Ken Block revealed yesterday the 8th installment of Gymkhana which was shot in Dubai. I was there when Block was shooting the Gymkhana and I even got to meet him during the unveiling of Ford’s all-new GT supercar at the Dubai Motor Show.
Gymkhana 8 is amazing and has everything you want to see in Dubai. I loved the donuts around the fleet of super-police cars and underneath the plane, the drag race with a Veyron, Ferrari F12, Lexus LFA and Lamborghini Aventador and the tricks he pulled on Sheikh Zayed road with the huge Ford Raptor SVT (I love that truck!).
My favorite Gymkhana is still though the Los Angeles one where Block drove a monstrous 845 HP All-wheel drive 1965 Ford Mustang. Now what would be awesome is to have a Gymkhana Beirut edition. I know it’s a long shot but our roads are ideal for a Gymkhana, from the city to the mountains. If Block needs an extra special reason to come here, We can even ask the cops to drift along Block with their Chargers, how cool would that be? 😛
I stopped going to the Mecanique years ago after hearing the horror stories of waiting for 4+ hours in line added to the fact that there’s wasta everywhere. More importantly, cars are not inspected properly and we can clearly see that from all these half-wrecked vehicles with barely any lights and a missing door that shouldn’t be allowed on the road.
This year, my friend went to have his car checked but it failed because one of the tires, so he bribed one of the guys there and his car passed. I told him he should have filmed the whole thing. Luckily enough, MTV went there and filmed how the bribes happen.
By the way, don’t ever try to fix your car in the garages outside the Mecanique in Hadath because most of them will rip you off or ruin your car. Some might even charge u ridiculous amounts for changing ur brakes and threaten you if you don’t pay.
Update: the demo was cancelled as the cabinet has approved the construction of a U-shaped bridge on the Jal el-Dib highway.
It’s been three years now that the Jal el Dib bridge got dismantled and there are still no plans to build a new one. Jal el Dib Residents still want a new bridge and they are going back to the streets to protest tomorrow at 6PM. To be honest, I think they have every right to demand a new bridge and they’ve been suffering for 3 years now but blocking roads at 6PM on a Thursday is disastrous and people will start cursing them instead of supporting them.
I recommend you stay in Beirut and enjoy happy hour in Mar Mikhael or Uruguay street till the protest is over.
I was running late two days ago and the Dbayyeh maritime road was jammed so I thought of taking the highway but it turned out to be much worse so I tried to take back the maritime road near Golden Beach hotel. Unfortunately, the small road that takes you back to the maritime road was closed so I had to go backwards or take the inside roads of Antelias and get stuck there forever.
As I was stuck there wondering what to do, some guy was standing in front of the Golden Beach underground parking and letting cars in for some reason, and the policeman wouldn’t let me go back so I had no choice but to go in as well and took the “wasta shortcut” road by mistake. It looks like one of those roads that criminals use to smuggle things but it did the trick and saved me 30 minutes of morning traffic lol!
What I also found out about is that we have a new “Super wasta road”, or what I call “3aj2a maker” for army men and the ISF which I highlighted in orange. I’ve been begging the ISF on Twitter for months to close down these roads because they cause more traffic but we got an extra one instead. Most of our traffic problems in Lebanon are due to these small shortcuts and tiny roads, and people who overtake and create new lanes, yet no one wants to tackle this problem.
A 1968 USSR Study for establishing a metro in Beirut was shared few days ago by Nabil Nakkash, A Lebanese Transport Systems Engineer. The hand-drawn graphics show clearly the suggested metro lines for the city including typical cross sections, ridership numbers as well as the estimated cost (250-280 Million USD).
Of course a lot of Lebanese don’t believe that it’s possible to set up a metro in Beirut with the lack of urban planning and the poor infrastructure and road network but I agree with Nakkash here that “engineering is never the problem with such projects”. Our problem here is with the corrupt political class and the incompetent ministries.
I shared a couple of pictures but I highly recommend you check out the full article [here] as it contains tons of graphics and more info.
PS: I cannot confirm the authenticity of this study entitled “The evaluation of the possibility and necessity of the organization of the metropolitan (METRO) for the city of Beirut” as this is the first time I hear about it but it looks genuine to me. While looking online, I found two other studies related to urban planning in Beirut, a study done in the 1980s that includes a metro network and another by French architect and urban planner Michel Ecochard back in the 1960s. Apparently, Ecochard worked on the first ever master plan for Beirut.
The road conditions are bad tonight as the storm has just kicked in and it’s raining everywhere, so I urge everyone to drive carefully if they are headed to the mountains and to avoid driving after the party especially if they’ve been drinking.
