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Night Rider
Rue Kothari / 7 February 2009

Raj Rayit arrived in Dubai with only Dh30,000 in his pocket. Four years later, he is a millionaire, made rich by Dubai’s recent property boom, and the car he drives is a rare matt black Bentley Continental GT.

“In Dubai, your car is a symbol of your status, just like the watch you own, or the clothes you wear. When I go and meet clients they can see immediately that I am successful. I like the good things in life, that’s why I live here.”

Despite the designer suits, the regular trips to the grooming salon and the diamond watches, Raj makes a point of never buying a new car. “They lose their value too quickly,” he says.

Cars have been a lifelong passion for Rayit. His first car crush, a BMW 325, was the envy of his friends in South London. Now, “cruising gently in my Bentley” as he so eloquently puts it, through the mean streets of the Emirates Hills, he cuts quite a picture.

The 2005 model Bentley Continental GT started life as a suitably sedate and unassuming silver, but when Raj bought it in 2007, he was keen to add a little of his own personality, and spent Dh25,000 on a custom matt black paint finish.

“You see a lot of Bentleys in Dubai and I wanted mine to stand out, so I took a risk,” he explains. “A friend had opened a company here called Foilacar, where they add a foil, like a thin layer over your car to give it this matt black finish. Once you get sick of it, you can just peel it off. It doesn’t compromise the original paintwork, in fact, it protects it.”

One week, a set of chrome wheels and Dh70,000 later and Raj found himself in the driving seat of a seriously distinctive motor.

While Raj’s Bentley is reputed to be the only matt black Continental GT in the UAE, there are several other sports cars including a Porsche Gemballa Avalanche and a Bugatti Veyron that have been given the matt black treatment. Raj refers to his as the “matt-mobile”.

“The car gets so much attention. I have had companies approach me to use it in car shows and photo shoots. It definitely has the ‘wow’ factor,” says Raj, who admits that choosing the GT was a case of looks over power.

“I had originally planned to buy a Ferrari F430, but I’m always on the phone making deals and I couldn’t hear myself above the noise of the engine. Plus the Bentley is the best luxury car on the market, you can’t get anything better.”

While Raj admits he doesn’t take the “matt-mobile” to Spinneys on a Friday morning, it is an everyday car, or rather an every night car.

“Apart from taking it to important meetings, I usually only drive it in the evenings. I have a Range Rover Vogue Supercharged as my day car.”

With so many admiring eyes coveting Raj’s one-of-a-kind status ride, he confesses that he might consider selling if the price was right. And what would trump the Bentley? “There is nothing else you can compare it to. It would have to be a helicopter!”

 

Source: http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090207/MOTORING/397060070&SearchID=73345350300190

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