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Preference of GCC Spec Cars in The UAE

There is a struggle between GCC spec cars in the UAE against other specs when it comes to purchasing a car, especially a used one. To understand the preference of GCC spec cars over US, Japanese or European vehicles, let’s take a closer look at the difference in these specifications.

Features of GCC SPEC CARS in the UAE

Car models for the GCC or Middle East region often come in different variants. When compared internationally, the specs may vary in terms of engine horsepower, model type and available accessories. This is because various companies design or alter the released model to make them favorable to the GCC environments with some enhanced additions.

Different factors that take preference in GCC spec cars in the UAE and other gulf regions include:

Air Conditioning

The Gulf States like the UAE has a hot climate with extreme temperatures. In other parts of the world, especially the coolers ones you would not need the car AC that much. However, it will run for hours under the extreme UAE heat. Now this continuous function overburdens the car’s air conditioner, and its durability is compromised.

The GCC specifications modify cars for enhanced air conditioning to make them more durable for longer function.

Filtration System

The UAE is known for regular sandstorms and dusty environments, after all, it is a desert. The purpose of air filters is to restrain contamination like sand or dust from the engines, but even then these filters can choke out frequently. A clogged filter will reduce engine performance and can potentially damage it if left unchanged for long. GCC spec cars are outfitted with a filtration system to last longer in desert conditions.


The radiators play a vital role in maintaining the car’s engine temperature. GCC spec cars offer radiators with better capacity to deal with extreme heat conditions.

Rust protection

High humidity levels act as an accelerant to increase the probability and rate of rust against metals. As the UAE is located near coastal areas, exposed car metal parts are highly prone to corrosion and rust. Hence, GCC spec cars offer enhanced protection to counter such conditions.

After Sales Service and Insurance Coverage

Apart from modified car specs, car dealers across the UAE prefer to work with GCC specs. As various brands work with official dealers in the UAE, GCC spec cars are likely to get cheaper warranty services. Cars with other specs may cost higher to repair or face limitations when it comes to the replacement of genuine parts.

Non-GCC cars are usually damaged and refurbished for sale. You may need to research more to find their car history compared to GCC spec cars. Therefore, the latter has a better sale value as they are not only easier to maintain but their history is also easily available online on official sites like RTA.

Moreover, you will face a hard time getting comprehensive coverage for non-GCC cars. As many insurance companies remain wary of the shady history of a refurbished car that was probably damaged beyond the coverage. 


Even with all the limitations, people still tend to buy non-GCC spec cars. This is because the import of cars including the shipping fees tend to be cheaper when compared to cars sold by official showrooms. This also allows people to import variants and models not available in the UAE.

Unless you have proper information on car history and damage records for non-GCC cars you are about to import, it is preferable to stick to GCC cars for after-sales and resale benefits.


How to know you have a GCC spec car in the UAE?

Most official dealers will sell GCC cars across the UAE. However, when buying used cars, it is wise to run the chassis number through the system to check the origin. Evidently, there are some tell-tale signs like Arabic markings along with the side mirror and the VIN plate.

What are the disadvantages of buying a cheap non-GCC imported car?

Non-GCC imported cars may cost lower than GCC variants but in the long run, you might lose more money. Major disadvantages that force people to stick with GCC spec cars in the UAE include Non-GCC cars like from the USA are usually damaged and refurbished for second-hand sales. Their resale value is lower than GCC spec cars.  Official dealers will avoid dealing with such cars and private workshops may charge more for repairs. Then, insurance companies frequently reject comprehensive coverage for non GCC cars due to sceptical history.

That is all about why cars with GCC specs are preferred in the UAE. Stay tuned to First Cars Blog for more information on car specs, different car features and car DIYs.

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