Let’s try to make this NYE an accident-free night and forbid anyone from driving back home if their car is not equipped for slippery roads or if they are under the influence of alcohol. It’s very easy to call a cab or order an Uber these days so let’s make good use of it.
Unfortunately there are no free-taxi initiatives this year, or at least none that I heard of but that’s not an excuse not to call a cab if you can’t drive back. “ما تكون بلا راس السنة” and take a taxi if you must wou 3a 2bel ma nchoufak bil 2016!
Happy New Year Everyone!
I reproduced this poster from Almaza from last year and replaced 2015 with 2016
Meeting Ken Block and the unveiling of Ford’s all-new GT supercar at the Dubai Motor Show were the highlight of my trip to Dubai earlier this month. It was my first time at the Dubai Motor Show and I would definitely come back a second time. The whole experience with Ford & Lincoln was great, the events were pretty awesome and well-organized, the team was very helpful and the Dubai Motor Show has all the cool and newest cars you could think of.
Going back to meeting Block, I’m a big fan of Ken Block’s Gymkhanas as they keep getting better and better. In the most recent one, Block was driving a monstrous 845 HP All-wheel drive 1965 Ford Mustang in the streets of Los Angeles and the video was insane! I’m hoping that I will go for a drift with him one day or experience how a Gymkhana is being filmed. He’s a cool and down to earth guy by the way.
I met Block briefly before the reveal of Ford’s all-new GT supercar which was one of the most anticipated cars at the 2015 Dubai Motor Show. The super-car is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with up to 700 HP. Ford is planning to take the GT to next year’s Le Mans race to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, and they’re hoping to dominate the sport just like they did in the late 1960s.
Here’s a list of my favorite cars from the 2015 Dubai Motor Show, starting with the Ford GT of course!
The Fenyr Supersport is W Motor’s second supercar and it looks really promising. I’m eager to see it perform on a track.
The “Traffic” feature on Google Maps shows current traffic conditions on highways and roads but it is not available in Lebanon and several other countries. I always thought that Google didn’t have enough data to activate this feature but that’s not the case apparently. In fact, Google has enough data as it uses crowd-sourcing from people driving around and sharing their location, pretty much like Tari2ak works, and my friend Rita el Khoury figured out a work-around to activate Traffic view in Beirut.
Here’s what you need to do:
1- Open Google Maps. If you try to activate Traffic in the left menu for Lebanon, you won’t be able to.
2- Scroll to a nearby country (like Turkey or KSA for example), where Google Traffic is available and activate it.
3- Once you see the colored roads, move back to Beirut et voila! You will have Google Traffic for Lebanon.
I tried it this morning and it was pretty accurate and useful.
What’s great about this work around is that it will keep on working even if you exit Google Maps or restart the device. However if you try to click on the Traffic option while over Lebanon it will stop.
PS: If your Google account is not set up for Lebanon, you can activate it directly and it should work. My friend just tried it.
All the Lebanese drivers were wearing seat belts, driving carefully and not using their mobiles yesterday all because of a voice note that was sent to some guy called Maurice. No one knows if it’s a joke or not, but somehow everyone believed the story and became a better driver.
Maybe that’s what we need to make the new traffic law work, a new Maurice every week.
Here’s the original voice note:
And the one that followed:
And one of the many hilarious voice notes that followed:
Someone also shared a traffic fine addressed to Maurice lol!
The Fenyr Supersport won’t be as exclusive as its predecessor as 25 units will be produced and the price tag will be around $1.6 million but that’s not confirmed yet. The car is powered with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter flat six-cylinder engine and develops almost 900 horsepower (vs 770 hp for Lykan). The Fenyr Supersport can get from 0 to 100 in 2.7 seconds (vs 2.8 seconds for the Lykan) and has a top speed exceeding 400km/h or 248 mph (vs 245 mph for the Lykan). The whole car-body “is crafted out of carbon fiber and complemented by a tubular light-weight aluminium chassis”.
The Fenyr looks awesome but I hope we will get to see it perform on a track, unlike the Lykan Hypersport which we’ve only seen in pictures and flying through buildings in the last Fast & Furious movie.
Here’s how the Fenyr compares to other super-cars:
Fenyr Supersport: V6 4.0 liter 900hp 0 -100: 2.7s top speed: 400 kph LaFerrari: V12 6.3 litres 963hp 0-100: Less than 3s top speed: 350 kph Bugatti Veyron: W16 8.0 litres 1,001hp 0-100: 2.7s top speed: 407 kph Lamborghini Veneno Roadster: V12 750hp 0-60: 2.9s Top Speed: 355 kph
Here are few exclusive shots that I took at the Dubai Motor Show yesterday right after the official unveiling. The interior wasn’t revealed yet by the way.
And this is a picture of the old Lykan, the closest thing to the Batmobile.