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Tesla targets Middle East drive with Dubai debut

Tesla plans to expand to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman. (Courtesy of Dubai Media Office)

DUBAI: Tesla has started selling its luxury electric cars in Dubai, marking its first foray into the Middle East, its founder Elon Musk revealed at the World Government Summit.
California-based Tesla is accepting online orders from customers in the United Arab Emirates, a pop-up store in the Dubai Mall and a Tesla service center being built on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, which is due to open in July.
Musk said on Monday that Tesla will open a store and service center in Abu Dhabi in 2018 and plans to expand to Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Musk declined to elaborate on his wider plans or timeline for expansion outside the UAE at a press conference in Dubai.
Tesla’s prices start from 275,000 dirhams ($74,884) for its Model S, which has a range of 632 km from a single charge and 344,000 dirhams for the Model X, which can travel up to 565 km.
Customers who take delivery of the cars, which will begin in July of this year, will be able to charge their vehicles at home or at 28 locations across the UAE, which Tesla hopes to increase to 50 by the end of the year.
Outside the US, Tesla’s website says it is in Mexico, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.
Musk met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, during his visit to the Emirates.
Sheikh Mohammed and Musk discussed the company’s global activities and its role in encouraging the use of clean energy, according to a Dubai Media Office statement. Sheikh Mohammed also welcomed the launch of Tesla’s regional office in Dubai.
— With Reuters

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