Tesla brings electric cars to oil-rich U.A.E.

Deena Kamel Yousef
Bloomberg News

Tesla Inc. is expanding to the United Arab Emirates, making a move to sell its pricey electric cars in one of the world’s largest oil-producing nations.

The company is taking orders for the Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle for summer delivery. Tesla also plans to open its first service center in the Middle East in July and will support online sales with a pop-up store in the region’s biggest shopping center Dubai Mall, Tesla said in a statement Tuesday. It will also open a store and service center in the capital Abu Dhabi next year.

The Palo Alto, California-based company is selling electric cars in the U.A.E., which holds about 6 percent of global oil reserves and is the fourth-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The country is renowned for its glitzy supercars, including the Dubai police’s fleet of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bentley cars.

Two Tesla Supercharging stations have popped up around Dubai to allow drivers to charge their vehicles. Tesla will open five more by year-end. The Model S will be sold for 275,000 dirhams ($74,900) and Model X for 344,000 dirhams.