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Supercar season under way in London

"The season" is underway in London - that's the name given to the arrival of thousands of Arab families escaping the heat back home and visiting the British capital for the summer. Along with their luggage, many of these wealthy visitors also bring their supercars with them.

LONDON: "The season" is underway in London - that's the name given to the arrival of thousands of Arab families escaping the heat back home and visiting the British capital for the summer. Along with their luggage, many of these wealthy visitors also bring their supercars with them.

A hunt for super cars in London can only start in one place -outside the world-famous department store Harrods. Sure enough, there are Maseratis and Porsches aplenty.

The appearance of so many of these super cars has given rise to another gathering - car enthusiasts who come to try to spot these rare cars, and they have been dubbed the "carparazzi".

Car enthusiast Perry Vredenberg from the Netherlands is visiting London, just to spot these cars. "You don't see them much and when the Arabs drive them they do crazy things with them (such as) burn outs, really fast accelerating."

You hear them first before they flash by. Local residents have campaigned for the past few years against late night racing but said this year is particularly bad.

Knightsbridge resident Alexandra Morgan Thomas said: "You feel the vibration coming through and the revving of the engine and they're racing up and down until 3.30 or 4 o'clock in the morning. It's very, very tiresome and it's very difficult to function the next day."

Just outside Alexandra's apartment are three supercars. One of the groups says the cars belong to members of the Dubai royal family. No one wants to be interviewed. Off camera, the driver tells Catherine Drew the cars are not creating noise deliberately. It is just the way the engines are made. He adds the Bentley engine is very quiet.

A driver, who is willing to talk, is an Iraqi-born kick-boxing champion who loves all things gold. So he bought a gold Ferrari worth half a million dollars. Riyadh Al-Azzawi said: "London is beautiful; it's nice, there are many things nice in London; it's nice to have a nice car around. We are here to entertain people, not to bother people or annoy people, you know."

The arrival of the super-rich is good news for the London economy as it brings in millions of dollars during the summer. For local residents, however, it is a nightly headache until the season is over.
 

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