The region’s very own set of accolades for the automobile industry in its various commercial categories were announced yesterday, on the opening day of the Sharjah Automobile Show. McLaren Mp4-12C made its first impression momentous with the title of “Middle East car of the year”, pushing aside the tough competition from two Ferraris that were in the shortlist.
H.E. Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Vice-President of FIA Middle East and President of the Automobile and Touring Club UAE is the official patron of the MEMA. Saif Mohamed Al Midfa, Director General of Expo Centre Sharjah handed over the awards in the presence of H.E. Sheikh Marwan Bin Rashid al Mualla, Chairman of the Emirates Motor Sports Federation. “Automobiles are very important in Arab Culture and something very dear to my own heart, and I am delighted that the Middle East Motor Awards provides an opportunity to give something back to the industry as a way of appreciation,” said Dr. Ben Sulayem, who is a former rally and racing champion who kept the UAE flag flying high in the regional and international arena.
The MEMA saw Porsche winning in all three categories they were shortlisted, while all-new entrants like the VW Passat, the Hyundai Veloster, the Toyota 86, the Range Rover Evoque and the Honda CRV did well for themselves by winning the category they were featured in. For instance, the midsize sedan category shortlist included the Toyota Camry, Peugeot 508 and the VW Passat, all of them virtually new introductions. The Passat won the category contest. The newly revamped GS350 won the Executive Sedan Category overtaking the absolutely stunning new BMW 3 series and the elegant Jaguar XF. In the small sedan category, DriveME reviews were reassuringly reconfirmed when the Kia Rio won the award despite the strong presence of Honda Civic and Chevrolet Sonic. Click the links to read the DriveME reviews of the relevant cars.
The awards were judged by a panel of 17 eminent journalists from 10 countries in the region. This is the third edition of the increasingly popular MEMA awards.
The eight-month long process of evaluation included vehicle design, handling, safety features, emotional appeal, value for money etc. Middle East Motor Awards, whose next edition will be out late next year, is organized by Expo Centre Sharjah with the support of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
These cars are on display at the Sharjah Auto Show. See them all together in Hall 4. The show runs till the 1st of December, Saturday only.