BMW opens 8.6-acre flagship showroom in Abu Dhabi

Where would you expect to find the largest BMW dealership in the world? At BMW headquarters in Munich? Somewhere in Texas, perhaps, where everything is bigger? Or maybe in California, a state that represents one of the automaker's largest markets? If you're shouting, "No! It's in Abu Dhabi!," you're (A) good at reading headlines and (B) correct.

The Persian Gulf emirate is the location of a new showroom that was just opened this week after a three-year construction project that cost 300 million dirhams – equivalent to over $80 million. All in all, the showroom measures a massive 35,000 square meters. That works out to some 377,000 square feet or 8.6 acres of space, allowing BMW to lay claim to the largest showroom in the world. That's a whole lot of elbow room for the company's 7 Series range, the company's most popular model line in the Middle East.

If you're wondering how even BMW's expansive model lineup could possibly eat up that much room, consider that the location represents the products of the entire BMW Group, including Rolls-Royce, Mini and BMW motorcycles as well as the Bavarian automaker's cars and crossovers. Follow the jump for the full press release and scope out the images in the gallery for a closer look.
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- Local importer Abu Dhabi Motors invests AED 300 million
- 2011 BMW Group's most successful year in the Middle East

Munich / Abu Dhabi. The BMW Group has opened the world's largest showroom for BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and BMW motorcycles in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Motors, the BMW Group's long-standing importer for the region, has invested around AED 300 million (approx. 62 million euros) in the new 35,000-square-metre showroom over its three-year construction.

The new showroom was formally inaugurated by Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing, His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Vice-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Arno Husselmann, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Motors, at an exclusive event on Tuesday evening attended by over 1,000 guests. The invited guests also included Graeme Grieve, Vice-President for Importer Markets of BMW AG, Adrian Van Hooydonk, Director of BMW Group Design, and a large number of VIPs and celebrities from the region, including fashion designer Walid Atallah.

At the opening of the BMW Group's largest showroom worldwide, Ian Robertson thanked the investors and owners Sheikh Mohammed Bin Butti Al Hamid and Sheikh Saif Bin Mohammed Bin Butti Al-Hamid for their strong commitment to completing the new building. Robertson continued:

"The Middle East is an important region for the BMW Group. We sold more vehicles here in 2011 than ever before. There is tremendous future growth potential in many countries in this region and in the United Arab Emirates in particular." Robertson added: "The investment in this impressive and unique facility that makes the world's biggest BMW Group showroom, is testament to the continued opportunities that lie ahead in Abu Dhabi and in the region"

The expansive facility in Umm Al Nar houses separate showrooms and sales areas for the three premium automobile brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, and for BMW motorcycles. More than 450 staff members will work at the facility. The new showroom will allow customers to view the brands' entire model line-up in different colours and different option packages, with more than 70 automobiles and 10 motorcycles on permanent display. This will be complemented by an extensive range of newer pre-owned vehicles and a state-of-the-art service area equipped with the latest technology. The workshop will be able to perform maintenance on up to 120 vehicles simultaneously.

A further focus will be the facility's extensive shopping and boutique area, which will sell a wide selection of BMW and MINI fashion items and other merchandise, as well as original parts and accessories, in a bright and friendly setting. Film fans will not be disappointed either – there is a private cinema that can also host exclusive new-vehicle presentations for special occasions. A café, a Formula One racing simulator and a children's play area make the perfect customer service offering complete

BMW Group's successful business performance in the Middle East

The BMW Group achieved a new sales record in the Middle East in 2011. A total of 18,657 BMW and MINI brand vehicles were sold last year in the region's 14 import markets – an increase of more than nine per cent year-on-year. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) accounted for more than 47 per cent of deliveries, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai the largest markets. The best-selling vehicles in the region in 2011 were large model series such as the BMW 7 Series, the 5 Series, the X5 and the X6. The BMW 7 was the top-selling car in the BMW model range, for example, with 4,511 vehicles delivered to customers. In 2011 the Middle East was the third biggest market worldwide for the BMW 7 Series following China and the United States of America. In the region's 14 markets, particularly strong growth was seen in Qatar with an increase of 26% (1,265 units), Abu Dhabi 23% (4,436 units), Dubai 23% (4,395 units), Kuwait 6% (2,380 units) and Saudi Arabia 2% (3,072 units).

Abu Dhabi Motors largest importer in the region's 14 markets in 2011

The import company Abu Dhabi Motors began its operations in May 1986 with a small showroom and workshop in Umm Al Nar employing 24 people. Over the years, it has grown to become the leading BMW Group importer in the Middle East by sales. It currently employs over 450 staff members at 10 different facilities across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. In 2011, Abu Dhabi Motors set a new sales record: a total of 4,436 cars belonging to the three BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands were delivered to customers – a 23% increase over 2010. With sales growth of 16% and Rolls-Royce's highest percentage of bespoke cars, Abu Dhabi Motors was also one of the British luxury brand's top ten dealers in the world in 2011.

Top five models sold in the Middle East in 2011:
Model / No. of vehicles sold
BMW 7 Series / 4,511
BMW 5 Series / 4,286
BMW X6 / 2,620
BMW X5 / 2,510
BMW 3 Series / 2,033

Top five markets in the Middle East region in terms of sales in 2011:
Market / No. of BMW and MINI vehicles sold
Abu Dhabi / 4,436
Dubai / 4,395
Saudi Arabia / 3,072
Kuwait / 2,380
Qatar / 1,265

The BMW Group

The BMW Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI, Husqvarna Motorcycles and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 25 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2011, the BMW Group sold about1.67 million cars and more than 113,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2010 was euro 4.8 billion on revenues amounting to euro 60.5 billion. At 31 December 2010, the BMW Group had a workforce of approximately 95,500 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. As a result of its efforts, the BMW Group has been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last seven years.

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