League. It also features the workshops of Al Anabi Racing – a fully-equipped parts shop and garages for local drivers to store and work on their own cars. It’s an impressive setup, no doubt. Even more so when you consider that motorsport is still in its relative infancy here.

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For me though, the really exciting part of QRC are the things that are hidden behind closed doors.

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The JUN R35 was unveiled at Tokyo Auto Salon several years back and currently packs in excess of 1000hp. It’s one of many of the Sheik’s personal cars and it’s no garage queen either, recently battling with McLaren’s P1 GT-R on track.

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It’s the collection of customer cars on-site though that really opened my eyes.

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I don’t think I could put an accurate estimate on the amount of horsepower in this one room.

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In all my wildest expectations, I never thought I would see anything like this in Qatar. There’s probably an average of 1000hp per car in this room – golf buggy excluded – but even that would be a conservative estimate.

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The 4x4s weren’t shy either, running horsepower figures which are barely believable but backed up by their on-track performance. One Patrol which was in the process of being rebuilt for next year’s season was regularly smoking Veyrons over the standing half-mile.

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I did get the impression that the GT-R is king in Qatar and nearly all retain full bodies and creature comforts despite running ridiculous horsepower. I’ll be bringing you a full feature of the fastest GT-R present in a future post…

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Whilst drifting is only in its second year in Qatar, the builds are rather impressive.

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What I quite like is how the cars usually retain full interiors, keeping their street car title but with 2JZs and big horsepower. The dedicated drift car builds are coming however.

On The Streets
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The world of car culture in Qatar isn’t just limited to QRC. It’s far reaching and encompasses pretty much every aspect of car culture you could imagine.

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A parking garage with a level almost filled exclusively with Ferraris? Check.

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Qatar is an important market for Ferrari and for other supercar manufacturers. So much so in fact, that Ferrari offer Qatar its very own ‘Tailor Made’ FF model which can only be bought from a Qatari Ferrari dealership.

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By the time I returned to the airport, I must have seen maybe 100 or 150 Ferrari 458s on the street in Doha. In comparison, I spotted only one MkVII VW Golf GTI.

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The supercars and hypercars are one part of Qatar’s car culture, but despite this being the world’s richest country (per capita), it isn’t the whole picture. I find people are quick to dismiss those with wealth as not being genuine enthusiasts, but this is far from true.

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Any of the people I spoke to couldn’t have been friendlier or more enthusiastic to speak to another car guy. At the end of the day, it’s this mutual passion that brought two guys from two different sides of the world, from different backgrounds, creeds and beliefs into a passionate discussion about motor cars. Cars are an awesome leveller.

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One of the highlights of my trip was a visit to Mawater – a government-supported project which encourages young people to take an active interest in motoring and motorsport. Think of it as a youth centre for car lovers.

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The building was full of motoring-related details, from engine and gearbox derived coffee tables to fuel drum seats and jerry can light stands. Mawater is also host to regular car meets, which often bring together opposing sides of the car world. I missed their GT-R Versus M-Power meet, but it was just an example of the sort of thing that they make happen.

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Because of the heat – as it turns out, it was very hot – the real car culture comes to life at night. With temperatures reaching 48C (~108F) during the day, the average 35C (95F) at night was positively chilly in comparison. These temperatures will only rise as the height of summer approaches, where 60C (140F) isn’t unheard of. By this time, most cars will be locked away as there’s no current technologies available to keep them cool under hard driving.

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Cars and Karak is probably the epitome of the Speedhunters spirit in Qatar. The purpose of these meets is to bring all kinds of cars and owners together in one place, so that people can learn more about each other’s cars, make friends and enjoy a karak.

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On this particular evening, it was the Camaro Owner’s Club who showed up. The friendly atmosphere also attracted some GT-Rs along with some Italian exotics. It didn’t matter what you drove, everyone was made to feel welcome and very much a part of the Qatari car enthusiast family.

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After a while, we headed on a drive out into the desert towards the Lusail Circuit to continue our conversations and introductions. Whilst primarily interested in American muscle, these owners all showed respect and acknowledgement towards other groups of car enthusiasts. I know that where I’m from, this is a rarity.

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In the desert, no one can hear tyres scream…

The Final Days
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Whilst my visit was a week long, it felt like a whirlwind as there was always something to do, somewhere to go or someone to meet. One of these places was V2 Performance, located not too far from QRC’s complex. V2 Performance would technically be a rival to QRC’s Al Anabi team, but it was QRC who suggested, arranged and insisted we visit their premises. It’s a perfect example of the mutual respect and passion within the Qatari scene.

