ou’re in the oil business, so the car park at work must be full of exotics?
I think my Z4 holds its own. My boss drives a maroon BMW M6, so mine looks like its little cousin. It gets a lot of compliments, but most people assume it was a gift from my dad so I never miss the chance to remind them it was lots of hard work that paid for it.
I’m a very ‘girly girl’, and an engineer, so I like my cars to be glamorous yet practical. German engineering and design is impressive so I’m a big fan of BMW and Audi.
What was your first car?
It was a Yaris while I was in college. It had barely enough power, but allowed me to explore California. But the first car I truly wanted was a Land Rover Discovery.
I took over our family car, a Land Cruiser, and thanks to that I can parallel park anything.
And your earliest memory of being in a car?
I remember sitting on my dad’s lap in his red convertible Peugeot driving down California’s Pacific Coast Highway when I was five.
And now you have a red convertible of your own! How does it make you feel?
Absolutely fantastic. There is no bigger stress buster than driving down Shaikh Zayed Road with the top down and with music blasting out of the speakers. Only people who own convertibles can truly understand the thrill.
But the roof will probably stay on now the summer is here…
You have about four months of the year where you can’t take the roof down. That being said, the other eight months of the year more than make up for it. Besides, it’s a hard-top convertible, so the heat stays out.
You’ve given it a special name, right?
Yes, it’s called Laila. It’s a pretty and curvy car and since I’m a big fan of Bollywood, I named it after a popular song.
So, where did you find Laila?
I was test-driving a lot of cars but I knew I wanted something German. I almost settled on a BMW 3 Series Convertible, but when I saw the Z4 at the Dubai motor show, I knew that was it. It took me another six months to save up, and I bought it for my 23rd birthday, so it’s been mine for almost a year.
What in particular made you buy it?
I needed a car for daily driving so I didn’t really need more than two seats. Our Land Cruiser was a bit too thirsty fuel wise and I wanted something a bit more thrifty. The Z4 only needs about Dh80 of fuel a week and I got it at a price that didn’t blow my budget.
It has a 2.5-litre engine mated to an automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. In sports mode it really improves the performance. It also comes fully equipped with a GPS, CD-changer and car phone. The surprise feature for me was the internal hard drive for my music collection. I think it’s a great car for women and there is plenty of trunk space for shopping bags!
What’s it like to drive?
It’s extremely smooth and responsive. It has a great turning circle and though the long bonnet and short boot make parking a little difficult, you soon get used to it. My only complaint is that it’s bit harsh on bumpy roads.
It gets a lot of attention, and so often I find people posing for photographs next to it.
Are you part of any car clubs?
No, but I would love to be part of a female car enthusiasts’ club. Perhaps somewhere where we can exchange ideas on how to maintain our cars and do a quick service ourselves.
What is your dream car?
Would it be too pretentious to say that I bought my dream car at 23? I think it’s hard to have one dream car, but the Z4 suits me perfectly at this point in life. I think the next goal is to assemble a dream garage by age 30. It would include an X5 M for weekends, a fully loaded Land Cruiser for off-roading, a Toyota Prius or Chevy Volt for the environmentalist in me, and an American muscle car. And to top it all off, a Ferrari California.