Without much ado, let's spell out what's in store for you at this year's bike and off-road vehicle exhibition: over 150 exhibitors will showcase their wares; adrenaline junkies can take in impressive stunts by international motorbike performers; custom bike builders can compete to win a trip to this year's World Championship of Custom Bike Building in Sturgis, USA; and music lovers can enjoy shows by two huge names from the world of pop — Amy Winehouse and Pharrell Williams, with Mike Posner appearing as special guest.
Or you can simply get a taste of the local rock music scene at the Piazza music stage, where 12 outfits will fight it out at the Rolling Stones Battle of The Bands competition.
In its 11th year now, the three-day festival has established itself as a one of its kind event in the Middle East for the biking industry. "It's the only two-wheeler platform in the UAE's automotive industry; it's really the only time we showcase our bikes. Bikers come from all over the region for the exhibition," said Shivani Duseja, Director of Duseja Motorcycles in Dubai.
Duseja will be exhibiting three brands of motorbikes at the exhibition and while they "do sell bikes at the exhibition, it's open to anyone who has a passion for bikes or scooters and this is our way of sharing that passion with the community".
This sentiment is echoed by Nelson Suresh Kumar, Managing Director of Classic Motorcycles, who says, "It's the only time we get to interact with all our customers at the same time."
Take your pick
For bike owners, affiliated to a bike club or not, a highlight of the festival is the In Show Bike Park. To take part, bike owners simply have to drive up and park. But with space limited to only 1,000 bikes, the park is available on a first-come-first-served basis.
For those who want to take a break from looking at (and possibly buying) the street bikes, cruisers, off-road bikes, quad bikes, ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), UTVs (urban terrain vehicles), bike accessories and other merchandise, they can visit one of the dedicated stunt arenas holding demonstrations and performances.
We are talking about the FMX (Freestyle Motocross) stunt arena, the street bike arena, the ATV action zone and the International Moto-X arena. With performances running regularly from 12pm-8pm over the course of the festival, visitors can witness some of the most dangerous and thrilling stunts, or try their hand at their own skating stunts at the Rage Skate Park.
February 11 will also see the return of the Thunder Parade, a bike ride through the streets of Dubai in order to raise awareness for the Dubai Autism Centre. The parade attracts members from bike clubs from across the region, and this year, organisers hope to have over 1,000 riders participating in the charity event.
This year also marks the first year that the Gulf Bike Week has been added to the international affiliate programme of the Official World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
Custom bike builders can enter their creations in any of the 13 categories and compete to win an all expenses paid trip to Sturgis, South Dakota to take part in the World Championship.
The 2011 Gulf Bike Week promises to be a treat for bike and off-road enthusiasts, as well as music lovers and families.
The ride starts at 2pm from Dubai Festival City, goes over Business Bay Bridge, down Al Khail Road and Shaikh Zayed Road until the 7th Interchange, then back and over Garhoud Bridge and ending at the Festival City. This event is open to anyone with a motorbike!
- The Gulf Bike week runs from February 10-12. Day passes (accessing all areas except the main stage concerts)
- Cost: Dh40.
- For more details, go to www.gulfbikeweek.com
Battle of the bands
Twelve local bands will hit the stage for Rolling Stone Middle East's first Battle of the Bands competition on February 11 and 12. The winning band will receive a special Rolling Stone Middle East trophy, studio time and digital recording at Joshua F. Williams Music and Sound, gift certificates from Thomsun and future coverage in Rolling Stone Middle East magazine. The 12 bands are: Behold The Locus, The Brownies, Dahab, Fist In Your Face, I.E.D., Lazzy Lung, RaSh Radio, Revolution Junkies, SimpleXity, Tim Hassall & The August Company, Universal Rogue and We Left As Skeletons.
The five-time Grammy Award winning British superstar is set to bring her soulful and jazzy vocals to Dubai.
While Amy has been tabloid fodder for her colourful personal life, there is no denying that the 27-year-old singer-songwriter has genuine talent. Her debut album in 2003, Frank, not only went triple platinum in the UK, but earned her Brit Award and Mercury Prize nominations. Three years later she released her second and more popular album, Back to Black, which brought her five Grammy awards including one for Song of the Year for Rehab.
- When: February 11, doors open 6pm, show starts 9pm
- Where: Dubai Festival City Arena
- Tickets: Dh300, Dh500, Dh1,000
Pharell Williams with his band N.E.R.D.
Pharell Williams has worked with everyone from Gwen Stefani to Madonna vocally, and produces tracks for the likes of Beyonce and The Hives. He and his band N.E.R.D. are known for their hip-hop rock/funk sound and have given hits such as She Wants to Move and Hot N' Fun. They will be joined by special guest Mike Posner, the dance-pop sensation with the hit Cooler Than Me.
- When: February 10, Doors open 6pm, show starts 8pm
- Where: Dubai Festival Arena
- Tickets: Dh250, Dh500
- The writer is an intern at XPRESS