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Again, we were dealing with huge horsepower figures. There’s easily 4000hp-plus between the GT-R and C7 Corvette alone.

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The latter of which featured just a slightly large turbocharger hanging out at the rear of the car. Both cars were full-bodied too – a trait that I really enjoy with tuner cars as it keeps them relatable, if that makes sense.

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It’s quite unusual to see American and Japanese cars being built side-by-side for the same ultimate purpose and to compete against each other. It’s really quite refreshing if I’m honest, there’s no borders as such to speak of.

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With short days – an early sunset and late starts due to the heat – we often found ourselves back at QRC for our nighttime entertainment. As it happened, I was in town for the finale of the Qatar Drift Championship, a series which is only in its second year.

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To help the drivers learn and develop faster, QRC recruited Irish drifter James Deane to both mentor and judge the series for this season. I’ve known James for many years and his skills behind the wheel of anything are quite honestly remarkable. He continues to improve too, which is a little bit scary if I’m honest.

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James’ routine is quite simple – on paper at least – for each event. He arrives the week before, designs and tests the track before being on-hand every night before the event to offer guidance and motivation to the competitors. On the night of the competition, his role is strictly as judge. His involvement has resulted in an incredible increase in skill level in just one season amongst the drivers. Next year, the twin battles will begin and that brings a whole new plethora of challenges to the table.

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The cars of the QDC are far more advanced than anything I can remember in year two of any of the major international series’. 2JZs with 700hp-plus are the norm.

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As you’ve probably come to expect, the mix of cars was good too. BMW chassis were most popular followed by S-body Nissans.

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At the sharp end of the grid, Walid Salem’s Camaro was an absolute smoke machine. The WiseFab-equipped car was able to carry huge amounts of angle whilst annihilating tyres.

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It was international visitor Ahmad Daham who would take the win at the final event, in his S15-restyled RPS13 180SX.

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It’s not just drifting that draws the crowds, there’s a host of non-traditional (by international standards) motorsports which are practiced here too. One of the most popular and fiercely competitive divisions is two-wheel driving.

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Competitors must get their vehicles on two wheels without outside assistance and complete a complex and technical course as laid out by the judges. How exactly do you get a 4×4 on two wheels without the use of a ramp? It generally involves lots of speed and either a Scandinavian flick or an extremely sharp turn-in. Once up on two wheels, the driver and three passengers play a role in keeping the vehicle balanced along with soft sand tyres and a locked rear differential.

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The other big attraction was Freestyle Drift. I’ve absolutely no idea how this is judged, but it’s essentially who can kill their tyres in the most creative and aggressive way possible. Burnouts, donuts, drifts, 360s, J-turns are all a part of this puzzle.

Because of the heat, this was the last event of their motorsport season until the winter. As such, I missed out on their drag racing series (which is the largest form of motorsport in Qatar) and the Qatar Mile. There’s also sand dune racing amongst others which gives you an idea of the diversity on offer.

Goodbye, For Now…
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I spent eight days and seven nights in Qatar.

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Beforehand, I thought this would have been more than enough to cover this small country’s car scene. How wrong did I turn out to be?

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I found a country full of genuine car enthusiasts who welcomed me with open arms. And every one of them was willing and ready to show me every last detail and facet of Qatar’s car culture, regardless of the inconvenience or hassle it might cause them.

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I bore witness to a drift series in its infancy, but that still impressed at a stage where you simply wouldn’t expect it too. In a couple of years, these guys are going to be amongst the very best in the world. Mark my words.

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Qatar is a country willing to learn and join the worldwide car culture family. I think it’s only right that we open our arms and welcome them in.

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Damn it, I didn’t even get to talk about their latest innovation in car security…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: @pmcgphotos
Twitter: @pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
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Some one help that r32!!


Nice. Personally, I still find that builds where people have challenged themselves, saved up their pennies & worked really hard to achieve are still more inspiring than builds that have just had lots of money thrown at them. I'm mean don't get me wrong, 1000hp+ GTRs are cool and I can see that these guys are really passionate about their cars but it just doesn't have that same feeling that inspires me.

Cool story though, must have been an amazing experience


Why are there never any women to be seen in these postings from the Middle East?


@Kuroneko That was also my first reaction, life must be miserable for those poor mens.


Balling out of control...... oil money....


Thank you for this article. It helped open my mind to other countries' cultures, and how they view other cultures.


Dammit, I came here to read about the lions. So misleading.....haha. And I love the chairs for the drivers meeting.


stupidadult That's not nice.


rad! Kudos to SH again for the worldy reporting. RESPECT. 
I fear much ignorance and insensitive comments to come but hopefully you can educate.

