When a Middle East drift champion takes his 1,200hp drift car to the streets of Dubai, you wish the streets had VIP seats.
As a drift enthusiast, whenever I’m driving through the city, taking loops and crossing bridges, I always imagine and ask myself .. “How would it be like to drift this?” But then, I just keep that in my imagination, as I know there is no chance of that happening, unless I wanted to end up in handcuffs.
On a Sunday morning, my phone rings, and it’s my friend Ahmad Daham. For those of you who are not familiar with the name, Ahmad Daham is a multiple Middle East drift champion, and he has proven his name in the drift community being the guy you can’t watch drifting while being seated.
So the conversation went a bit like this ..
“Ahmad: Hey, any interesting streets in Dubai we could drift around?
Abdulla: Excuse me? … Drift? In the street?
Ahmad: Yep, we’re doing a video, and you gotta come.
Abdulla: Oh I’m so down.“
Next thing I know, I’m meeting up with Ahmad and his 1,200hp 2JZ powered Nissan Silvia at Ras Al Khor, as he was ready to tear up the streets.
Our friends from Case Productions flew in from Turkey for two sleepless days, to film one of the most badass things I’ve ever seen happening in town.
Why is this video happening?
This whole project is about Ahmad helping a friend of his pick up a package, which just arrived. And that needed to be done asap.
On the filming set I was speaking with Aramex’s Marketing Manager, Christian Pedersen and he explained to me the reason why they chose drifting in their campaign. There has been a great demand for automotive parts orders through Shop & Ship in the past couple of years. I’m not surprised, because I myself have used their service a few times to fly in Automotive parts for #ProjectBlack. Also, Drifting is the most growing motorsport amongst enthusiasts who tune or modify their cars.
Shop & Ship being partners with Red Bull Car Park Drift series, connected them with Red Bull’s athlete Daham, making him the ideal character for this project.
Camera rolling.. Action!
The filming happened over two days, where the first day had only four hours of filming the intro, where Ahmad is working at a garage, as he gets the call from his friend “Tom”, so Ahmad suits up, wakes up his drift Silvia with some anti-lag and gets unleashed on the streets of Dubai, starting at Ras Al Khor.
Day one is done. But that was the easiest part of the whole thing …
On the second beefy day of filming, an early 4:30 AM start at Baniyas road, where I’ve never heard Dubai being so quiet… until Daham showed up. I never thought I’d be able to see him with his Red Bull livery drift car driving on public roads, and that turned up my excitement to the max. Again, reality check – 1,200 hp Silvia with Ahmad Daham on the streets of Dubai. Oh. My. God.
It was sensational, sitting in the back of a pick up truck with the filming crew, seeing that Silvia accelerating and spitting flames from its hood’s wastegate exhaust. We were all happy to be there and it totally got our mind off the heat.
This scenario got repeated throughout the day while jumping from location to location, even on Sheikh Zayed Road. So a police patrol car, the pickup truck, and then Ahmad Daham either drifting, or accelerating with the loudest pops and crackles you can hear coming from this turbo anti-lag system.
The smiles and giggles weren’t only coming from us on set, but wherever we go, every time I look at a spectator who was lucky to be there, they were either holding up their phones to film, or just staring in anxiousness to see what’s going to happen next.
The drifting and driving happened at some of the most iconic and important places around Dubai, so the filming was very critical, and time sensitive.
Every time we hear Ahmad downshifting and getting ready to initiate a drift, every one was so certain and sure how he will be doing it from first try, leaving tire marks on fresh grounds, which gave the video a proper amount of skills.
Being in one of the safest countries of the world, rules can be strict, even if you had the right permits and a police escort. The words “No drifting” were repeatedly being heard throughout the day at numerous locations, where unfortunately Ahmad wasn’t being given the green light to create clouds.
It took the team the total of 20 hours to complete filming this project, and you gotta say, the result is simply kickass. I know I’m super happy.
At the end, special thanks goes to Dubai Police for helping on the set, Red Bull for the energy, an appreciation to every one who was involved in filming and to Aramex for making all of this possible.
Remember, you shouldn’t be doing any of these stunts as they were all practiced, done with proper permits, by a professional driver with safe closure of roads.
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