The iconic two towers of the World Trade Center in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the Middle East, with its exterior lights turned vibrant yellow especially for Lotus.

It was a warm gesture of welcome from the capital city of Manama to celebrate two major milestones on the continuing transformation of the UK performance car company and its growth and popularity in the Middle East region. Number one was the official opening of the world’s first Lotus showroom to feature the all-new retail identity. The showroom is in Moda Mall shopping complex, part of the World Trade Center site. And number two was the Middle Eastern debut of the all-new Lotus Emira sports car inside that showroom.

Lotus also took the opportunity to put the Emira through its paces on the Bahrain International Circuit, best known as the venue of Formula 1’s night race. At the wheel was Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, CEO of the racetrack. “It’s an honour to be the first in the region to drive the Emira right here at the home of motorsport in the Middle East. It’s an impressive car, perfectly balanced and beautifully proportioned. I offer my congratulations to Lotus and wish them all the best on the opening of their state-of-the-art showroom.”

The showroom’s opening ceremony was performed by H.E. Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani, Bahrain’s Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism. He was given a guided tour of the facility by members of the senior Lotus management team who had flown in from the UK.

They included Geoff Dowding, Executive Director, Sales and Aftersales, who commented: “For Lotus to be back in Bahrain after a decade away is another significant step in the transformation of our business and brand. The Manama showroom – front and centre in the luxurious Moda Mall – looks really superb with the new Lotus retail identity and is a credit to the Adamas Motors team, our retail partners in the region.

Geoff continued: “To have the Emira as part of the new showroom’s inauguration is testament to the importance of the Middle East region to Lotus and is a proud debut for our partners and customers in Bahrain.”

Dan Balmer, Regional Director, Asia Pacific and Middle East, Lotus, added: “We’ve had such a strong local reaction to Emira, and the desire for our customers and media to see and touch it is palpable. I’m delighted we’ve been able to tour the car here. The region is well known for its early adopters, so it is vital they get to experience the Emira to keep their excitement high.”

The Lotus Emira is a junior supercar with everyday useability and is the most accomplished road car ever to come out of the factory gates at Hethel. With a striking design, breath-taking performance and class-leading ride and handling, the Emira is a true Lotus – light, nimble, mid-engined, exotic looking and competitively priced. It is also a paradigm shift in practicality, comfort, functionality and technology, all of which is especially visible in the stunning interior.

The arrival of the Emira in Bahrain – only the third country in the world it has visited after the UK and USA – is part of a world tour and sees the car on display at the Lotus showroom for several days. The showroom is operated by Adamas Bahrain Motors Company WLL, part of a highly respected automotive retail business with a wealth of experience in selling performance, premium and luxury cars across the Middle East and Asia.

Following its appearance in Bahrain, the Emira is embarking on a regional tour including Kuwait, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.