+1 for any "culture" that drives their toys!


the mechanics there looks like south east asian... either from the philippine or Indonesia.... lol


@patrick Looks very likely.

The average guy

once the oil runs out, desert will take the GTRs place.


Bad and mad. There is enough money and place to pick up some boot people from the middle sea, instead parking 1.000 hp cars, isn't it?!
Poor lions also, very male! Maybe a girl replacement?!

@Stubsnz, I also agree with you. I build my car on my own... and got a very good feeling when I take ride with it. With respect!


@patrick do you think they are not only importing the cars? Im not a fan of these posts from the middle east at all.


oh the lunacy of some of those cars... 

Is the first picture from a Michael Jackson inlay? ;)


Mmm I don't like the idea of having an pet that could eat me.


Speed hunters now bringing your illegal exotic animal trade >:(


Actually a great post but it would be event one million times better if they spent all of their money on nice cars .. instead of other 'insane' things ... if ya know what i mean ;-)


@goosie the Animal Liberation Front is on another site


Feels good to cover a variety of car cultures.
I saw some intolerable racism comments here. Some jealous, mis-lead,
and mis-educated, disrespectful boys
Car Culture should be wide, with great tolerance and open into
different nations, and cultures. RESPECT SH!


@patrick they are filipinos


@goosie I'm with you on this one. This is not the place for a lion.


Fantastic Write-up , you made everything perfect and it was an amazing pleasure meeting you in #Qatar :D

The average guy

Mahfoodh intolerable? lol


Mahfoodh Very sorry, as I might be partly responsible. But, I was genuinely interested why, in three or four recent posts, there's zero or close to zero women present. If I go to Daikoku, Tatsumi, Summerland, or countless other events the women number at least a countable number. Some even drive their cars to the events! We have whole magazines for garu car & bike culture.

Are ME women not interested? Scared of muttawah? Otherwise forbidden? Me; I prefer an alabaster skinned redhead next to me, instead of a monkey or a cheetah... Even if she does scream at me to 'slow down!'


"Car Culture happening anywhere in the world" indeed.


It's a valid point, but unlike some other GCC countries, women in Qatar are treated fairly and hold equal status to men. There are more women in third level education in Qatar than there are men. Women can drive also so whilst more can still be done, they're certainly on the right track to a more progressive society.
You have to remember that car culture is very much in its infancy in Qatar still, there's still a long way to go and for them to discover their own identity. We should welcome Qataris and any other nationalities into our Speedhunters family, rather than treating them with some of the horrible & shameful remarks that have been made below.


well at least the middle east  is/was a natural habitat for Lions


@Kuroneko Mahfoodh 
Hi there brother, well I wouldn't say that they are scared, niether anyone would bother them, but it's relegious and cultural dignity for men & women not to mix unless it's extremely necessary, both genders have respect and understanding to each other, and in addition to that women in this part of the world are not that much interested in car culture, and motorsports of our sort, but yeah they do drive forced induced Bentley's and Cayenne Turbo, but not a Sylvia with a JZ motor, under a carbon hood.
We do respect others relegions and cultures, and we expect others to do the same, and respect our relegion and culture.
No opression, there's a great deal of tolerance and understanding here, quite the opposite of what the media tries to show you how we live.


I had a feeling there would be a comment like this and as a fellow animal lover, I appreciate your concerns.
Kiara's mother was killed in the wild and Kiara was offered to a good friend of mine who has huge past experience in caring for exotic and wild cats. He's been taking care of her since she was a cub (she's still only six months old) and will continue to do so until she's big and mature enough to look after herself. She is given free roam, she's never caged, leashed or locked away and is treated like his own child. She's not drugged to keep her sedate but is encouraged to play with others. The harness she wears is only for her to be held onto for whatever reason. She is truly loved and couldn't be in a better place. She probably wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for my friend, so I'm happy to show her as part of this story. It's not every day you get to hang out with such an amazing and beautiful creature.


Paddy McGrath 
Good comment you have brother. A little correction, all GCC countries are quite similar to Qatar, except Saudi Arabia.
I'm from Oman, and our women drive, and some like fast cars, and there's a great deal of tolerance and respect here, all within moral, religious, and cultural borders.
The images of Sheikhs and Muttuwah threatning women or anybody is all bunch of LIES, and very very false.


I don't see the 'LOL' in that statement? There are hundreds and thousands of Asian workers in the Middle East, people will always go where there is work.


They may have hijacked the VIP box for driver's briefing!


I think you should take your racist opinions and prejudices elsewhere, they're not welcome here.
At least you're living up to your username...


