The Icons of Porsche event returned to the Design District of Dubai in November 2023 for a weekend celebrating Porsche cars, culture and art.  This year the event celebrated the 75th anniversary of Porsche and sixty years of the 911.

The two day event was run by Porsche Middle East and supported by the local Porsche club and Stuttgart, who sent some gems from their collection to display. Direct from the museum was a 550 Spyder and the first ever 930 Turbo. Alongside the latter was a one off Turbo re- edition sporting a modern take on the original tartan interior and side stripes of turbo no 1.  We like that. Spotting a Pasha trimmed car in the herd of porkers also brought on the smiles. We have a story on that too.

The queue of Porsches trying to enter the event was only surpassed by the public waiting for the 4pm event start. Word since last year had clearly got round with attendance almost doubling from 2022. The wait did provide an opportunity to play Porsche Top Trumps in the traffic. 

 

The event arena was laid out so modern metal went to the left and classics to the right. Much as the new stuff is impressive it was the classic aircooled cars that won for style and number of selfies taken.

 

     

Tucked at the back was a trio of motorsport specials. When it comes to icons the 917, in Gulf colours is pretty much God tier status.  The same weekend as Icons, Max Verstappen was setting new records in F1. In 1971 another Dutch race ace was setting records in a 917. Gijs Van Lennep  won  Le Mans with none other than Helmut Marko of Red Bull notoriety. (motorsport is a small world). Their victory in Martini liveried car no 22 set a distance record unsurpassed for 39 years.

Also present was this RS Spyder. The RS Spyder was three times championship winner of the American Le Mans Series and twice a class winner at Le Mans.

Plus this 963 in 75 years of Porsche livery by Penske. The stripes representing the colours of Porsche endurance racers through the years. This was one of three racing in this years Le Mans Hypercar class. They suffered a torrid time, with two of the three cars out early.

There was a great display of modern 911 models that reflected a Porsche nuclear arms race of specs building, from the turbo to the R and every style of GT  from GT2, GT3 GT3RS GT4 GT4RS, 918…. and tuner models from Manthey and Ruf. If there was a Singer, I missed it.

 Merchandise was on offer from Porsche,  Tag Heuer,  (still mercilessly milking their Steve McQueen connection) and Porsche Design, who  showcased a range of watches including the 911 ST chronograph. It will only be offered to the lucky few purchasing the new limited edition ( yes, another one)  911 S/T. Coming in at over £200,000 for the car there is another nine thousand to pay for the watch. Both will instantly climb in value. The staff at Porsche Design were a great bunch, very happy to show off their wares. No sign of  the advent calendar though.

 YouTuber Mr JWW returned to the stage to act as host and guide you through guest speakers and Porsche models. If there was one gripe, more seating around the stage would be good for next year, 

The event also offered a look at the new revised Panamera. Housed in its own display centre, the ‘Panamera Cube’.  The long queues to go inside put me off close examination of this more chiselled, third generation model. I only got a brief glimpse of it. It looked like a Panamera. News of a new one however, fills me with hope the first gen model will now decrease sufficiently in value to offer budget GT motoring on a ‘smoke it till it dies, then break it for parts’ basis.

A sandy section of the event provided a line up of trail ready Cayennes draped in off road kit. They were next to a Porsche themed art section where there is always something cool, weird, or both, to engage your eye. 

Amongst paintings and sculptures, a classic Targa was the base for a demonstration of pinstriping.  The general  public were given the opportunity to scribble all over a Taycan in the name of art. Naturally, we felt we should leave our mark.

 

It was our second year at this event.It surpassed the excellent 2022 show with the level of  quality and thought put into the presentation. Coupled with the relaxed happy atmosphere, and the diverse models on display it felt like a supersized, high end, cars and coffee meet  Hats off to the organisers, and the Porsche Club of Dubai for their support.  This event is free to attend. All you have to do is register online for a ticket. No wonder so many people were smiling. Beguiled and bedazzled by the millions of pounds of Porsche porn on display, these fans summed up my feelings.

 

Want more pics? Here’s the link to last years show

Images Steve Swanson

About The Author

Steve Swanson

Steve turns any opportunity to write about cars into a roadtrip. It's seen him ride shotgun in a Bentley Blower with Clive Cussler, and cross paths with automotive YouTubers in Canada and the US. His work has been published in Magneto, Classic Cars, Classic American and some magazines that no MotorPunk reader has ever heard of. When he's not writing or driving you can find him kicking tyres at seedy auctions and hawking junk optimistically described as Automobilia

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