MADE: The Japanese Influence In Dubai

To be quite honest, I didn’t really know what to expect from MADE.

I knew beforehand that this was only its second running, and although I had heard and read good things about last year’s show, I didn’t think it was enough to justify a 12,000km round-trip just to check it out. Make no mistake, even on a Boeing, that’s a long way to travel.

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If you’ve read the previous story about this trip, you will know that I liaised with a good friend of mine, Sultan Al Qassimi, about trying to uncover as much real car culture in the country. He reckoned that if I was travelling all the way from Ireland to the UAE, I might as well time it to coincide with MADE. If it was good, then happy days. If not, then there were a lot of shops and other people to visit around Dubai.

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The main reason for my apprehension was that I had previously visited Dubai in 2010, and at that time the cars I saw there were very much the kind you would expect to see: supercars, hypercars, sportscars and the odd Nissan Patrol. There’s nothing wrong with any of those in the slightest, but I’ve always been a bit cold towards cars that anyone can buy, provided they have enough money.

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I wanted to see the cars that people were building. I wanted to see the emerging styles and trends in the region, and I wanted to see cars built on ideas that cannot be bought.

I got everything I wanted, and some more.

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MADE is not a huge show, and it’s not a show which should be judged by numbers alone. The event is hosted within a relatively small area, but one which encourages you to explore. The contrast between the main open area where you arrive into first, and the shaded areas underneath and inside the main grandstand (which overlooks the start/finish straight of the Dubai Autodrome) are a photographer’s dream.

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Even as the day goes on, the venue continues to transform as the shadows and light move around. It’s a really unique event to document, and that’s before I even get to talking about the cars.

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I had originally planned on sharing just a single overview event post with you, but even after some heavy-handed image culling, I was left with far too many images for one post. As I’m already most certainly not on the Speedhunters server overlord’s Christmas card list, we decided to split it up into three more digestible pieces.

This is the first, focusing on the Japanese side of things. The next will be a look outside the gates of the event, and the final will be a look at the Euro and US cars in attendance. That’s not forgetting some further features on some of my personal favourites from the event.

Anyway, here’s the gallery you should want to see…

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What I enjoyed the most about this particular aspect of the event was that despite not having 10,000 cars representing Japan, there was still a lot of variety on show. It never felt like there was too much of one thing, while most JDM sub-cultures were still well represented.

From an over-fendered R35 GT-R to a completely stock and genuine KPGC10 GT-R. From out-and-out show cars, to subtly modified street cars, both new and old. Essentially, just the right amount of everything. I now also know that it’s most certainly worth the journey, too.

I’ll be back shortly with more from MADE.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos



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that cefiro is incredible


couldn't agree more

Seb Agent-Orange Betts

Please tell me there’s going to be a spotlight on that red cefiro




red ceffy !!!!!


This show by MADE is SCREAMING JDM #1


please share more pics or the owner of the blue r32 the hue is soo cool. or its just on the lighting?


Whatever the fad, materialistic oddity, in scene, can buy. I've never been to that neck of the woods. I have a question about it though, is it genuine car culture, or flexing? We've all scene some rich dude at car meet-ups that gets more from for the crowd's response than pride in what he's riding. I'm sure the online fine watch periodicals, foodie blogs, dog racing, offshore racing boats....or whatever else is out there, someone could present a similar piece coming from that place.


There's absolutely an entire scene out there dedicated to the flex, but I don't think this is the one. It's why I've always been frustrated with coverage from the Middle East, as it nearly always focuses on the hyper rich, obscene car collections and the superficial aspects of car culture in the area. That's not unique to the Middle East, but it would be like documenting UK car culture as only being what happens outside Harrod's on a summer afternoon.

There was a real sense of passion and knowledge from the owners I spoke to, who were all about seeking out those rare parts from overseas or obsessing about getting their fitment just right. It's that understanding of what they were doing and what they are trying to achieve with their cars that makes me believe that it's very much genuine car culture.


Right on.


That red Z is glorious


All of the cars here are amazing especially the Hakosuka, Skyline GTR, NSX, RWB Porsche, and GR Supra


The car scene here in Dubai is one of the best in the world


That R32 is well sorted! Amazing that a car that old can still catch my eye.


LHD R34's conversions or were they sold that way somewhere ?


What's the gold/champagne coloured car with the double brake calipers?


Looks like a GS300 / Aristo


Interesting to see at least one of the GT-Rs & the Cefiro converted to LHD. I recall reading this being a legal requirement for registration over there. If I lived in the US, I’d look to import one of those over a RHD for practicality reasons, assuming there was availability.


While some of the GTRs are converted to LHD, the Cefiro was sold here in LHD under the name "Altima". Some R32s such as the black one with LMGT1s is still RHD and is allowed to legally stay that way since it can be registered as a classic vehicle (Car has to be 30 years old to be eligible for that). Generally registering a car thats been converted from RHD to LHD is extremely difficult now so more people are resorting to storing them until they are 30 years old and pray the rules dont change till then.


Honestly, I think the smaller number of cars lends itself to the show's overall appearance. I see what you mean about it being a photographer's paradise: it looks like an outdoor museum. When you get too many cars in a show, it often ends up looking like a parking lot. Sure it's a parking lot full of cars you want to own yourself, but it's a parking lot nonetheless, limiting your ability to appreciate what you're seeing.


Any more photos of the V8 E46 M3?


Couple more in the story after next :)