It's more so natural gas, but they are rich in oil reserves as well. It's hardly their fault though is it?


I've replied to your comment above but it's worth pointing out that this is Speedhunters, not Womenhunters. It's the cars we're interested in.
The comments about the women being in prison or being stoned to death, I'm embarrassed for you. Educate yourselves before spewing misinformed bile.


That's a great point and something I was looking into whilst I was there. There's a huge grassroots drag scene in Qatar and if I get to go back, it's the first thing I want to explore. The drift scene is quite good in that regard actually but the main obtacle for the Qataris is the lack of information and expertise to help them build their own cars. This is all changing however, but it will take time.


If you're going to try and pass a smart ass remark, you should try being smart and educating yourself first.


some super unreal cars there!!!! Although, I think part of the allure of owning/wanting to own a ferrari or lambo etc is the fact that very few people have one, when every second guy has one its no longer special.


Any pics of the green McLaren 650S with the wing in pic #19? At first I thought it might be a Green P1.


I love how that Pro Stock Camaro with Al Anabi Racing decaled on the doors looks like it came from some alternate universe.


How do you say "Trespassers Will be Eaten" in Arabic?


Intersting. Cars need Money, to burn fuel, even more to burn tires. I just can't see or understand the regular enthisuast you visited on your trip, or, the text just strenghtens the idea that everybody is super rich and has enough money to do what they want because there's nothing better to spend upon.
I have seen no "easily attainable" car, thats qatar outside of google? Even richier guys than i thought?
Nice write up, i wish more scenes around the world to be covered (like the parts hunting in china for a contrast), who knows if we can send some material of our brazilian drift guys (that run chebrolet chevettes and one of rhe only rx8s in country side by side on the same crew, with converted front wheel drive cars in a country where rwd is seldom sold New or affordable...)


Greetings from Puerto Rico: I am a woman racecar got a Mustang GT 5. nitro and I would love to be invited to race in Qatar, but in my country We have truck racing maybe in your country do not have any them, I invite you to come see Also we need them more tracks to race track you can do here, let them video of truck racing and one of them is my son, in my country everyone is welcome,


"home to some of the most welcoming and friendly people I’ve ever met anywhere in the world."

Unless, among other things, you're an immigrant worker from southeast Asia. Then you get your passport taken away and have to work under some of the poorest conditions currently known on earth. It's modern slavery. They are treated as sub-human and regularly beaten and threatened. The whole world knows about the FIFA World Cup scandal. Thousands of immigrants workers killed by the time the World Cup stadiums are finished. And it's not just construction workers. Maids, garbage collectors, you name it. Any low status manual labour. It's not something isolated, it's widespread and an accepted part of society.

I'm all for using car culture as a shared interest to connect with other cultures but Qatar is one of those countries that should be boycotted on all levels, at least until they get some basic human rights in place and slavery is eradicated. It's unfortunate that they have oil and gas as it allows Qatar to buy things, like the FIFA World Cup and human lives ... They don't have much else to "offer" the human civilization right now.

I know SH is a car culture blog, but there should be some limits IMO.


Ice Age Meow


I can definitely understand where you're coming from, but it's not something I feel that we should lay the blame for at the feet of Qatar's car community. I can only report on what I saw and my own personal experiences and I honestly couldn't speak higher of my hosts in Qatar.
I will add that most I spoke to were aware of the situation and each and every person was not happy with the situation, it's the complete opposite of how your average Qatari would treat a visitor to their country. It's a very complicated issue, certainly more so than how it has been portrayed in Western media. However I don't think it's something we're going to solve in the comments section of a car culture outlet and I would personally prefer to keep cars and politics separate.
If you want to talk about it further though, drop me an email anytime. My details are above.


I think bringin the "commonfolk enthusiast" stories would make intolerant people see it with better eyes

Nicholas J OGara

Oil money affords them petrol powered art.
Great article, Paddy. It looks like you had a very exciting visit with long list of awesome machines. Thanks for the coverage.


Paddy McGrath No, we are certainly not going to solve it here, but that's not the point. I agree with you that car culture and politics should be kept separate here. But just as with football, at some point it becomes impossible to ignore, as the World Cup scandal has clearly shown.

I just don't agree with publishing articles like this, even if I have mixed feelings about it. "Yeah, you have modern day slavery, are funding the spread of radical Islam, Islamic terrorism, don't adhere to international human rights but hey, we can still come here and enjoy your car culture!" It's a way of legitimizing their practices, however small it may be. I don't doubt there are individuals not agreeing with these practices in Qatar and hopefully there will be change and deradicalization, but in the meantime, just as I think the World Cup should be boycotted and that it's a scandal they even got it, I don't agree with publishing articles like this. It's just my opinion. I will end my rant here.

