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Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan
Photos: Rolls-Royce

Take one posh SUV, add unpaved roads and sandy desert, and you have a recipe for luxury fun. The posh vehicle in question was a special Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and the desert was a 30-minute drive south of Dubai’s skyscraper-laden city centre.

I’d driven the uber-upmarket Cullinan in Singapore and loved how luxurious such a Sports Utility Vehicle can feel to the uninitiated. However, I was curious to find out if that famously smooth magic carpet ride could still be enjoyed during Dubai’s harsh summers, especially in the deserts and on gravel roads. This was my chance.

By the way, this wasn’t just any old Cullinan, but one of its Black Badge offerings. In their bespoke form, Black Badge editions tend to be strikingly bolder, darker and mysterious. As Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös says about Black Badge: “It is an attitude that represents an authentic and confident response to the desires of a new group of clients who proudly practise bold self-expression.”

And they are popular. Black Badge cars now represent 27 per cent of Rolls-Royce product commissions.

Related: Take a closer look at the stunning Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII