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Corvette UAE Club - Gulf Racers

More than 7,000 miles from Detroit, the CUC keeps the Corvette flame alight.

Christopher R. Phillip Oct 2, 2012
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They cruise their stock and supercharged Corvettes on the highway at 75 mph, well aware that any speed in excess of 88 mph will set off unmanned radar devices.

Merging onto surface roads, they pass familiar restaurant chains--Subway, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and T.G.I. Fridays--and set their planned trajectory for end-of-the-work-week street cruising, which keeps them tapping their throttles well into the night.

They join a local Corvette club to assemble with like-minded hobbyists, where they compare bragging rights and teach each other how to enjoy the Corvette responsibly.

If this sounds like Corvette hobbyists in big and small cities all across America, guess again. You see, Chevy's flagship sports car is the latest all-American icon to take root in foreign soil. Case in point: It's now the coolest car to own in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a federation of seven principalities, or emirates, arrayed along the southeastern portion of the Persian Gulf.

In 2007, a close-knit group of Corvette owners in the UAE formed what could possibly be the coolest Corvette club in the Middle East. It's called the Corvette UAE Club, or CUC for short, and its mission, "Driving for Good," proactively encourages the community to be aware of the importance of driving safety.

Since March 2008, CUC has sponsored and promoted 20 separate social, educational, sporting, or humanitarian events, all using the Corvette as its bullhorn. "First and foremost, our events address safety and road ethics," CUC board member Osama Khalid says. "We oppose illegal street racing, speeding, and burnouts. If you want to race, that's great, but do it on a track and not on a highway.

"The Corvette attracts people. When they see us follow the rules in our Corvettes, they are more likely to do the same in their cars," he adds.

The Corvette UAE Club is also very proud of its high-horsepower humanitarian efforts. "My favorite example is our legendary event in Dubai, when we took 29 Down syndrome children to the world-famous Atlantis the Palm resort," Khalid reveals. "The Dubai government officials were supportive, the police arranged our path to the venue…and each child rode as a passenger in a club member's Corvette. Once at Atlantis, [the children] enjoyed a tour of the resort and its Lost Chambers aquarium, where 65,000 marine animals--including eels, seahorses, piranhas, and sharks--surrounded them.

"We aim to build a unified community with our members and convey the message that the Corvette is a unique racing car, and [that] its owners project the class and grandeur that this car truly stands for. Though our primary form of communication with Corvette enthusiasts across the globe is via Internet forums and blogs, we hope they come visit us when their travels bring them to the UAE."

Follow along in the accompanying photos, as we spotlight some of the club's more interesting moments.



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