Arabian Gazelles, Dubai's all-female supercar club - Photo

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Not that long ago, Hanan Mazouzi Sobati faced flagrant sexism at track days in Dubai. An ardent petrolhead, Sobati would go to drive her sports car fast -- really fast -- but many of the overwhelmingly male drivers couldn't see past her gender.

Axar.az reports citing CNN.

"They always thought I was someone else, accompanying someone. I was just there to support him, or to sit in the passenger seat," she recalls. "(It's) as if they didn't see me."

Fellow enthusiast Jalyn Jarvi echoes the sentiment. "You pull up and they expect you to be somebody's girlfriend or wife," she adds. "Everybody's staring at you and it's a little bit uncomfortable."

"It started hitting me that not only they don't expect you to be there, you're not really welcome," says Sobati. Amid the engine noise and tire smoke, an idea was sparked -- one that would become the Arabian Gazelles, Dubai's first all-female supercar club.

To many, Dubai appears an Instagram-ready vision of superstars and fast cars; an adult Disneyland of wish fulfillment where the sun always shines. "You come here to make money," says Jarvi, an international airline captain originally from the US. "You're here for a reason, and you might as well enjoy it."

Jarvi grew up dreaming of owning a Porsche to roaring around the Emirates in a Ferrari 599 with 620 horsepower under the hood. Uber-wealth allows some to indulge their four-wheeled fantasies, while a desire for the latest models has given birth to a bumper used supercar market, providing opportunities for others. (One need only look at local classified ad site Dubizzle for a taste.) "Cars are 50% the prices of other major cities," says Jarvi. "Of course I'm going buy a sports car. You're stupid not to."

2019.02.02 / 22:56
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