The average guy

Paddy McGrath dont say im wrong :)


Wish I was an oil billionaire....I'd have quite the collection. Now I gotta add Doha to the places to visit list. Nice article, looks like a great scene.


This is why this isn't the place for it. You have just prejudiced an entire people with the label of radicals and terrorists based upon nothing but your own assumptions of a country you've never been to. It's lazy stereotyping and it's a very dangerous game to play. Not only does it create misinformation but it breathes hatred too. Don't be that guy.
I think you would be surprised should you ever make it Doha. There aren't many places in the world where you can leave your car running with the keys in the ignition, head off for a meal and come back to your car still being where you left it!


But SH is all about the business and profit, isn it?


So glad you're back around Paddy. Great set.


Awesome cars, cool pictures, amazing lion and loads of butthurt racists. Everywhere has nice places and bad places, the middle east is not some giant terrorist cell.


Hey Paddy, please remove your accusation about me 'spewing bile', and making comments about women being placed in prison and stoned for driving cars, as I made no such comments!

Much appreciated...


the phone torch light source - LIKE


Paddy McGrath Why would anyone do that anyway? And it's probably because you'd have yourself missing a couple of limbs if you stole someones car that had any sort of money, power or connections.


@randomswede I understand your point but I also have to say there is an over sensitivity when it comes to Middle Eastern countries, we had articles about car culture in China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore which are not very strong in the human rights department, even most western countries have blatant abuses, not sure this is the place to discuss them.


Neko, you chose to bring it up instead of keeping about the cars.
Shouldn't you be at a SPOCOM show right now?


Paddy McGrath You get my respect and appreciation Sir!! PLEASE let me know if you want to visit Oman, we have equivalent car culture (a little less bling though), and as nice and friendly people


L4mboBoy700 its like the perfect starting point to do a r324 conversion or drop a new motor in it...something.... if there aren't any takers i'll take it!!!


Imagine that lion trying to claw it's way up the soft top Porsche... Ouch. Three lovely beasts posing together - I just love that photo

The average guy

Paddy McGrath awesome story! cute little animal. wonder what will happen to the kitty when she grows up tho


@randomswede Enough with the activism, already. It's quite tiresome.
This is a website about people having fun with cars, not a forum for ruining everyone's good time with advocacy and lurid tales of "injustice." 
I, for one, want to maintain that focus on vehicles and fun. I come to this site to see coverage of awesome cars and great events, not listen to people rage about social problems that can't be fixed.

Seriously - stop shaking your fist at the rain and just enjoy the sights for a little while.


Just come back from Qatar, Doha is great city!


Just come back from Qatar, Doha is great city!


KaloyanNikolov First thing I asked, but she doesn't use her claws on paint, just the grips on her paws :)


StreetStatik Sometimes you have to improvise!


harared It really isn't.


Spaghetti Paddy McGrath Again, not Qatar you're thinking of.


Oh Man the GT2RS One of my dream car!!!!
A place to had on the visit list!!!


A big thank you Paddy, you truly captured what it's all about out here, myself been an "expat" out here in Qatar for the last 16 years and being a competitor in both the national street drags and the Qatar mile for the past 3 seasons, believe me when I say QRC have done more than any other Motorsports federation/organisation in Qatar in the past years than any others, we already have a poorly attended moto gp here, I believe that this is the right direction QRC is taking and at all of their events we are treated to talk and getting advice from top U.S. Drag teams, not to mention all the other teams from the region. This could not be more friendly as you rightly pointed out, hope to see you back here for when the drag season kicks of as there are a few worthy cars out here more than capable of setting a few new world records in their classes. Keep up the good work!!!


Paddy McGrath Smart girl! It's nice to know that no Porsches (or lions for that matter) have been injured in the process of that photo shoot :D
By the way did you witness any traditional Arab drifting during your stay? You know, the one where they drive a Camry into a 360+ spin. If yes, how fast are these guys going it looks amazingly dangerous and uncontrollable.


some of the cars are alright, but nothing I can get ubber excited about. To me, it's massive unnecessaryness and overkill....and little to none of it seems organic. Feels like they are buying car culture because they have nothing else to spend money on. When that oil money dries up, I have a strong feeling this scene will die off very quickly. If a country like Japan (where the culture is very much organic) can suffer a massive downturn in the car scene after its boom economy busts (late 90s early 00s), it can certainly happen in a place like Qatar.
The drift scene leaves me shaking my head too...
In only it's second season, the drift scene is populated by overpowered cars driven by drivers who, from the understanding I got from this article, don't yet have the skills to tandem.... I don't see any of that being sustainable. I've got nothing against FD guys building 1000hp machines...but those guys aren't in the early stages of learning.


