Vice President of the FIA and President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE Mohammed ben Sulayem has offered his full support to the region's largest motor awards, which are set to take place at the International Automobile Show (IAS) 2010 later this year.
The backing by the most influential motor sport figure in the Arab world has made the Middle East Motor Awards 2010 (MEMA), due to take place on 14 October 2010 at Expo Centre Sharjah, the most prestigious ceremony of its kind in the GCC.
"I am pleased to offer my support for a new event which sets out to recognise the leading players in the automotive industry and to spotlight emerging technologies in the motor trade. I am positive it will be a big success, and grow in the years ahead," said ben Sulayem, who will act as official patron, helping to promote the awards across the region.
Commenting on ben Sulayem's role, Saif Al Midfa, Director General, Expo Centre Sharjah said: "The endorsement by Mohammed adds extra impetus to these awards. We were already planning a glittering ceremony but having the backing of such a well known figure as Mohammed will ensure it goes off with a bang and creates a lasting legacy on which we can build in the years to come."
Between six and nine cars have been nominated in each of the 12 main categories, including; Best Sports Car, Best Luxury SUV; and best Exotic Car. There will also be a special green award for hybrid vehicles.
"With green issues topping the agenda across all industry sectors, it is important to highlight and reward the efforts being made by auto manufacturers. Hybrid cars are yet to fully take off in the Middle East but we hope that by acknowledging the steps being taken, it will encourage auto makers to bring such vehicles to the region, and likewise, encourage drivers to consider investing in one," said Al Midfa.
The MEMAs will take place at the International Automobile Show, which runs from 14-18 October at Expo Centre Sharjah and be judged by a panel of 12 respected independent motoring journalists from seven countries across the MENA region.
With the Middle East being a particularly lucrative market for a number of manufacturers, but especially those at the top end of the market, organisers of the MEMAs launched the awards to recognise these achievements.
"The expert judging panel will not only ensure an independent and unbiased selection but we hope the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce will make the MEMAs more prestigious and thus more sought after within the motoring industry," said Al Midfa.
The IAS is the Middle East's most popular bi-annual auto exhibition, hosting some of the finest automakers from across the globe. Running from 14-18 October 2010 at Expo Centre Sharjah, the show attracts car lovers and auto enthusiasts alike, not only from the UAE but from across the Middle East and with events for all ages. And for the first time, the Middle East Motor Tuning Show (MENTS) will run alongside the IAS.
The two shows will collectively span 58,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor space and is supported by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Emirates Motor Sports Federation. There will be a number of visitor-focused initiatives, including safety, which will be one of this year's main themes. Instructors will give demonstrations and offer driving tips to visitors in a purpose-built area.
Show highlights also include a state of the art 4x4 driving course by Off-Road Zone. The track will include an extreme rock driving track, complete with artificial wadis, log drives and a RC Racer Zone.
The awards are being held in association with Coral Beach Resort Sharjah as the official hotel, Air Arabia as official Airline and trophy co-sponsor Crystal Arc Gallery
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