Ovesen Says Get On Your Bikes

With a three-year sponsorship commitment from Harley Davidson and Hummer, Mirage Promotions is confident that more people will be getting on their bikes and visiting the annual desert rally.

This year’s Bikeweek at Dubai Media City, the third time the event has been held, attracted 6,000 paying guests over two days, 800 of whom were bikers roaring in from all parts of the globe.

"We think we’ve created an event people will travel for and an event that will attract an audience from all local communities, based on a great mix of headlining talents, a beautiful lakeside setting, top food and beverage arrangements and the daily entertainment," said Mirage GM Thomas Ovesen.

While the most westernized of the Emirate capitals basked in glorious weather, the bikers cooled off between the various stunts, displays and burnouts in the HofBrauhaus-styled bars. BikeWeek is run in cooperation with MMI, Dubai’s leading liquor distributor of brands including Heineken, Absolut, Bacardi, Budweiser and Jack Daniel’s.

As the event builds, Ovesen intends to up the number of international acts. But this year’s April 5-7 bash showed it’s already strong enough to support such headliners as Tommy Lee and Puddle of Mudd. The support came from local acts including Brothermandude and Firebrands.

Lee was also master of ceremonies for some of the awards the event, which is unofficially labeled "the Dubai Jazz Fest On Speed," handed out to various categories of bikes, including the best customized and "best accessorized."

A month earlier, Ovesen and Mirage had helped bring Dubai literally to a standstill as 25,000 fans made their way to Dubai Autodrome for a March 23rd sellout.

"In a city with more construction cranes than anywhere else in the world and a road system struggling to cope with everyday traffic, the biggest concert ever staged here certainly challenged the infrastructure," Ovesen explained.

"We believe it could be years before another Dubai concert will attract so many people. And we certainly need better road infrastructure, new purpose-built venues or a rerouting of commercial and construction related traffic around concert venues in order to cope with such big concert crowds here in Dubai."

The sold-out Autodrome was configured to have 9,000 seated and 16,000 standing, all with a good view of what Mirage said was "a show production similar to that of any other large-scale concert arena anywhere else in the world."

The all-day event coincided with the regional launch of Sony’s Playstation 3. The electronics giant sponsored the show and guests had access to a variety of the company’s consoles and games.