Twitch_6 The Qataris are aware of their finite resources and are investing lots of money into a sustainable future, so it could be a long, long time before they see a downturn. 

With regards the drifting, some guys have big power (and can definitely drive) whilst others are running low power and are relatively new to the sport. I think the problem at the minute is that there's either too large a gap between the top drivers and the bottom drivers and there's just not enough interest in the sport (yet!) for full on twin battles. Ahmad Daham, who won the event, holds the world record for longest twin drift so the talent is there.


KaloyanNikolov Paddy McGrath That's more of a Saudi thing from what I've learned. Honestly, I wouldn't go within a hundred miles of that sort of event!


Am I the only one who thinks that the RPS13 with S15 front & rear is actually nicer than a normal S15?


@Paddy McGrath, I'm no economist...but looking at history, anything which has boomed that big and that fast has never lasted. And their government and business may be investing in a sustainable future, but let's be real...the average person does not think like that. People live in the now. Cars are like a fashion accessory to them right now, so it's popular.
Other than oil products, what natural resources do they have? After this boom, and the living standards to which the average Qatari has become accustomed too, who will be able to afford / want to send their manufacturing there?
I just don't see any of it lasting. Gross excess, in any shape or form, never lasts.
As for the drifting, you last comment only helped to increase my distaste for the scene.
So, there's not even enough interest (and consequently, knowledge) in the whole country or region to be able to organize a half way decent tandem comp....yet they throw money at the scene in the form of hiring a top level pro from the other side of the world to show them what's what.
Who the fuck in their right mind doesn't wish they could hire James Dean, Daigo Saito, Fredrick Aasbo or Chris Forsberg to come be their personal drift instructor. It's like a whole country full of Nick Hogans.
And the longest tandem record was cool...but I'm pretty sure any average participant at an Ebisu or Englishtown track day could have done the same if they were given the same cars and excessively wet track. Not really the best tool to measure the skill of the region in my opinion.
Not trying to have a go at you Paddy, or at any individual, or the Qatari people in general. It just really feels like their car scene is all about throwing money around and buying style, and that just does nothing for me.


Twitch_6 thank you for you valuable input, not sure which part of the car "world" you're from, and yes there is a lot of money floating around out here, why do you think they went to the U.S. To drag race? For fun? No I think this was to prove a point, local drivers here would probably whoop most people be it on a race track or on a strip as most kids out here( later generation) grew up with "toys" to play with in the desert, not camels, but quads and 1000+ hp sand rails and believe it or not Toyota land cruisers, I'm a humble guy with a small 800whp 4 banger EVO and what I have learned from other driver here I could probably write a book about, when was the last time you sat in a 1000+ hp car... Never I suspect, this is a daily ucurance here, I suspect that again it will be a matter about money etc, I'm not earning a fortune out here, but since there is no tax and the petrol is cheaper than water I have bought a few toys and so be it. We are just over 1.2 million people here not like a lot compared to the rest of the developed world and yet they have all the major collages, schools etc out here brought from the U.S. And Europe to teach and make everyone aware of the the situation in the rest of the world. For sure they are not just pissing their money away on fast cars, but trying to get the youngsters off the public roads who can afford these extreme cars/bikes. If you want to shoot someone down why not have a look at where you're from? Then again I suppose it's all roses and no poverty and everyone has a job and making money. This to me sounds like the most evil thing on the planet "envy" if you are so sure about how bad it is in the Middle East why not visit, I could put you up for free in my 8 bedroom palace ( I wish) food for thought?


Paddy McGrath  Once you swap the front and the rear with those of S15 you are not left with that many distinctive feature except for the lack of a visible C pillar in the RPS13 which in my opinion looks more aerodynamic, so yeah a Silvia with a RPS13 rear window running along the roof would actually look nice. Not sure about the sharp groove running from the rear fender forth, though, the S15 is supposed to look more aggressive, while the RPS13 is smoother.


Mahfoodh Paddy McGrath Oman gets another vote from me, spent a few days there Judging the Drift UAE round, great country, with very friendly people and some great drivers.


Paddy McGrath So, you've got time to beat up your own work, and time to censor, but no time to remove the implication one of your dedicated readers 'spewed bile'? Pathetic.


