ABU DHABI // The capital’s International Motorbike Show kicked off yesterday with the smell of burning rubber as one of Red Bull’s regional stars, Shadi Al Bahri, kicked off the weekend with the first in a series of stunt shows.
Crowds gathered at Marina Mall to see the riders as DJs played music to the event.
Javeen Mathew stopped by with her family who spent the evening at the mall watching the show, which included classic moves such as wheelies and burnouts – the latter the term given when the rear tyres are spun until they emit plumes of smoke.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s very impressive,” said Ms Mathew, an Indian expatriate.
The event marked the opening of the outdoor events season as the hot weather in the country begins to ease. “It’s so nice to be able to start doing things like this outdoors again. We are very lucky to have events like this on our doorstep,” Ms Mathew added.
As Al Bahri showed off his acrobatic prowess, crowds looked on in awe. Ahmed Ismail, 23, has been a keen motorbike enthusiast since getting his licence two years ago.
“I’ve always been buzzed by these kinds of things,” he said. “It’s an adrenaline rush. I’ve grown up watching this kind of stuff so as soon as I got my licence, I got a bike. These tricks aren’t anything amazing because it’s kind of the basics, but it’s good for people who have never seen it before. They don’t really have enough space to do anything too spectacular either.”
Harley Davidson enthusiasts also flocked to the event, which had a host of quirky bikes on display inside the mall including some created by the famous US designer, Arlen Ness.
Mohammed Al Belooshi, a member of Emirates Riders, a motorcycle club based in Ras Al Khaimah, said the weekend was a positive way to spread the message of road safety to younger generations.
Armed with posters saying “no helmet, no ride”, Emirates Riders, which was formed in 2010 and now has about 60 members from across the country, is using the show to continue its awareness campaign, Mr Al Belooshi said.
“It’s important to teach the young generation, the future generation of riders who are already interested in bikes,” he said.
Emirates Riders continues to grow in popularity, with at least one octogenarian – an 85-year-old former police rider – among its midst.
“This event brings people from all over the region,” said the keen rider. “From all the GCC countries. It’s the start of the new season with Gulf Bike Week in Dubai next month, so this is the first time we are all coming together in the same place again after the summer. It brings the whole community together.”
The event did not focus solely on motorbikes – a skateboard ramp attracted enthusiastic skateboarders eager to show off their skills before a special show, featuring experts, takes place tomorrow.
Adam Roff, 17, from the US, came with friends last night to try out the ramps. “We skateboard a lot and it’s always good to be at an event like this where there’s a crowd. It gives us a chance to show off some of our skills which we spend a long time practising.”
The weekend of events will also include live music and DJ sets, motorbike fashion and art shows, as well as skate and motorbike stunt displays.