GCC Specs a Comparison with Imported Specs Cars

GCC Specs a Comparison with Imported Specs Cars

You’re probably here now because you were looking for a car for sale but you heard those terms in the market, GCC specs car and imported specs car. We’ve made this comparison article to guide you through buying your next car.

What’s different in GCC Specs

There has been a debate whether there’s anything new or different in GCC cars or it’s just a name tag; the truth is car manufacturers do modify their cars to suit the environmental condition of each region, although all cars are tested in high and low-temperature conditions.

The main thing that differs between imported and GCC is the maintenance history, there’s a high chance you’re buying an imported car that went through big accident then repaired.

  1. Radiators: the capacity of GCC cars radiators has to be more than imported cars to adapt to the extreme heat during gulf summer.
  2. Air Conditioning: the AC compressor in GCC cars is able to work more effectively than non-GCC ones, and air conditioning can be one of the reasons why you don’t want to buy an imported car.
  3. Air Filters: You know how dusty it can get in Dubai right? Sandstorms can occur anytime exposing the mechanical system of any car to sand and dust, GCC specs air filters are modified to protect your engine.
  4. Rust Protection: Due to the high humidity and vast coastal areas surrounding the UAE, GCC spec vehicles feature improved rust protection.

There are also a few other differences regarding the options, radio, drivetrain and engine.

See Also: How to renew driving license in Dubai.

Price difference

Imported cars are, of course, a bit cheaper because the competition in the American market is really high, unlike UAE, for example, each make has an official dealer controlling the price.

When car showrooms import cars, they are buying it for cheap then fix it if it faced an accident then resell it for a higher price but still that high price considered lower than GCC specs cars.

الاجسام في المرآة أقرب مما تبدو

Arabic writing on a GCC specs car mirror. Photo Credit: Rajitha Perera. Thumbnail photo credit: readersdigest.ca

Should I buy GCC or imported specs?

If imported cars seem to have a better value then why people buy GCC ones? Because those cars are designed to survive this region and more likely to last longer, fewer trips to the mechanics and the resale value is higher.

It’s spread across the nation that GCC cars have higher resale value and it will be much easier to sell your used GCC car especially if it’s still in the five years warranty from the dealer.

If you are considering buying a car imported from overseas, before you even consider buying it, take note of the VIN number (Chassis number) and run it through an online database and have the number checked. This way you can find out if the vehicle has had any previous accidents minor or serious.

As of 2018, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in the Dubai have launched a new service called ‘Vehicle Condition Certificate’ by obtaining one of these buyers can authenticate the milage, previous owners, how many times it has been impounded, its condition during its previous annual test and much more.

What about a car that isn’t officially sold in the UAE

Take the Toyota Tundra for example. We’ve got many for sale online, and you’ve no doubt seen one on the road. Did you know that no Tundra is GCC spec? And that they are mostly US spec! So what does this mean if you require spare parts or the vehicle needs to go in for a service?

As the Tundra and 4Runner (a car not sold in the UAE officially) share the same platform, many of their components are interchangeable with one another and finding Toyota parts in the UAE is incredibly easy. If there is a part of the car that is unique, many spare parts dealers across the globe stock parts for these and can be delivered to you.

The Tundra is not the only vehicle not officially sold anyway in the Emirates, the Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Titan are also not officially sold in the UAE as are a handful of other models that can be found scattered around the country.

Featured Photo credit: readersdigest.ca

The information in this post were researched and collected from various experiences and different opinions around the country, and there’s no official statement of an upgraded or different mechanical parts in GCC cars.


  1. I am planning to buy an altima 2018 model us spec.the dealer told me that he will give 1 year warranty direct from aw rostamani automobile. First, is it realy possible that aw rostamani automobile will give a warranty to an imported car.second, is it ok to buy a us specs altima 2018 model the car looks ok during road test..thanks in advance for the feedback

    • Christopher Milbourne
      August 31, 2020 at 11:50 am

      Hi Vinz, the warranty is possible for a 2018 imported Altima but it will most likely not cover everything.

      Have you driven the car? Have you had a good look around the vehicle? Have you listened to the sounds it makes?

  2. Which of imported specs is closest to GCC.
    I was recently told Canadian specs is almost identical to GCC but I’m not sure if this is true or false ?

    • Hi DW! I’m no expert but base on the hottest temperature recorded US highest temp was 134° F while Canada was 113° F. So I thing US specs is more identical to GCC in terms of Environmental aspects.

    • Christopher Milbourne
      July 16, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Great question Fernando, unfortunately, we’re not sure if there is anywhere in the UAE that can modify an engine to conform to Euro6 regulations.

  3. Hello,

    We want to send to Spain our 2 vehicles (Ford Mustang V4 Ecoboost 2.7l 2014 & Dodge RAM 1500 V8 5.7l 2015 both petrol). These cars are GCC specs, do you know what would be the differences with the EU specs for their homologation, please?

    • Christopher Milbourne
      June 7, 2020 at 10:29 am

      GCC spec vehicle have larger radiators, different paint and the addition of Arabic language in the car.

  4. I am currently in Lagos, Nigeria and interested in a Toyota Alphard minivan i saw online in Dubai. I know it’s a Japanese vehicle but the seller says it is GCC spec and a Left Hand Drive. We are Left Hand Drive in Nigeria.

    How can i know the service or maintenance history of the vehicle?
    How can i know if it was originally a Right Hand Drive but converted to a Left Hand Drive?

