Supercar culture is common in Dubai, but a group of motor enthusiasts are choosing two wheels instead of four. The motorcycle community in the Emirate is extensive, with something to offer every kind of rider. Those with a sense of adventure will find solace exploring the local Hajar mountain range. Harley riders will feel at home with one of the many groups that don traditional leathers for a desert highway cruise. In contrast, adrenaline junkies can get their kicks at Dubai's Autodrome, where racers can reach up to 300 Kmp/h on the specially designed racetrack.
The Autodrome is a hive of activity at the weekend where racers can push themselves and their motors to the limit. Track days are held regularly and see riders testing their skills and engine capabilities in a safe environment. Spectators will see road legal bikes and custom race bikes side by side on the track though all riders must meet the riding gear safety requirements.
Riders that aspire to be the next Valentino Rossi can improve their racing techniques at Furiosa's Track Academy. Managing Director of Furiosa Racing, Kyle Kumm, explains how the track academy helps riders. He said, "The idea behind the track school is that we build confident riders but in the right ways. If you are a confident rider, you will enjoy the motorcycle scene a lot more." Academy attendee, Fredric Salloum, says that he likes the learning environment. He told Euronews, "You have the riders on the track who are aware of the rules. There are also emergency services available if something happens. Overall, it's a much more controlled environment."
Off the beaten track
Most people think of Dubai and imagine skyscrapers. However, just a short ride away is the Hajar mountains. Boasting spectacular views at heights that dwarf the iconic Burj Khalifa, the Hajar mountain range has a network of dirt trails ideal for off-road motorcycles.
X Enduro offers training for riders who want to improve their off-road techniques. The qualified X Enduro instructors will use cones on a flat area to teach riding skills to start each lesson. Following this on the trails, students will navigate around trees and over rocks using the techniques learned with cones. Co-founder of X Enduro, Mikael Odmark, explains why people enjoy off-road riding so much. He said, "More and more people are getting into this. When they realise what you can do off-road, it opens up a new chapter of adventure."
To see the diversity of the riding community in Dubai, it is suggested to visit one of the fuelling stations on the city's outskirts at the weekend. Many European, Japanese and American motorcycles built for speed, adventure and comfort will be revving up for the ride ahead, as riders from all corners of the world will be exchanging tales of previous rides and aspirations for future adventures.