Three friends with one bright idea are hoping to change the face of Dubai’s roads.
University friends Fahad Hareb, Saoud Khoory and Ali Al Madani are the bright sparks behind Ebikes UAE and if they get their way, we’ll be ditching our cars and zipping to work on speedy eco-friendly two wheels.
Although the business has been up and running for less than two years, it’s already proving a surprisingly popular concept in a city that loves cars.
They’re the UAE first electric bike specialist and stocks brands from all over the world, plus the custom-made Saluki bikes – named after the Bedouin hunting dog – that mechanical engineer Fahad makes himself.
Dubaiweek.ae meets Fahad to find out more..
Electric bikes – they’re expensive and a bit slow, aren’t they?
“Our bikes range from AED 6,500 to AED 32,500 and the craziest ones can go up to 80 kmph. Most people don’t believe it until they get on. The slower ones almost look like a regular bike but with a 350 watt motor that can do between 30-38 kmph. The faster ones look like a motorcross or more heavy duty cycle.”
Wow, that’s pretty fast. Is it terrifying?
“It’s not bad at all! A customer used one of our bikes in the Jebel Ali Chase and the ambulance was coming alongside him and telling him to slow down. They didn’t realised it was an e-bike and were worried he was going to have a heart attack, because he was going so fast.”
You’re credited with creating the the UAE’s first-ever electric desert bike..
“Our Moonlander and Saluki bikes are specially developed for going off roads and on snow. The wide tyres are perfect for sand, so we take that and ride it in the desert, where we can get up to speeds of just over 40 kmph. They have a range of 80 km and because they’re pretty much silent, they’re great for seeing wildlife on desert tracks.”
Bikes are your passion. How did you turn your hobby into a business?
“I have a federal job that is very demanding (he’s project design director of Dubai Design District) and I’ve always been interested in anything mechanical. When we had the idea for the business, we were sourcing e-bikes and we sold out on the first batch. We were dealing with the office in the US and we got the second batch, then we started sourcing parts and I made them myself in my living room.”
On your bike! The e-bike has 18 gears and is classed as a regular bike, so no licence is needed. Shop around at www.ebikesuae.com. Even Dubai Police have got in on the eco-friendly act and have five electric bikes for covering tourist areas and shopping centres.