  5. GOt some questions regarding cars GCC’s:
    1. Is there any official document stating car being GCC spec ? (I mean if seller says car is GCC and in fact it is not how can I verify it ?).
    2. If car is GCC spec does it mean it was sold here (produced for Gulf Region) or there is a chance that it was imported as a damaged one from eg. US ?
    Because if cars can be converted to GCC there is no guarantee that they have easy to track history.

    • Christopher Milbourne
      March 17, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Hi Koysta, we’ll try to answer your questions to the best of our knowledge;
      1. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai can verify it for you when testing the vehicle.
      2. A GCC car is exclusively sold in the region (UAE, Saudi, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait). A US car damaged and imported into the UAE will not be registered as a GCC spec car.
      3. Cars can not be converted to GCC specs. They can be tuned or upgraded to conform with GCC spec vehicles, but when registering, it will be listed as import specs.

  6. what is the best model in land cruiser for the bad quality diesel (if the diesel is not good quality ) what is the engine appropriate (Gulf Spec or Europe spec)

  7. The issue is that we need mechanical specs and fact to compare a non GCC to a GCC car. Exact volume of the radiator, capacity of the pump, type of air box, type of filter mesh size total filtering surface etc etc…..
    If we could, as customers, have that kind of information then the choices would be based on fact and not assumptions. Looking at the turnover of specific GCC cars I doubt that the car companies would decide to have drastic differences in their assembly lines regarding the cars sent to the GCC. In term of development, design and decreased standardization of production it does not make sense.
    The freedom to choose based on fact has to be given to the customers as when you ask these types of question to a sales person it is impossible to have a clear answer.

    • Christopher Milbourne
      February 16, 2020 at 10:46 am

      Hi Franky, you’re right. This is exactly what anyone buying a car should ask about. As for dramatic differences, once again you are correct. For example, comparing the size of air filter, there is no real difference in size. Same goes for heat protection and dust filtering as there are certain parts of the US that are equally as hot as the GCC.

  8. Hi,
    I am planning on importing a Hyundai Palisade Limited 2020 from the US to Dubai.
    I heard that cars imported to Dubai must be GCC specs!? Is this true for a personal use car?
    Can I import this car (US specs) to Dubai?
    If the car is US registered (titled) in my cousin’s name, can I still register it in my name in Dubai? What do I need?
    Thank you for the help.

  9. GOOD DAY, Am living in Dubai & planning to buy used INFINITY QX60, but confused whether i go for GCC specs or North American specs, Noticed GCC specs is higher value than North American specs, Appreciate to know which one is better and the reason? Thanks in advance for favorable response.

    • Christopher Milbourne
      November 17, 2019 at 9:41 am

      GCC specs are better for the region due to slight differences with the radiator and air conditioning. We’d recommend you go for a Gulf spec car.

  10. Good day,

    I am living in Dubai and planning to go back to Netherlands for good. Appreciate to know where I can find Europe specs cars to export to The Netherlands.

    Thanks in advance for the favorable response.

  11. Hi Everyone,

    I am thinking to buy a Honda Civic 2018 US import, vehicle has been on a Minor accident. The main reason is the color that i want is what I am not able to get in GCC one ..

    Can you please advise

    Thanks and Regards

  12. Shahin Meeran Abdulkader
    May 10, 2019 at 4:20 am

    I own an American Nissan Sentra 2013 Model; I already know that the AC is pretty weak and more or less useless during Summer in Dubai. I wanna know if I can replace the AC Compressor with a GCC AC Compressor?

  13. السلام عليكم اريد شراء سيارة من نوع تويوتا فورتنور ديزل 2.4ل رباعية الدفع سنة 2019 فيها كل المواصفات وشاشات خلفية اللون الخارجي ابيض واللون الداخلي اكحل كم سعرها وتكلفتها الإجمالية مع الشحن البلد الجزائر مع تخفيظاتكم وشكرا

  14. Hi, i have Porsche panamera GTS 2014 GCC here in Dubai but in next year i want to take this car to czech republic in europe. Is it posible or not…? Is gulf spec same like Europe…? Thanks for reply.

  15. Hello. Purchased a GCC spec Nissan Juke 2 years back. Is there any company here in Dubai (or UAE) that can convert anything required to USA specs (speedo for one…)? Thinking about shipping to US – it may not even be worth considering – any thoughts? Thanks!

  16. Hello, I am Confused to buy BMW 528 Model 2010 (US Imported) it runs very well and I checked the chassis number online said no major accident or buy BMW 520 Model 2010 (GCC specs) with maintenance History. Note that price is the same, Condition of the cars is nearly the same, also the mileage is the same.

    • If that’s the case then you can get the GCC specs one, at least before the resale value will be higher when you will sell it after some time.

    • Christopher Milbourne
      April 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Naveed, as long as the car isn’t a salvage vehicle or been damaged due to extreme weather, you should have no problems at all.

    • I am planning to buy an altima 2018 model us spec.the dealer told me that he will give 1 year warranty direct from aw rostamani automobile. First, is it realy possible that aw rostamani automobile will give a warranty to an imported car.second, is it ok to buy a us specs altima 2018 model the car looks ok during road test..thanks in advance for the feedback

  17. There are some different parts that come in a GCC cars I assure you that I’m a mechanic and here’s an article on Gulf News about tyre specs for GCC must be different to adapt the heat.


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