In this issue, new Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.
T he Arab states were
T he Arab states were not always this peaceful. As we glide over the mirror-smooth tarmac strip that bisects the desert, there is a blissful calm inside the cabin of our Range Rover. Squalls of sand blow across the road, trying to build fresh dunes where we drive. Lonely road signs are already buried neck deep. For centuries this area was beset by tribal warring. But, a little more than 50 years ago, traditionally rival kingdoms made a momentous decision. At the desert palace of Samih, the leader of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed met with the ruler of his old rival Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, to propose the idea of a united nation that would end the conflicts. Eight days later, the leaders signed an agreement that led to the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. Since then, peace and rapid development have reigned. our way to trace the city’s rapid development. Our Range Rover is another innovator that’s come a long way in the last 50 years. Even as modern Dubai was born, it was redefining the very notion of the luxury SUV. Today, as with Dubai, it delivers the pinnacle of luxury. To get a taste of the Dubai of 1970, the year of the Range Rover’s birth, we head to the docks. Old Dubai always faced out to the sea, keeping the brutal desert behind it. The area was known for its piracy and its pearls and it fed on the waters of the Persian Gulf. The low fishermen’s houses of old Dubai were even constructed of blocks of coral taken from the sea. Those houses are long gone but the dhows – the large trading boats of the previous two centuries – survive, albeit these days transporting tourists up and down the Dubai Creek. The dock has a drowsy air, with workers sheltering from the harsh midday sun. The organic, curving wood of the boats is a contrast to the steel and glass corners of the modern city. Look across the dock and from the right angle the mix of low buildings and magnificent wooden boats give you an idea of what old Dubai must have looked like before skyscraper seeds were sown across the desert dunes. The sun is unrelenting and we’re glad to get back into the cool interior of the Range Rover and head off once more. “If I wanted to have a fresh start in life, Dubai is the place to be,“ says entrepreneur Ryan Gazder over an iced tea, as boats drift by. He was born in Muscat in neighbouring Oman, and is a prime example of the story of modern-day Dubai. Gazder arrived in the city in 2003 with a backpack and £100 in cash. Today, he lives in the Burj Khalifa, and is the founder of a food hospitality company that boasts a portfolio of projects in 45 countries. “I have seen the city transform in the past two decades,“ he smiles. “After travelling to 105 countries, I can say with certainty that the pace of innovation and evolution here is like no other city in the world.” DREAM BOAT The modernist lines of the Range Rover are framed by the curves of a dhow At that time not even the most visionary seers could have predicted that Dubai, the junior partner in the federation in terms of oil wealth, would one day be preparing to embrace blockchain technologies, prioritising renewables in construction, appointing a Minister of Happiness, creating the world’s first Hyperloop train networks and building 3D printed skyscrapers. Today it is home to thousands of square kilometres of opulent retail, hotel and office space. Fifty years ago the population was about 65,000. Today it’s edging past the three million mark, 85 per cent of whom are expats chasing the Dubai Dream. Dubai marks its arrival as a global megacity by hosting the World Expo. They are held every few years in different locations around the world to promote global trade and development and share culture. Dubai’s celebration – the first ever Expo to be held in the region – will host millions of visitors from across the world. We’re surrounded by the emirate’s vision of progress now, threading our way through the glittering skyscrapers of central Dubai on 58
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.