Inside the world of London’s Arab playboy racers: Supercar-driving millionaires who posh locals say have ‘made their lives a misery’
Sliding around corners as they weave their way through one of Britain’s most exclusive areas, these are the rich Arab playboys who visit London every summer to show off their flashy wheels.
But residents of Knightsbridge, central London – which has an average house price of £3.6million and is home to Harrods – say the drivers from the Gulf region are ‘a manifestation of too much-ness’.
The petrol-heads and their motors are cheered on by camera-carrying youngsters, known as the Carparrazzi, but are hated by a number of furious residents who claim their lives are being ruined.
Cheers: Abdul Aziz Al Rashed, arrived in London for the summer in his £250,000 Lamborghini Aventador. During the film he was pulled over by police who seized the supercar for not having the correct insurance
Police response: These two supercars are seen parked outside Harrods in Knightsbridge, central London
Knightsbridge resident Panda Morgan-Thomas, 59, has been leading a campaign to clamp down on the unruly driving – and she said it has become a constant pain every summer in recent years.
‘I’m inundated with local residents complaining, not being able to sleep and I think people’s tempers are getting somewhat jaded. It is quite difficult to be sleep deprived and carry on with a normal life.’
The tension amongst wealthy residents will be revealed in a documentary which has followed the rich youngsters as they prepare to leave the Gulf for the UK and spend three months in London.
Millionaire Boy Racers, on Channel 4 tomorrow at 10pm, also shows how police are clamping down on the boy racers who drive recklessly in their Bugattis, Ferraris, Koenigseggs and Lamborghinis.
It reveals how the problem has become a police matter thanks to crashes and uninsured drivers.
Knightsbridge resident Justin Downes added: ‘I’ve seen the area move from being a very quiet, residential area to being cosmopolitan in a way which is rather extreme.
‘I think the supercars are a manifestation of too much-ness. These cars are brought in by what we call the “Gulfies”.
‘They come in to the area around Harrods to show off their cars and drive recklessly in a way that if you were a UK citizen you would be prosecuted for dangerous driving.’
Police have seized dozens of foreign-owned supercars on a number of charges including invalid insurance and driving without the correct registration plates.
Even though they regularly complain to police and even write to embassies, the locals admit they haven’t actually spoken to any of the young men in their supercars.
Abdul Aziz Rashid, 27, of Saudi Arabia, who comes to the UK every year in a supercar, says if he is spoken to he will listen.
He said: ‘I hear the residents always complain but they don’t come to me to complain. If anyone complains about something I will respect it and try to fix it. We are foreigners here.
‘We just come to have a good time and we always want to come here and not cause trouble or problems. If anybody speaks to me and asks me not to do something then I will not do it.’
Another tourist, Abdul Aziz Al Rashed, arrived in London for the summer in his £250,000 Lamborghini Aventador.
During the film he was pulled over by police who seized the supercar for allegedly not having the correct insurance – something disputed by the young Kuwaiti. But he still enjoyed his time in London.
Mr Al Rashed said: ‘All of my friends were sad about having to go back to Kuwait. We had fun for three months and I’m sad that I have to leave to go back to the desert.’
Jonny Young, the executive producer of Millionaire Boy Racers, said: ‘The documentary goes further than the headlines generated each summer about the supercar phenomenon.
‘We see how the influx of Arab wealth is a big part of modern life in the capital. It brings with it many benefits – but for some residents, they’re outweighed by the drawbacks.’
The documentary is the result of months of filming by Oblong Films.
The drama caused by the racers has also been documented on YouTube in recent years by young car enthusiasts dubbed the Carparazzi.