Kanzen Motorsports: JDM Tuning In Dubai

To really get to the heart of car culture, and anywhere in the world, you need to go right to the source.

Cars don’t just appear out of thin air, and I think we’re all guilty sometimes of overlooking the people and shops behind any given project. To form any sort of qualitative opinion on a build, or even on an entire scene, you need to have all of the material information to hand. To do so otherwise, well, let’s just say it’s not a good look.

When speaking about Middle Eastern car culture in particular, I think the best way to describe it is ‘layered’. Yes, there are the stereotypes which we don’t need to go into due to their superficial nature (more car fashion than car culture), but there is a lot of unexplored authentic culture in the region.

I’m talking about real people, building real cars in real workshops. The sort any one of us would feel at home in.

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Following the lead of Dan Price of CarCulture.ae, we headed to an industrial area on the outskirts of Dubai. Truthfully, it could have been in the heart of Dubai as it’s a city I find very difficult to navigate; the kind of place where you feel like you’re lost until you’re not.

In saying that, I didn’t need a prompt from Google Maps to let us know that we had arrived at our destination, as the cars parked on the street gave me a heads up in advance.

PS13 on R33 GT-R wheels? Sign me up!

One thing that I didn’t previously appreciate was that while a lot of these cars look like they have been abandoned for months if not years, it only takes a very short time for them to become covered in dust and sand. Essentially, beware of the YouTuber promising you a look at the abandoned cars of Dubai, when in reality their owners have probably just popped out for a coffee.

Another thing is that there’s relatively very little crime in the region, so it’s not of any concern to leave a car like this outside, unlocked, with parts left inside.

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Cars outside aside, the exterior of the building is relatively unassuming, but inside is just slightly more impressive. For reference, this was the day after MADE, the last day of the weekend in Dubai and still the shop was busy taking care of customer projects and also the cars of people who had travelled a long way to attend the event.

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Kanzen Motorsports (the name Kanzen comes from the Japanese word which represents perfection or completeness) was originally set up by three friends in 2015. Yazan Elfayez, Jeremy Quan and Faaiq Fazal had a passion for drifting and all things JDM.

Despite coming from different professional backgrounds (one was a pilot, another a marketing and events manager, and the third an IT specialist), the friends realised that most of the time they spent together revolved around cars. They wanted something they could call their own, so here you have it.

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Even on a whistle-stop tour of the workshop, it was clear to see variety in the projects, even if someone had snuck a BMW in. There was certainly a fondness for stance and fitment, with some help courtesy of our friends at Air Lift Performance, but the sight of a 1JZ lying idle and a new Supra parked nose-to-nose with a Datsun hinted at some of Kanzen’s other work.

In fact, it was their omni-presence at MADE that piqued my curiosity. With their company name on several significant builds, I figured it was worth my while to come and take a look.

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The biggest reward of this visit was being able to liaise with the owner of what was personally my favorite car of the whole trip. No prizes then for guessing what story is coming next…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos



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Are you paid by uae to do some good advertising for them ? All that last reviews look pathetique (this one, the viper's one... Etc)
What's next ? So north korea coverage ?...

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Can we also ask if Japan paid SH to do good advertising for them as well, since there's so much content from the Land of the Rising Sun?


Who is the parent company?


just look at the parent company and it becomes obvious right away


Chill bro...enjoy the content :)


So, that explains the gold Lamborghini that was delivered this week...

No, we haven't been paid for this coverage. You might have missed the first post in the series when I visited in February and spent 3/4 days trying to shoot as much content as I could in order to uncover some of the grassroots car culture here, outside of the supercars and hypercars.

Unfortunately, while I had planned to spread the stories out over the year, COVID-19 had other ideas, and it hasn't been possible to shoot any other content since March, so they need to run successively.

I'm curious, though, how come there's never any complaints about nearly all of our US or Japanese coverage? Also, if you're going to compare NK to the UAE, I think you've highlighted your own ignorance TBH.


In keeping with that point, I think you should do more articles on cars in New York and Chicago - and enough coverage of California for a while.

A good long while.


I would happily love to cover some non-California content for Speedhunters. Probably my only regret from covering FD in 2017 was not tacking a few days onto the trips in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Texas, Montreal & Seattle to shoot more local cars & shops.


lol it's not like SH is running content for tyrannical Bond-villain governments. Not to humor this guy's idea, but I'd probably read an article about a north korean shop owner who modifies imported vehicles. Kim jong un isn't gonna pop out from behind the toolbox.


I think it's great we get to see car culture from all over the world!


I like your comment and was going to write the same.


Sooo what are they doing with that Peugeot 307 out front in the first picture?


LS swap.


I was joking. It's just a random 307 parked on the street.


holy s**t... Cuz there are 307s all over the place here & they're mostly associated with soccer moms or dads who's getting groceries from their trunks, a LS is literally the last thing I could imagine this car has lol


Really!? Too funny :-) LS-swap the world!! Looking forward to see the outcome of that build.


Look mum my car's famous!


"To form any sort of qualitative opinion on a build, or even on an entire scene, you need to have all of the material information to hand. To do so otherwise, well, let’s just say it’s not a good look."

Not true at all. Let's say I know absolutely nothing about a build, but it's intended for circuit racing---something I have been doing for 22 years now. I can walk up to most cars and within a few moments tell whether or not the build is good by key items I've learned over the years.

The idea that you need an entire spec sheet in front of you is nonsense. Anyone with some education can eye ball these things past a certain level of experience. This stuff isn't black magic and voodoo, just physics and metal!


I'm just trying to say that you'll learn and understand a lot more about why a car is built a certain way by speaking with the people who actually built it. Of course, experience helps but it's not possible to be an expert in everything.

As someone much wiser than me said 'When you talk, you're only repeating what you already know. When you listen, you'll learn something new.'

Everyday is a school day.


What! 2 Rx7 s and zero mentions. Poor.


though controversial, i like this review. thanks

Tryon Lippincott

With the amount of money in Dubai, you would think that e30 would have had an S54 swap before a m52/54. At least a boost boi thrown on there.



Tryon Lippincott

Lol wut??


Not everyone in Dubai or the UAE is super rich. Lots of normal people, working their asses off to make ends meet. Same as anywhere else in the world, really.


You told me to just talk about car / automotive etc. Now you bring up social / financial status. OK damn right, many Dubai residents are workers doing job the local are too proud to do. Here is one that's relevant: I received a fine for parking my car illegally in Ras Al Khaimah on Saturday morning at 5:00 AM (yes 5 AM). I was still asleep in Dubai at the time. To prove it wasn't me I needed to go to Ras Al Khaimah police station which was hours from Dubai. Fortunately the company industrial relation officer (yes the company was Dubai Petroleum) had a connection there and the ticket was cancelled. Talk t=about Wasta!

Tryon Lippincott

I have been to Dubai, if you can work on your car you are doing well.


White Fiat 1500??? Really??? Another LS swap???


Great article, love reading about cool shops in far off places :)

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Wow, the kind of hate being thrown at UAE contents are just strange. Didn't know this page also mixes politics with car culture.

Seriously, what is wrong with all these people? Aren't we here just to enjoy the cars?


If all you cared about were the cars, you wouldn't read the comments.


Exactly I don't get why people want to bring politics here especially politics in Saudi and UAE like I'll admit it's awful but at the same time we should enjoy the culture they have here it's just amazing


Next time I go to Dubai I need to visit this shop


Salute for a Great Content. Super cool cars.,


and seeing that Pulsar GTiR here, makes me hope someday one of you will feature a Nissan B13 SE R.


No more shots of the S2000?