Fantasise a race on Dubai streets

DUBAI — A no holds barred motorbike race along the highways of Dubai may seem like an adolescent fantasy. But with the release of the new ‘Dubai track’ on the Raw Thrills’ Super Bikes 2 arcade game on Wednesday, the long-anticipated dream has finally become real, at least in the virtual world.

By Praseeda Nair

Published: Thu 16 Dec 2010, 11:46 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:55 PM

From curious passers-by to hardcore gamers including children well below the minimum driving age, many stepped up to challenge UAE’s off-road bike rally champion, Khalid bin Sifan Al Falasi at the track’s launch at Fun City, Oasis Centre.

Despite having five years of real-world racing experience, including the 220km-Local Baja and World Championship events, Khalid still appreciates the thrill of arcade racing. “I remember when I was about 17 years old I used to play Sega Rally (a car racing arcade game) which was the most exciting and fun skill-based game at the time. Now with so many options in arcades and home consoles, people want something different and new, yet something that they can relate to,” Khalid told Khaleej Times. The highly popular racing game hit arcades in the Middle East in early 2006, offering players a chance to race along the virtual terrains of Las Vegas, Miami Beach and Paris. The addition of a Dubai track has been under development since 2008 when the software team started driving around the city, recording the landscape for the prototype. “We’ve provided glimpses of real roads, complete with accurate road signs and landmarks to infuse the appeal of racing with the flavour of Dubai,” Prakash Vivekanand, Director of Amusement Services International, said regarding the game’s virtual landscape. “As iconic as the Burj Al Arab internationally, Dubai itself remains a mystery to international players who have already raced in other popular cities over the years,” he added.

The game features a selection of 9 riders and 12 super bikes, including Yamaha, Ducati, Star Motorcycles and Kawasaki to add to the feel of reality of the racing process. “The video drivers in arcade games are very different from other consoles as it allows graphic realism as well as the physical feeling of riding a motorcycle,” Vivekanand said.

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