x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Wheel deal gives fans a lift

Red Bull stunt riders wow the crowds as the Abu Dhabi International Motorbike Show rolls to a close.

Ahmed Alaa, 14, uses a ramp at the Abu Dhabi International Show to perform a few tricks on his roler blades yesterday. Sammy Dallal / The National
Ahmed Alaa, 14, uses a ramp at the Abu Dhabi International Show to perform a few tricks on his roler blades yesterday. Sammy Dallal / The National

People on wheels of all sorts and sizes took centre-stage on Saturday night as the four-day Abu Dhabi International Motorbike Show rolled to a close.

The sound of revving engines and pumping music enthralled crowds outside Marina Mall.

Red Bull riders drew gasps as they performed stunts including rear-wheel and front-wheel wheelies, 360-degree turns with no hands and other acrobatics.

Jordanian Iyad Jayyousi, 31, enjoyed the event.

“It is very interesting. I wanted to see what they were doing,” said the tourist, who lives in Kuwait.

“Motorbikes are very popular – not only as a means of transport but also to have fun, doing these tricks. I would love to do it but I can’t even ride a bicycle.”

Jason Iliovits, 13, was doing some tricks on his skateboard along with friends, as the activity was also showcased at the event.

“I have been skateboarding for two years. It’s very popular,” said the Greek teenager.

Inside the mall, shoppers were able to get up close to some gleaming motorbikes, many stopping to pose alongside them for a picture.

Ghulam Habib, 31, from Pakistan, was showing a Harley-Davidson bike to his four-year-old son.

“It is something new for him. He is fond of cars and bikes. It is normal for the kids,” said the Abu Dhabi resident. “All the visitors are coming here. It’s a good place to show them something different, here in the mall.”

The event, which started on Wednesday, included motorbike stunt shows, skateboarding competitions, fashion shows, live music, tests drives and artwork.

On Friday more than 350 bikers took part in a Thunder Ride, from Al Samha to Marina Mall, via Yas Island and Corniche Road.

The event manager, Mohamed Yehya, from Lebanon, was pleased with the turnout for the first running of the show, with more than 40,000 people attending.

“It has been a great success, everyone enjoyed it and the dealers are really happy,” he said. “Hopefully next year we are going to have something much bigger.”

ecleland@thenational.ae