48°C should be ~118°F instead of 108°F


@BrianThomsen, not trying to be a prick, but I'm having a tough time comprehending what you're trying to say.
1. Do you know who Nick Hogan is? He's a rich kid who tried to buy his way into Motorsport because it was trendy. No one respected him, and he ended up sucking balls.
When you talk about these kids growing up with 1000hp sandrails and all kinds of toys, you are completely justifying my statement that it's a country full of Nick Hogans.
2. You're correct, I've never driven a 1000hp car, probably never will. However, I'm confident enough in my abilities that if I were to be given the opportunity to drive such a car, I wouldn't at all be intimidated to race against anyone on these kids you talk about.
Conversely though, I'd love to see one of these kids jump in a 200hp car on bald-ass, used tires, and see what they have on the touge lol.
Naw, first, they have to live off Raman Noodles, duck out of work early to make it to the scrap yard, scavenge for parts, and get the car running. Then, let's see what they got. Or if they're even still interested in cars.
You ever had to debat whether you wanted to put gas in the car to get up the mountain / make it to the track, or to eat?? I'm guessing not.
3. Envy is the biggest problem in the world?? You can't be serious???? Sorry, but you've just displayed your whole hand. Envy???? F*** outta here!!
You, a person living a life of excess compared to the majority of the world, have the nerve to say "the desire of those who have less than I, to have equal or more than what I have, is the most evil thing in the world"? F***! Outta! Here!!
Ever heard of inequality? Greed?
Am I enviuos of your "modest" 800 bought horse power Evo? Haha hell no!! I'll take my stock Impreza 2.5TS wagon that I rebuilt myself over whatever stupid number horsepower car you want to throw around.
4. Thanks for the invite, I won't be taking you up on that though. I've got no desire to watch rich kids play with their toys. I can pop over to Alberta if I want to see that kind of shit (ironically, a massively oil based economy which just went 'pop' a few months ago lol).


Twitch_6 Sounds like a few certain groups here. Do whatever the internet tells you is cool at the time to gain more e-fame and "likes" and totally disregard the styles that you were so heavily invloved in only a few years ago which are worlds apart from what you're doing now.


Twitch_6  "It just really feels like their car scene is all about throwing money
around and buying style, and that just does nothing for me." My above comment was regarding this quote BTW.


Paddy McGrath Spaghetti Ok, so they'd just buy another then and let the thief have it? ;)


Paddy McGrath That's because they'll cut your hand off for stealing one (not that there would be any place to take it if you did steal it, save breaking it down for parts). By the way, there has been plenty of data assembled by PEW research indicating that most Muslims in the Middle East lean more towards hard-line Islam than against it.

I lived in Doha (and Saudi, commuting to Doha) for several years. Yeah, there are a few decent Qataris scattered among the masses, but not many. Most are arrogant a-holes who have too much money, nothing to do, and even less going on upstairs.

To those who have never been to Doha and are thinking about visiting - don't, it's lame.


@Kuroneko Paddy McGrath
quit back-peddling. You are an educated, smart person that tried to instigate something with your initial comment about sexism...nothing to do with cars.


Twitch_6 last time I looked I'm standing on Qatar soil, you obviously have never been here so you can F off with your stupid comments and go back to licking donkey balls or whatever you do at home. Paddy wrote a nice article about a place that was visited for a week, granted not an eternity and yes there are probably more things to see and do here, last time I checked this is a car enthusiast place and you seem to think that just because you're hiding behind a keyboard and say covardly things about a place you have never been to is the lowest form of person on the planet, hell you are probably the most narrow minded person I have come across in a lifetime, I'll bet you are also one of these people that have never left your state or even posses a passport, I will stop there as I could go on forever, and don't want to waste valuable time of my life responding to the crap that comes out of your mouth.
Now back to reading more Speedhunter articles U0001f603


koko san I agree, are all these apparent heroes of Human Rights going to boycott the UK, F1, BTCC and GB/UK based parts companies like Quaife LSDs etc when the current British government does away with the human rights act as is being attempted atm? no, I don't think so. The Middle east is an easy target and people love to complain. Im starting to really go off the comments section.


@Kuroneko Paddy McGrath First off, you know what you were trying to start. However, that comment wasn't aimed at you. Rather it was at the two people who have since removed their cowardly remarks when I called them out after they replied to your original post. 

FWIW, I don't have moderator rights and even if I did I don't censor people.


