Bentley has decided to milk the UAE’s pearl diving tradition in the name of profit with the new Bentley Bentayga Pearl of the Gulf limited edition, except Rolls-Royce already did it way back in 2011…
Before the oil, before the gold-plated SUVs, Prada handbags, and all the superlatives, the UAE region was known for its pearl diving heritage which goes back centuries, some say as far back as 7,000 years. The tradition stayed intact throughout the years, with divers heading out into the open sea using traditional boats and methods to carry out the dangerous task – drownings were not uncommon and only the strongest succeeded.
Artificial pearls from the Far East eventually killed the old trade in the Gulf, but that hasn’t stopped luxury brands from milking the ancient tradition for all its worth. The folks from Goodwood got there first back in 2011 with the Rolls-Royce Phantom Pearl of Arabia edition, complete with Mother of Pearl trim and silk rugs in the footwells.
Now rivals from Crewe figure they need to get in on the action too, which is where the new Bentley Bentayga Pearl of the Gulf comes in. Bentley’s Mulliner workshop will produce just five examples making this SUV an instant collectible, with each model featuring Mother of Pearl marquetry – that’s fancy talk for ‘trim’ – as well as a dhow boat motif inlaid into the dashboard which we’re sure you’ll agree is tremendously imaginative.
All five cars will be fitted with the company’s 6.0-litre W12 engined, which is nice, and of course there’s plenty of Eucalyptus wood, leather, contrasting stitching, quilted seats, lambswool carpeting, as well as gold embroidery.
Bentley has also thought about the safety of your precious possessions by including a safe made of aluminium that can only be accessed by the owner’s fingerprint. This is all terribly creative and quite fitting as well, since the Bentayga already looks adequately aquatic, sort of like a sea otter of determination.