A custom built Rolls Royce selling for Dh2.5 millions was the most expensive used car at the International Motor Show Abu Dhabi (IMSAD) this weekend. The silver-coloured luxurious vehicle was presented at the car show by Souq Al Haraj, the Middle East's largest second hand cars company established by the Government of Sharjah less than three months ago, in January 2016.
"We also brought here two Lamborghinis and other top-end cars, some with zero mileage, as we wanted to show that the second hand car market is not limited to certain type of vehicles," pointed out Najib Faris, chief business development and marketing officer at Souq Al Haraj.
Part of Sharjah Asset Management, Souq Al Haraj is now home to nearly 400 car dealers selling around 25,000 vehicles on its five million square feet site, with another five million square feet awaiting to be taken.
A car city, the Souq has gathered all of Sharjah's car dealers under one roof, also offering car testing, registration, inspection and even car wash, as well as other facilities - from cafes to barber and laundry shops.
"Once you have chosen your car, you can own it in less than an hour, as all services are available on the site. We are also looking, for our next phase, to set up a credible certified body for checking the cars," said Ahmed Al Musharrekh, acting manager of Souq Al Haraj.
According to him, the second-hand car market is still a very good business and moving all dealers into one location only improved sales, which reached up to 250 cars per day.
"This number does not include the overseas customers, as we also have a lot of people from the GCC, Africa, Russia and Ukraine buying from our dealers," Al Musharrekh told Khaleej Times.
After offering special, subsidised rent spaces to Sharjah's car dealers, the Souq opened up to dealers from other emirates and beyond, being home now to second-hand car dealers from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, even Russia.
During the three days of IMSAD show in Abu Dhabi, Souq Al Haraj hoped to make itself known even further and attract more dealers to its premises.
The car show, which ended on Saturday evening, attracted around 25,000 visitors and proved to be good news, particularly for off-road, 4x4 vehicle owners.
"The show is the biggest motor event in the region. We have Al Ain's Car Museum showcasing classic cars, a statement for the quality of car restoration. We have modified vehicles, custom-made cars and bikes... we have everything on the floor," said Roman Gavrilin, chief operations officer of IMSAD.
"It is a bit too early to talk about this, but we have some very positive news about the UAE allowing vehicle modifications. In a very short time you will hear about some new rules about it. Right now we have a meeting at the show discussing this issue," he said.
IMSAD concluded on Saturday night with a ceremony for the much coveted Middle East Car of the Year award. After months of car testings by professional car critics, the crown this year will be worn by the 2016 Nissan Patrol Desert Edition.