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  Int'l Motor Show opens in Dubai

  DUBAI, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- The biennial International Motor Show kicked off in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday.

  This year's 12th edition displays over 600 vehicles, including 17 global debuts and 15 concept cars.

  The five-day show is 35 percent bigger than that of 2011 and a random walk through the halls of the Dubai world trade center reveals that the car industry is booming in the Mideast.

  Ample growth figures are reported by leading car producers as many of them regard the Middle East as one of the most important region due to its economic rebound.

  Dirk Fetzer, the director of sales and marketing for Mercedes- Benz cars for the Middle East said he was expecting for Daimler Middle East "the third record sales year in a row for 2013," without breaking down the exact sales figures.

  Saud Abbasi, the general manager of Al-Futtaim Motors, the sole distributor of Lexus cars in the UAE said Lexus sales increased by 80 percent in the last two years, while Geoff Dowding, the regional manager of British luxury car maker Bentley said sales increased in the region by 38 percent year on year in the first nine months of this year.

  All regional sales managers who spoke to Xinhua confirmed that sales in the Middle East would outperform global growth, and they are confident that sales increase will hit around 40 percent by the end of the year.

  Constant high oil prices, economic diversification along with low interest rates and low petrol prices in the oil-rich region fuel the demand for cars in this part of the world.

  Car sales in the UAE alone rose by 18.7 percent in the first six months of this year, for a year-end forecast of 380,000 vehicles for 2013 which would translate into a 23 percent year on year increase, according to the motor show organizer.

  Car sales in the Middle East (excluding Egypt and North Africa) are pushed to new highs due to the lack of public transportation systems on the Arab peninsula. So far, only Dubai has a metro system, while the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi, Doha of Qatar, and Riyadh of Saudi Arabia just started with the construction of their own city metro networks.


Editor: An

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