@BrianThomsen, you're taking this way too personally. There's no need to start talking about licking donkey balls lol. Other than saying you bought your 800hp, I refrained from personal insults. I ask you do the same.
I also stated earlier that I'm not having a go at Paddy, or the country of Qatar as a whole. Please understand that my colourful language is mostly tongue in cheek.
Now, you are correct that I've never been to Qatar, so my opinion of the scene is based on what I've read and scene, as opposed to your first hand experience. However, I feel that I don't need to have put my toes in the sand, so to speak, to have the thought that "kids growing up with 1000hp sandrails" and "1000hp cars are an every day occurance here" are aspects of a car culture, which to me, do not seem sustainable.
Like I said before, I don't see the economy the continuing to boom forever. When things calm down financially, I predict that the average "car guy" now will lose interest in / be unable to afford these enormously expensive cars.
Why you think I'm a coward for having this opinion is beyond me. Like I said, you took this way too personally and are only seeing red right now.


Twitch_6 maybe I was overreacting a bit but I seriously gets my attention when someone slags a car scene that they know nothing about other than what they read, this is in my mind something I would never do... As for my car it's not bought but have built it myself over the past 7 years and yes almost all the parts are from the U.S. As they make superior products for this and many other cars in my mind, not something I have read or watched a video about, car has gone through 3 engines before finding the right parts and all done here locally, they have some very good machine shops out here as well, also tuned here..
Hope that you can see why I'm defending this place as the car scene out here will only go one way which is forward for sure, as it has been for many years now..


I'dlike to know more about that cat.


Qatar has slavery still.  Let's explore that.


Unreal, forget about the cars, how about you document something important in this the slaves? Holy smokes what a joke this site has become. Also you support animal cruelty? animal trafficking? I suggest you do some research into the exotic animal trade and qatar.


KeltondeOliveira While i'd like to know what happend to the no.9 nismo r32...


frankfrank898 I suggest you that you bother to read the points that have already been covered in detail below.


SeanStott The US still has the death penalty, the UK wants to scrap the Human Rights Act, Russia openly discriminates against LGBT people etc.

There's not many countries in the world that don't have blood on their hands, but as I've said below, this isn't the place for it. Nor are the car communities in any of these countries to blame.


The USA supports slavery indirectly through the massive offshoring of jobs. Also through things like the TPP (corporate fascism) that's currently being rammed through congress. And for the last three decades they've been killing brown people by the millions all for the sake of cheap oil. So it's not like they aren't doing the same thing as Qatar, just in a little different way and on a larger scale.


frankfrank898 just so you know; there are many places on earth including several states of the US where owning a tiger is legal. so you should not be shocked about someone owning a lion. especialy if that lion is well fed, don't you think you're taking it to far? And come on! Stop with all the clichés media put in your brain! Look at that wonderful contry in  an other way! There isn't any perfect place on earth. Start seeing the good side of each of these places and You'll be a grown and wise person.

PS; US did way worse than slavery #CIA


There are like, no women at all present in any of these photos or mentioned in the article.  Is that a cultural thing or is it just coincidental.  Does the QRC have any female members?


Slappy_Pistons Yes there is but very very few next year there will be female participants in drifting


Great story. is good to see a new car scene. sucks that so many people are slagging this story for being set in qatar but at the end of the day this site is about cars not current affairs so they should all get over it.
Would love to see some exotic drift cars and or drag cars.
Hope to see another story in a year or 2 to see where this scene is going.

Ohh and to all you people saying they are just buying into to other scenes and copying style. The middle east pretty much invented the 2 wheel driving and 4x4 drag racing so go F your selfs cuz your probly just copying another style on your ride aswell


Twitch_6 You should have stopped at your first comment, "i'm no economist". You clearly do not have any idea how much Qatari wealth floats around the world. They have one of the largest investment funds in the world, diversifying their countries assets. Arabs and the GCC have long been racing thorough bred horses for centuries and racing vehicles would be the natural progression. Competition, skill and passion for speed is in their blood. 
Just because you don't have two nickels to rub together and they were blessed with wealth doesn't make their love for cars any less real than yours. 
Grow up, get over your jealousy and stop attacking what you clearly don't understand. Your american xenophobia is showing.


the car was very good 
really really like to see the car that shiny new car fits like made ​​for walking trailsthe car was very good" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> and very fast" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> mix of colors" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> from which to" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> make want pobud see hatnya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> kecepatanya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> was very nice ," rel="dofollow" target="_blank">  suitable for a "" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> sharp bend or not sharp I guess motorists like this is" very skilled in the speed I hope I can membilinya someday will whether there are new cars are better I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> 'll wait for it , with a stylish car classic" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> style I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> also like" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> to see would be whether there is a" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> car that is as fast and forius like in the " movie , the car very good car designed a way apparently hopefully there will be new cars more good and the price is quite pantastis then chances are I can membilinya the same as you have at this time