UAE women bikers get ready for an open journey in the Middle East

Chantal Asaad and Catherine Hector, motorbike riders for the show Open Road during the press Launch Hosted by Fox Network Group and e-Life at The Fridge, Al Serkal Avenue, Warehouse in Dubai. -Photo by Juidin Bernarrd
Chantal Asaad and Catherine Hector, motorbike riders for the show Open Road during the press Launch Hosted by Fox Network Group and e-Life at The Fridge, Al Serkal Avenue, Warehouse in Dubai. -Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

Chantal and Catherine said they don't mind getting grease under their fingernails or holding a spanner in their hand.



By Angel Tesorero

Published: Sat 30 Sep 2017, 6:09 PM

Meet two women bikers - an Emirati and a British national - who will lead us to an open road journey to experience the tastes and sound, vistas and various cultures while discovering some hidden gems across the region on their motorcycles.
Emirati Chantal Asaad, 30, and British national Catherine Hector, 34, will host a brand new locally-produced travel show, titled 'Open Road', premiering in February on Fox Life. According to producer Alex El Chami, the show is an unscripted travel documentary, spanning three unspecified countries in the Middle East through the eyes of two women living in Dubai as they bring us the different facets of the region up close and personal.
But make no mistake: although there might be perceptions and taboos for women to ride motorcycles, the duo asserted that the show should not be boxed in gender issues. While both of them praised the recent victory of women in Saudi Arabia who were allowed to obtain a driver's licence in the kingdom by June 2018, they said being hosts of the upcoming show is beyond the question of gender.
"I want to inspire and motivate other people to love their life and pursue their dreams but the show is not about us (hosts) being women," Chantal told Khaleej Times. "We want to bring the people to various places previously unseen. We want to share with them the excitement of being free on the road, enjoying nature, meeting different types of people, tasting different kinds of food and immersing in various cultures," she added.
"Us being women should not be a question," added Catherine. "We want to show how local biker communities live - what they do; how they behave and interact."
Chantal and Catherine said they don't mind getting grease under their fingernails or holding a spanner in their hand. It is the bond over a shared interest in companionship and adventure in the open road that will keep them going.
According to the show runner, pre-production of the show will be in October and principal shooting will begin in December with post-production in January to be ready for telecast in February. The pilot episode of 'Open Road' will focus on the Middle East and subsequent episodes will bring Chantal and Catherine to other parts of the world.
Chantal and Catherine said they will not have an exact route and will leave their journey and discovery open to spontaneous and random opportunities as life and travelling are not always easy anyway.
"Once we are on a crossroad, we will decide whether we take left or right. It will be an unplanned trip but we will have one goal in mind and that is to meet people, learn their culture, taste their food and enjoy their company," they concluded.
angel@khaleejtimes.com


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