Drift Racing in Dubai

by Akhil Kalepu

Jul 6, 2017

Dubai Autodrome © Thor Jorgen Udvang | Dreamstime.com

Trends / Sports

Forewarning: Drift racing is illegal and extremely dangerous for participants and bystanders, in addition to being targeted by law enforcement. If you’re not trying to land in a UAE jail, stick to the legal venues like Dubai Autodrome, where many former street racers continue the sport in a safer environment.

Racing is an important part of Middle Eastern culture with horses and camels, but Dubai’s youth are more interested in motorsports than riding animals. Luxury cars are more and more commonplace in the United Arab Emirates, but even cash-strapped youth join the fun with a growing after-market scene. Visit any track and you’ll see three souped-up Nissans for every Lamborghini.

Unlike typical cars built for speed, drift racing is about style just as much as speed. Instead of completing the fastest lap time, drivers attempt to win points by sliding around curves and getting as close to the edge as long as they can maintain the skid. Watching the action is like seeing cars learn how to figure skate.

You’re probably not ready to attempt your own drift. Sliding requires serious skill and knowledge about the physics of driving, in addition to specialized cars that provide more power than your typical drag racer.

Thankfully for civilians, Dubai Autodrome has a program for low-speed drifting with custom cars designed specifically for tourists.

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