Car culture in the Middle East is serious business. All over the region, motoring enthusiasts gather at their favorite coffee shops, with their prized cars parked outside, passionately discussing their favorite subject.
I’m sure many of you have bought a car recently. What do you remember about the showroom? Was it a place you wanted to spend time? Of course, the cars came first, but is the actual location somewhere you look forward to going? In this editor's experience, it's certainly not.
It’s with this in mind that Porsche has launched the Porsche Studio across the world, with the first appearing in Beirut this year. Similar to “Porsche on Sylt” and the “Porsche Studio Guangzhou”, the new site in the Lebanese capital tries to re-approach the way sales are made—putting a studio directly in the city centre, and giving the area a completely different feel. In many ways, with the music, lounge areas, coffee bar and mini-museum, it finally makes the nitty-gritty process of visiting the showroom to buy a car close to the feeling of owning one. Especially when Porsche is concerned—a car that, it’s no secret, this editor has a soft spot for—this does the brand right.
Having the opportunity to visit the new location, it was a surprisingly vibrant environment, with car collectors from across the country there to talk about their favorite models, and which one they are thinking of adding to their collection next. These were not just customers—these were fans. Why shouldn’t a brand like Porsche give them a place to express that? Gone was the sterile feeling of the traditional showroom. Now for the details: The Porsche Studio Beirut is centrally located in the Solidaire shopping district, covering an area of over 300 square metres.
The entire range of vehicles is available for customers to take for a test drive. If a customer is interested in making a purchase, their choice of car can be customised in the on-site Trimming & Configuration Labs and supplemented with items from Exclusive Manufaktur. The Porsche Studio works closely with the existing Porsche Centre in Beirut, also making it possible to purchase vehicles directly on site. It is a welcome and necessary edition for the evolution of the region’s car culture. This editor has just one question left: When is the rest of the region going to get their own?