‘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
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