Music, motorcycles and three days of merrymaking in Dubai
Gulf Bike Week is back for another three days of live music – and a few motorcycles here and there.
Wheelies, rock music and a motor parade featuring more than 1,000 riders, Gulf Bike Week has it all when it returns next weekend. Running from Thursday October 24 to Saturday 26, this year’s focus is placed squarely on a line-up teeming with petrol head antics and the best of local rock and metal talent.
Last year, the event had heavy metal band Megadeth on the bill, who shared the headline slot with British indie rock band Razorlight. This year, in his own words, organiser Christopher Hudson explains that this time he ‘doesn’t want to compete for a global artist that has probably been seen here before,’ opting instead to promote local acts. The move has also allowed them to keep the ticket price as competitive, and people who pay the Dhs60 entry fee get access to all areas of the festival. This means that as well as being able to watch thrilling daily street bike stunt performances, catch the Flair freestyle trials show, take part in the region’s only custom bike competition and check out the latest biking accessories, ticket holders also get to see twelve bands and a DJ playing over the three days. In 2012, the event was moved to Al Badia Golf Club in Festival City, ‘which felt further away psychologically’, explains Hudson, so this year the event takes over the Dubai Media City amphitheatre, where the organiser is hoping to create a festival atmosphere, with people ‘kicking out on the grass’.
To ensure you’re every bit as stoked as we are, take a look at our top picks of the stunts and sounds for what is set to be a weekend of epic proportions.
Custom Bike Build Competition Industry judge Frank Sander from Germany will be on hand during Saturday October 26 to judge the entries for this year’s Middle East Custom Bike Build Championships. If you think your wheels have what it takes, you must register your bike between 10am and 12.30pm on the same day. The bikes will be rated for a number of different categories such as best paint job and best vintage motorcycle. This only applies to bikes manufactured before 1985.
Thunder Parade Last year’s parade of bikers involved over 1,000 motorbikes. To see if that will be topped this year, you can pop down and catch participants gathering for the rally in Dubai Media City at 2pm on Friday October 25.
Flair Riders This team of ten Australian riders, who specialise in trials and freestyle BMX tricks, will be dropping into the city to showcase their gravity-defying and bizarrely accurate stunts to delight you – just remember to bring your camera.
Street Bike Stunt Zone The Saudi Arabian street biker Shadi Al Dhaheri will be performing every day throughout the festival. Expect plenty of wheelies and a slew of other incredible stunts.
Try biking If you like what you see at Gulf Bike Week and you feel like giving motorsports a go, you can try Emirates Bike Tours. The outfit offers desert adventures and bike rental for all skill levels. To find out more visit www.emiratesbiketours.com.
Maplejacks This party group like to belt out classics by the Beatles, REM, Red Hot Chili Peppers and other favourites. If their performances at The Irish Village are anything to go by, we expect they’ll go down well with the crowd. When to catch them: Thu Oct 24, 6pm. Fri Oct 25, 8pm. Sat Oct 26, 9pm.
Boxtones With a repertoire that ranges from Adele and Michael Jackson to The Killers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, this five-piece rock/pop outfit are more than capable of throwing down some decent melodies during their energetic performances. From Scotland and Canada, the band are comprised of two females and three blokes. When to catch them: Thu Oct 24, 7pm. Fri Oct 25, 7pm. Sat Oct 26, 4pm.
Jay Wud Lebanese rocker Jay Wud, who was the support act for none other than Aerosmith when they played Abu Dhabi in 2009, is no stranger to the big stage. More recently, the vocalist and guitarist, who’s as happy performing an acoustic set as he is rocking out, opened for Guns N’Roses earlier in the year. He looks the part too. When to catch them: Thu Oct 24, 8pm.
Juliana Down With soaring vocals and anthemic riffs, these international rockers are Dubai-based and are regulars on the guitar music scene in the city. In the past the band have opened for the likes of Muse, Guns N’Roses and Maroon 5. When to catch them: Thu Oct 24, 9pm.
Chronicles of Khan The former frontman of Universal Rogue, Faraz Khan has decided to go it alone. The rocker plans to release an album next year and creates music with a less classic rock feel, influenced by groups such as the Foo Fighters. When to catch them: Fri Oct 25, 4pm.
Skreemin’ Egulz Describing themselves as the only biker-blues-rock band in the Middle East, you can expect a range of classics ranging from BB King to Eric Clapton. Well-suited to the biker crowd, the guys are as comfortable bashing out classic rock and heavy metal as they are plucking their way through blues numbers. When to catch them: Fri Oct 25, 5pm. Sat Oct 26, 8pm.
Point of View Winners of Time Out Dubai’s Best Dubai Act at the Nightlife Awards, the band’s debut album Revolutionize the Revolutionary was endorsed by the current lead guitarist of Guns N’Roses, Ron Bumblefoot Thal, who later toured with the band. When to catch them: Fri Oct 25, 6pm.
Salha & The Million Dollar Band Larger-than-life crooner Salha has performed across the world. She will be complemented by her full group, The Million Dollar Band. When to catch them: Fri Oct 25, 9pm.
Riff Raff Describing themselves as ‘blues stomp rock at its finest,’ this UAE-based guitar band are known for their ’70s style no-nonsense approach to rock and roll. When to catch them: Sat Oct 26, 3pm.
Cars in your eyes
Prefer four wheels to two? Don’t miss this November’s Dubai International Motor Show, where you can catch a parade of everything from supercars to vintage rides, see Dubai’s first car park drift competition, bid in a number plate auction, take part in a pit-stop challenge and much more at the indisputably action-packed five-day event. Dhs55 per person per day. Tuesday November 5 to Saturday 9. Dubai World Trade Centre, www.dubaimotorshow.com (04 308 6818).