Tesla Comes To The GCC

As of December 2016, Tesla has sold over 186,000 electric cars worldwide since delivery of its first Tesla Roadster in 2008. The company has a goal of producing 500,000 cars annually in 2018.

Following the company’s official entrance into the Dubai market, the Dubai Road & Transport Authority announced that it would be purchasing 200 of Tesla’s Model S sedans and Model X SUVs for use by the Dubai Taxi Corporation — the official taxi service operator in the emirate.

The new purchase agreement was signed “on the sidelines of a summit in Dubai,” with Tesla’s Elon Musk and the Road & Transport Authority’s Chairman Mattar Al Tayer.

California-based Tesla is accepting online orders from customers in the United Arab Emirates, a pop-up store in the Dubai Mall and a Tesla service center being built on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, which is due to open in July.

Founder Elon Musk said that Tesla will open a store and service center in Abu Dhabi in 2018 and plans to expand to Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

Musk declined to elaborate on his wider plans or timeline for expansion outside the UAE at a press conference in Dubai.

Pricing in the region starts at 275,000 dirhams (~$75,000) for the Model S, and 344,000 dirhams for the Model X – not very different from the company’s pricing anywhere else. Presumably, the only differences from the US are due to shipping and import taxes/fees.

Deliveries to the region are expected to begin by July.

Tesla will open a store and service center in Abu Dhabi in 2018 and plans to expand to Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.


18 interesting facts about Tesla owner Elon Musk:

1. He was born in South Africa in 1971. His father was an engineer and his mother a nutritionist from Canada.

2. Musk got interested in computers at the age of 12 and wrote the code for his own video game – the first product he ever sold.

3. He emigrated to Canada in 1989 aged 17 to attend university, then moved to the USA in 1992 after getting a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania where he earned degrees in economics and physics.

4. In 1995 he enrolled at Stanford University to pursue a PhD in energy physics. However, he only attended the school for two days before dropping out to start his first company, providing online content publishing software for news organizations which he sold in 1999 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options. He used his income to start new companies, including what was to become PayPal.

5. Musk met his first wife, Justine. They married in 2000.

6. In 2002, he sold PayPal to eBay for US$1.5 billion in stock.

7. In 2002, Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, with the goal of building spacecraft for commercial space travel. SpaceX develops and manufactures space launch vehicles with a focus on advancing the state of rocket technology.

8. His entry into the automobile industry came in the form of Tesla Motors. Despite popular belief, Musk was not a co-founder of the company.

9. Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering in June 2010, raising $226 million.

10. In 2006, Elon Musk co-founded SolarCity, a photovoltaics products and services company with his cousin Lyndon River. He says he got his inspiration after attending the Burning Man festival in Nevada.

11. SpaceX was awarded a $1.6 billion NASA contract in 2008, for 12 flights of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station, replacing the Space Shuttle after it retired in 2011.

12. Musk and his first wife, Justine, divorced in 2008. Their first child was a boy named Nevada Alexander. Unfortunately, he died of SIDS when he was 10 weeks old. Musk has five children, all boys: a set of twins and one of triplets. He shares custody with Justine.

13. Elon Musk’s second wife was British actress Talulah Riley. They married in 2010 and divorced two years later. Musk later tweeted to Riley, “It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day.”

14. Musk was the inspiration for genius billionaire Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies. The SpaceX factory was used as a filming location for Iron Man 2, and Musk has a cameo in the movie

15. Forbes listed Musk as one of “America’s 20 Most Powerful CEOs 40 And Under”. He was also named as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire magazine.

16. Musk has described himself as a workaholic able to work up to 100 hours per week running Tesla Motors and SpaceX if needed.

17. The Hyperloop, a revolutionary transportation system that will transport people between Dubai and Abu Dhabi at hyper speed using pressurized tubes, was conceived and designed by Elon Musk.

18. According to Forbes, Musk’s net worth in 2013 was $6.7 billion.