More than 15,000 people from across the region attended the festival over two days last weekend, more than double last year’s two-day crowd of more than 7,000. This year’s festival was themed ‘Porsche Icons, Safari Edition’, aligning with the taste for off-road adventure of fans and enthusiasts in the Middle East region. The second performance of the popular festival was held at ‘The Slab’ in the Dubai Design District (D3) of Dubai, UAE on 26 and 27 November 2022, alongside the spectacular skyline of Downtown Dubai.
The expanded 31,000 square foot venue hosted numerous cars, displayed between five different zones, each featuring a different theme and catering to the diverse audience in attendance. The 2023 edition of the Icons of Porsche festival, which will celebrate 75 years of Porsche Sportscars, is scheduled to take place on November 18-19, 2023.
“Everyone involved in Icons of Porsche is overwhelmed by the increase in the number of visitors who attended this year’s festival,” said Dr. Manfred Bräunl, CEO of Porsche Middle East and Africa.
“In just two years, Icons of Porsche has gone from nothing to becoming the biggest car festival in the Middle East in terms of Porsche cars on site. It’s fascinating to see the excitement between the big and diverse crowd in attendance. In true festival style, there are all sorts of subjects on display for people to see and enjoy. I’m especially pleased to see interest in Porsche icons growing not only across the region, but also all over the world. This year we had many tourists and journalists from Europe and other continents. This encourages the event to continue to grow even more. Porsche Icons shows how strong the passion for Porsche is among people of all ages . That’s why we immediately announced the 2023 date so everyone can mark this weekend in their calendar 12 months in advance. The mix of classic cars, art and culture on display at Icons of Porsche seems to fit the bill very well not only for the Porsche brand, but also for this region. It was great to not only have so many fans and enthusiasts in attendance, but also key personnel from our Porsche importers across the Middle East, Africa and India. I must thank all the staff involved in making this event such a success, and especially our importers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for their commitment to making this festival a success.”
The festival hosted the regional premiere of the 911 Dakar, the 911 GT3 RS and the 911 Sport Classic. Racing legends such as Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and six-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Jacky Ickx were in attendance. Fans were able to experience thrilling rides in the latest Cayenne on a purpose-built off-road track within the event grounds. Newly restored first-generation Cayennes were also on display as part of the region’s celebration of 20 years of Cayenne.
Camel comes to life at Icons of Porsche
The Porsche icons also saw the unveiling of the ‘Safari Camel’, the ‘real life’ recreation of a famous artwork by renowned digital artist Chris Labrooy. The ‘Safari Camel’ was one of the most popular features of the festival, attracting fans of all kinds. The “Safari Camel” was one of several spectacular works of art on display at Icons of Porsche.
The Porsche Museum comes to Dubai
Four classic sports cars from the Porsche Museum have made the journey from Stuttgart to Dubai for Icons of Porsche this year; 1986 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar, 1981 Porsche 911 C 5 (SC) San Remo, 1981 Porsche 924 GTS Rallye and 1978 Porsche 911 SC Safari.
Just as impressive was the array of cars from the region on display. Many cars from local Middle Eastern owners were displayed in the five venues of the festival. In addition to this, numerous cars of Porsche owners, including many arriving in convoys organized by Porsche clubs, were parked in the event grounds.
About Chris Labrooy
After graduating from RCA with a Masters in Product Design, Chris began using 3D software as a simple tool to visualize ideas for furniture. As 3D technology and hardware evolved, Chris saw an opportunity to explore CGI as a creative medium, through which he found the freedom to subvert and twist familiar everyday objects into new typographic and sculptural forms. With particular obsessions with cars, Chris creates projects that convey his unique and enthusiastic perspective on global car culture. Based in Scotland, Chris Labrooy’s work can be seen in the UK, Europe and the US.