‘The boy racer in me was itch­ing to let loose’

Tom Mul­vi­hill felt like an A-lis­ter driv­ing a Lam­borgh­ini in Dubai, zoom­ing past gleam­ing land­marks and camels

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - FRONT PAGE -

Iput a ten­ta­tive foot to the pedal and gen­tly pressed. The en­gine emit­ted a feral, high-pitched roar and the car pounced for­ward with a fe­roc­ity that brought my other foot slam­ming down on the brake. With feather-light touch I tried again and, with more suc­cess this time, slipped out of the park­ing bay to join a con­voy of gleam­ing Lam­borgh­i­nis as we eased on to Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.

I was be­hind the wheel of a Lam­borgh­ini Hu­racán, one of four lux­ury su­per­cars avail­able to drive through Wal­dorf As­to­ria’s Lux­ury Ex­pe­ri­ences pro­gramme – a thrilling chance to ex­plore the cities and desert of the UAE at full throt­tle.

The ex­pe­ri­ence is not ex­clu­sive to the Emi­rates; it’s also avail­able to guests at Wal­dorf ho­tels in the traf­fic-snarled cities of Rome, Paris and Ed­in­burgh.

Yet none of th­ese des­ti­na­tions seems more suit­able than this flam­boy­ant me­trop­o­lis, which ap­pears as flash, brash, and un­apolo­get­i­cally os­ten­ta­tious as the Lam­bos.

Within sec­onds of emerg­ing onto the road that en­cir­cles the palm tree-shaped penin­sula, I was start­ing to get a feel for the car’s power and con­trols, and the boy racer in me was itch­ing to let loose. But first we had to ne­go­ti­ate the speed bumps.

The Palm is rid­dled with vi­cious, un­for­giv­ing ridges spaced ev­ery few me­tres along the road, and the low-slung su­per­cars were im­me­di­ately slowed to a crawl. It was in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing, mov­ing at a snail’s pace in a car with a top speed of 200mph, but it was also a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the other side of the Lambo ex­pe­ri­ence: the un­bri­dled ad­mi­ra­tion of pedes­tri­ans and lesser mo­torists.

At the sound of the car’s V10 en­gine, the sight­seers turned their cam­eras from the city’s tow­er­ing sky­line to cap­ture me in­stead. Other driv­ers leaned on their horns as we passed, and jos­tled with each other to pull up along­side for a bet­ter glimpse. We ex­ited the penin­sula feel­ing like A-list celebri­ties caught in the glare of the pa­parazzi.

We were now out on Sheikh Zayed Road – one of Dubai’s main ar­ter­ies – and speed­ing to­wards the Down­town

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