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Explore the creative gene in the UAE's custom automotive pool
I once saw a black 350 Z with a really cool white and red vector graphic running on the side. My friend owns one of these sports cars, but hers carries really cool spoilers. On Ras Al Khor Road one night, a pick up truck was just calling for attention with its blue, LED underbody lights. In the office, I used to spot a drop-top Honda S200, with its metallic blue car foil shining in the sun.
Car and motorbike customisation is certainly a growing trend in the UAE, which has one of the highest rates of car ownership per household worldwide.
You only need to take a look at the mushrooming car accessory shops in Satwa, Deira or Al Aweer in Dubai, Double Cola or BMW road in Sharjah or Mussafah in Abu Dhabi to know that vehicle customisation is becoming a growing trend in the UAE.
''The rise of hundreds of specialised shops is a testament to this cultural phenomenon; whether it's hydraulics to make your car literally bounce with joy, or trick doors and trunks which open in atypical, unexpected ways,'' Noah Levenson, Head of Business Development and Marketing at Carmudi, told Gulf News.
''Many people in the UAE want a one-of-a-kind vehicle to reflect their unique personalities, something which can only be accomplished through customisation. As is standard in the UAE, if you can dream it, you can build it,'' Levenson said.
When it comes to customising their car, petrolheads are only limited by their budget and imagination. A car lover may get body kits, Lamborghini-style doors, interior or exterior lighting, engine changes and more just to make his or her car stand out.
Of course we have seen some really lavish custom jobs for flashy cars, such as diamond encrusted rims with a Dh3,673,020 price tag or diamond encrusted gear knobs for Dh550,000. And who can forget the pure gold Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, the world's most expensive car, that was shown at the Dubai Motor Show two years ago?
In this year's Custom Show Emirates exhibit in Abu Dhabi, we got to see more of these amazing custom work. Here's a look at the top four custom trends.
Stickers or foils
If you want to get creative with your car without drastically affecting its resale value or going for a long-term paint commitment, then stickers are your best bet.
Racing stripes, polygon shapes, patterns, even the usual flames... you can even opt for a full body foil. These stickers give your car a whole new look and can even come in colours that actual car paints aren't available in.
What can I say? There's nothing as eye-catching as a car that is literally jumping for joy!
If you thought only high-end sports cars could get away with doors that swing up high, well, not anymore. Nowadays, even your every day Toyota can be outfitted to open up its cabins in the most exotic of ways.
Beasts on the streets
Themed bodies are also in, with everything from fanged bonnets to headlights that look like eyes. We've seen some car enthusiasts taking a more imaginative route with these vehicle themes - toward superheroes like Spiderman.
Find out ways to get that car speed you need