Hit this Jumeirah eaterie for a ‘wheely’ good time
If you like good food in a relaxed cafe environment, head to the Biker’s Cafe on Jumeirah Beach Road, a place with a funky philosophy that attracts everyone, from Sheikhs to Scooter boys.
Brainchild of Khalid Bin Hadher, a big fan of motorcycles and automobiles, the cafe came about after Mr. Hadher realised the UAE didn’t have a spot for bikers to ride to and relax with great food, and a good spot to park the wheels.
Mario Diaz, spokesman for the cafe, is proud to quickly point out that since opening in May 2011, the cafe has gone from a bikers haunt to a place that attracts families – its a place for everyone.
“Bikers Cafe has become a hot spot for many to just come down and relax. Located on Jumeirah Beach Road, Bikers Cafe is the perfect stop. It now attracts different nationalities and gives them a feel of what riding is all about, with the display of motorcycles and helmets within the cafe,” he said.
While food is high on the agenda, Diaz says the cafe also caters to motorsports fans by showing the F1 Grand Prix and MotoGP live, as well as football matches.
Rather than the heavy metal, emo or punk you might expect to blare from speakers in the cafe, you’re more likely to hear traditional Arabic music.
Innovation seems important at the Bikers Cafe, which just launched its own radio station, and Diaz and the team are in the process of launching a new Bikers Cafe application for iPhone and Android users to get the latest updates and offers.
But what about the food?
Discuss the cafe to anyone who has been, and they will mention the Emirati breakfast – something of an institution.
“Our food selection includes the famous ‘Flavor of Arabia’, a traditional Emirati breakfast, comprising khameer, chebab, balaleet and muhalla, all served with jam, honey, dates and cream cheese,” said Diaz.
The menu is varied. Middle East Living enjoys the Western breakfast as much as the Emirati breakfast, but recommends getting there early to avoid the crowds on a Friday.
It might be called a cafe, but this is restaurant quality food. You can dine on international cuisine from burgers to pasta to local Emirati dishes. The menu caters to most tastes.
As Diaz puts it: “Our chefs come from different countries, adding their own secret touches. The most popular dish would be our breakfast item, The Flavor of Arabia. While it’s a traditional Emirati dish, we have witnessed other nationalities praising it. It is a must try!”
If you needed any proof of just how good the dish is, imagine chowing down on a burger and seeing none other than His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai wandering in to enjoy the ‘Flavor of Arabia’ breakfast.
Diaz says HH Sheikh Mohammed has graced the premises a number of times, as well as His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Excellency Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum.
He says the bustling roadside cafe still attracts bikers; who, in the Emirates, often ride bikes customised to the hilt. Hit the joint at the weekend, and you’ll see a display of bikes probably unmatched anywhere else in the world. “The bikers now have a place to ride to and showcase their precious wheels. Many of their bikes are usually parked on the front, with a number of spectators slowing down to see the custom-built motorcycles, cafe racers, Harley Davidsons, Ducatis, Vespa scooters and much more.”
Bikers Cafe is also on the global traveller’s map. Pause to view some of the cuttings, clippings and memorabilia on the cafe walls, and you’ll discover a host of adventurous two-wheeled globetrekkers have visited the cafe.
“We have had several travellers stop at Bikers Cafe, even cyclists and people travelling by Tuk Tuk – and all of them, great people!” he said.
Inside, the cafe is something of a shrine to two wheels. “The decor and design is all laid down by our CEO, Mr.Khalid, who has fine taste and a detailed eye for perfection. The specific flooring texture, the wallpapers, the rock pillars and every bit has been carefully chosen to make sure the bikers lifestlye is apparent as soon as you walk in.”
There’s also an apparel shop where you find some rare – and cool – biker gear – such as boots, helmets, t-shirts and bandanas. Recently, children’s clothes were introduced. Lines include Vitesse Biker boots, Biltwell motorcycle helmets, Roland Sands Design t-shirts and gloves, and Vespa gear.
And it’s not only bikes. “We recently had a Mini Cooper event which was great,” said Diaz.
The Bikers Cafe also supports a number of charity initiatives and events, and is looking to get involved in more in future.
The Dubai branch of Bikers Cafe now has a stellar reputation, great food and a great atmosphere, but it’s not a good location for those bikers who like to ‘open up’ a little; especially with the 70kph speed limit on the Jumeirah Beach Road.
For those who like a longer ride, there’s good news. “We have two more Bikers Cafe about to open this year on the UAE map. A Bikers Cafe in Fujairah, and in Abu Dhabi,” said the business development executive, adding that the cafe will continue building its empire, with plans to open a few more branches, possibly next year.
“Bikers Cafe in Fujairah will be much bigger, overlooking the ocean, with quite a view. Fujairah is a familiar route for bikers and giving them a place to ride down to in a different location with the same touch is what we aim for,” Diaz concluded.