Electric vehicle enthusiasts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will likely have to wait until early 2014 before they can buy a Nissan Leaf locally. The battery-powered hatch, already available in the U.S., Japan and Europe, won't be offered in the Middle East until an ample amount of charging stations are installed near the region's highways, according to an official at Arabian Automobiles – a local Nissan dealership.
Arabian Automobiles recently had one Leaf shipped in so it could display the electric hatch at an industry event, but according to the dealership, a large-scale commercial launch in the UAE is still years away. Michael Ayat, chief executive officer of Arabian Automobiles, told the Gulf News that the Gulf "is not a priority at the moment."
Not everyone is willing to wait and, apparently, some electric vehicle aficionados in the Middle East have attempted to import the Leaf. This has lead Nissan to issue the following statement:
Now you know.Nissan strongly recommends customers not to purchase the Nissan Leaf through any unauthorized channels.