Inside one of the many industrial areas in Dubai lies a rather nondescript warehouse. Actually, it’s a series of internally linked warehouses but the façade is as bland and grey as the multitude of identical bland and grey warehouses that surround it. So move along, there’s nothing to see here. But inside these walls lies Parc Fermé, an Aladdin’s cave of automotive jewels.
Established back in November 2012, Parc Fermé has quickly become a market leader in car storage, not only in the UAE, but on a GCC level. However, to simply refer to it as a ‘car storage facility’ would be somewhat of an understatement. It’s more like a hotel and spa for cars with an on-site concierge to assist with travel arrangements and individual requests. It is also completely closed to the public. Sorry, club members only.
The fully air-conditioned facility houses up to 200 privately owned vehicles ranging from vintage classics to modern hyper-cars and everything in between. Each car is treated as individually as each client but a general cycle of cleaning, fluid checks, engine starts, warm-ups, trickle charging and maintenance is performed by the staff here to ensure each car is fully functional when the client requires it.
Parc Fermé also takes care of annual registration, insurance and even delivering some of the newer cars to service at the dealership. In essence, it’s a one-stop, headache and hassle-free solution for many of its clients.
According to managing director Motaz Abu-Hijleh, who has kindly granted us access to some (but not all) of the areas in Parc Fermé – there’s a definite seasonal rotation of cars due to the incredibly harsh summers in the region. Classic cars are more sensitive to the heat and suffer irreversible damage if not maintained properly.
Brittle plastics, window rubbers and old leather don’t have quite the durability of the modern, chemically treated equivalent. For many clients, then, complete summer storage of their classic in a climate controlled environment – with a trained automotive masseuse pampering their pride and joy – is a prerequisite if they wish to protect their investment and enjoy driving it throughout the cooler months.
The modern hybrid hyper-cars require a different sort of care and attention to maintain optimum battery condition and peak performance. Here Parc Fermé works directly with several high-end manufacturers and the manufacturers depend on Parc Fermé for feedback and statistical information to ensure ‘best practice’ regarding keeping the vehicles in top-notch condition. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship and ensures the owner of the vehicle is the ultimate winner.
As previously mentioned, the scope of Parc Fermé goes far and beyond ‘simple’ car storage. Arriving at Abu Dhabi airport and want your Ferrari LaFerrari waiting for you? No problem. Need your McLaren P1 in Riyadh at the weekend? No worries. Heading to London next week and want to be driving your own Porsche 918 Spyder? No issues. Parc Fermé relocates about 40 cars per year by air travel, satisfying its clients’ needs to enjoy their specific car when and where they need it. Which I suppose takes the headache out of renting a small diesel hatchback when you are on holiday. And this is only the tip of the logistical iceberg of services the company undertakes for its clients.
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The key element in this business is, therefore, trust. Some clients store one car here, perhaps a classic with priceless sentimental value. Some owners store their complete car collection here. But every car is treated individually. Each car is insured at market value. Every car has its own maintenance and pampering regime, which is tailored to both vehicle and owner requirements. It really is more like a one-stop automotive hotel and spa.