Spotter Patrick3331 is the most active spotter on Autogespot from Dubai. Patrick is an expat who already lives in Dubai for quite some years and he has a good image of spotting in Dubai. He already made a report about a unique Rolls-Royce Ghost and a report about a Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 will follow soon. To give you a better image of the life and spotting in Dubai, we had an interview with Patrick.
Who is Patrick3331 from Autogespot?
A car enthusiast since before I could walk. Since I remember I was always fascinated by cars, especially the fast ones. My passion started before I had my license, the first time I drove a car with a proper manual gear box was when I was 11 years old. My first car I bought when I was 15 years old, 3 years before I was legally allowed to do the driver’s license. Over the past decade I drove pretty much every car that is worth mentioning, including all Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, AMG's, etc. with only a few exceptions left like a Veyron or a Koenigsegg and the real exotics. My big passion is not to only photograph super cars, but to record them and share the same on my YouTube-channel.
You have been active as a spotter on Autogespot since the end of 2012. How did you find Autogespot? Have you been active as a car spotter before?
I started car spotting around 2002, and with digital cameras becoming more available and better I started recording and photographing more and more. My youtube channel started to grow last year in May (I had around 350 subscribers) and today I am hitting the 4000 subscribers. I am very lucky to live in Dubai, which has a never ending flow of new exotics. I am not even remembering how I actually found Autogespot, but once I got hooked I realized that it is a great platform to share my love for cars with others who have the same passion! I enjoy taking pictures and show them to others, that’s why Autogespot is such a great site. I like the look of it and for me as videographer the option of adding videos to my spots. Seeing a great car on a picture is one thing, but hearing it and seeing it in action is a totally different experience.
Dubai is one of the few cities in the United Arabic Emirates where you can find a lot of exclusive cars. For spotters, where and what are the challenges with so many cool cars around?
The challenges are that despite having tons of exotics in Dubai, many hyper cars like Pagani or rare cars like the Lamborghini Veneno are supposed to be in private collections (or due to arrive soon). These cars will either be never seen on the roads at all or only once in a long while.
Another "problem" if you want to call it this way is that after spending some time in Dubai you tend to not pay attention to certain cars anymore if they don't have a special colour/wrap or some tuning done. Best example, the Ferrari 458 Italia, a great looking car with a beautiful sound, but there are just so many of them here that they do not interest a resident car spotter anymore.
In many so called ‘spotting’ cities there are moments during a day that you can find more cars than usual. Can you tell our visitors something about Dubai and these moments?
Sure, Dubai is no different. The only difference is that when we have spotting season here (which is in the winter months) Europe has winter break and the same is vice versa. Now we have summer and you can still find some cars here, but the ones that can leave Dubai for the summer to Europe and you can see most of the unique GCC exotics across Europe (Monaco, Munich, Paris & London). Other than that the best time to find a big number of cars at the same time is on the weekends (Thursday – Saturday) in the evening hours between 19:00 – 22:00 hrs at the big Malls (Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates) or at Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai Marina. Other good spots are the 5 Star hotels around the city and Jumeirah Road in the evening.
You also know a lot of petrolheads in Dubai with exclusive cars. How would you explain the love for sports cars and even more extreme hypercars in the United Arabic Emirates?
That is easy I would say. Many people, regardless if UAE nationals or expats life a better life here compared to back home. They earn usually more and have less costs for living (maybe even the company is paying) and cars are less expensive here (deduct the tax for the cars which can be anything between 15-25% around Europe). This way people drive Porsche Cayenne rather than a Toyota RAV4 or a C63 AMG vs. a C250. In addition most who own a Lamborghini or Ferrari have one or more additional cars as the super sports cars are used on the weekends or in the evening only.
During the 'European tour' from the citizens from Dubai, Qatar en Kuwait we always see that people have changed their last year’s supercar for a new one. Do you maybe know why they change cars so often?
Again, this is all about being the first to have the latest, same accounts for mobile phones or other tech stuff for the guys and handbags and fashion for the ladies. If you can get a car before it is even officially available in the GCC, people will see it and you will make the biggest show when driving through town. A lot of things here in Dubai are sold as "you will be the first to have it", which seems to work well. Once a car gets a common sight on the road the ones who can afford it sell the car and they move on to the next new ride in town.
In every country privacy and cars is an issue. How is dealt with this in Dubai?
Luckily in Dubai the majority of the owners enjoys being seen in their cars or when parked they don't mind when someone is taking pictures or videos. When you take pictures and the owners comes he usually waits until you finish and/or starts talking to you about his car. When they pass by and see someone takes pictures/videos they even rev the engine for you. Personally, when I see the owner of a car I hold up my camera to check if they are fine if I take a picture or two and if they nod I go ahead.
Especially in Europe, Autogespot and car spotting have become a big and well known hobby. What about Dubai? Is the car spotting scene very well known?
It’s getting more and more I would say, but not so much with the resident spotters but more and more tourist spotters are coming to Dubai. Some plan trips to Dubai for the purpose of spotting, others are coming with family and partner and whenever they walk through the city they shot and record. As far as I can judge all spotters in Dubai are expats, there are no local spotters around. I would say there are currently like 5 permanent spotters, from which most focus more on pictures, while I do a mix of pictures and videos.
What do you think of when we talk about upcoming trends in the automotive world especially Dubai and the UAE?
I think Dubai and the rest of the GCC is a very important market for the automotive industry. Just looking at the number of super sport cars we have here it is clear that it’s a huge economic market for the big brands. Furthermore individualizing super cars is getting bigger and bigger here too; companies like Mansory, Hamann, FAB Design and more are selling a lot of cars here or modify the same. And with the Dubai International Motor Show every November the automotive year ends here with new trends.