2014 Camp RZR UAE Saturday
Its hard to explain in words what the first ever Camp RZR UAE event meant not only to us as representatives of the UTV community from America but also for the people here in the UAE. Camp RZR UAE was organized by Polaris RZR for one reason. That reason was to open eyes both here in the UAE and in the United States, as well as across the world that this common bond we share in off-road, despite all of our cultural differences, truly links us together as a community. Once here you quickly realize that it doesn’t matter what language you speak or what clothes you wear, the food you eat or what your name is because once we strap a helmet on and turn the key we are all the same.
This event was so much more than just an outreach event put on by Polaris to help boost sales or instill brand loyalty. This was about showing people in the international community that Polaris as a brand sees beyond the boarders of North America. That while they will always be centered in the United States, countries like the UAE are still a priority in the eyes of those who lead the RZR brand.
Fortunately for us here at UTVUnderground.com, we were invited to come along. We can’t express how grateful we are to have been asked to join Polaris, RJ Anderson, Jagged-X, and Walker Evans Racing on this journey to the Middle East. This was my second time to the UAE as I was able to join Funco on a trip here back in 2012 where I made numerous friends. On that trip I learned of just how great of a country the UAE is and more than that just how kind and welcoming the people here were. When I returned from the trip in 2012 I told all my friends and anyone else who would listen about how awesome the UAE was and cool and humble the people were and how I wanted to find a way to get back with Mad Media and photographers and tell the story of this culture and country in a way that people in the US would want to watch and truly understand. For me, this was the greatest thing to be invited by Polaris to come back because now we had that catalyst to allow us to tell this story and share this amazing place with the world and with those back in the United States.
With all that said I want to thank Polaris RZR for creating Camp RZR UAE and bringing us all along on the journey. While I have focused on the deeper impact of this event I do owe it to the staff and attendees and all of you still reading this to explain just how cool of an event this was beyond the cultural impact. It was a lot like Camp RZR Glamis, we had the big screen, XP1K on display of course, kids zone, food, and the well received Polaris Service Center where techs repaired machines free of cost all weekend long. Polaris hosted a cool Show & Shine contest that myself, Craig Scanlon, Bill Schueler and RJ Anderson got to be judges of. Each afternoon the Dubai RZR Team led by Mohammed Gulzar and Ahmed Saif took us on some AMAZING group rides through the majestic dunes here in the UAE. One thing that was different here at Camp RZR UAE was the addition of race competitions. RJ and I went head to head in the 4 staged competitions and had a blast. All of this action we will bring to you in the form of a cool Mad Media produced Camp RZR UAE Highlight Video!
Lets talk about the riding here. Its very different then the duning we are used to participating in the USA. Some of it is still similar but because the dunes are different the drivers navigate through them differently. Its is not about being smooth and flowing through the bowls, here its about destroying every lip and finding every crease and valley and driving your machine to the absolute limit. Never in my life have I driven with a more talented group of duners then I did this weekend with the BoomerTeam UAE and Dubai RZR Team. These groups of friends who have established teams to just purely ride and drive in as enthusiasts, not as competitors, are unreal. Never have my driving skills ever been tested like they have here. Not only did I learn a thing or 2 about just how far I could push the Polaris RZR, I also learned how far I could push myself and for that I thank them. Every ride was an adrenaline rush, a mad dash to our destinations. To keep up with the leaders you had to be willing to almost throw it all away but once you settled into that pace you couldn’t let it go. The feelings I had pushing those RZR’s through dunes and scrubbing lips side by side with RJ and the BoomerTeam drivers was something that even as I type it makes me tense up. WOW, what a rush!
Now before I wrap my story up I want to throw a few shout outs out to people here. Of course Polaris, without them and their staff and their love of UTVUnderground.com and what we bring to the table together with their support there is NO WAY we would have been here so HUGE THANK YOU to Craig, Jason, Justin and the ENTIRE RZR staff for bringing us along to tell your story and ours. With that said, I must speak on behalf of all of us who came on the same flight from Los Angeles last week to Dubai. When we arrived the BoomerTeam UAE whom I had only speken to a few times via the UTVUnderground.com Forum was there at the airport waiting for us with open arms. They picked us up in style, in a convoy of SUVs, took us to our hotel where we were able to check it, handled rental vehicles for us, then took us to dinner even though they all still had to be at their own work places early the next morning. They stayed out with us until 2am, buying us a fantastic dinner before bringing us back to the hotel. The following evening they once again picked us up, took us site seeing and then brought us to their EZBA (camp) where we enjoyed a fantastic traditional dinner and then were handed awards and showered with gifts. Its a feeling you only receive when you are with close family or friends and while we have only known these guys for a few days we have already established life long friendships. As I type this they are on their way to our hotel once again to give us one final fun day in the city, making sure we leave on a high note. Whats crazy is, its not just the BoomerTeam who are like this here. This is how they all are, they all care about how we are being treated and if we are enjoying our selves and if we are taken care of. Every morning and night I am greeted with text messages thanking us for coming yet it is them that all of us are thanking. I don’t know how I could ever repay them other than doing our best to make sure if they ever visit our country that we make sure they feel the same love, but what I do know I could do is I can help share their message. This team, this culture and the people of this country have a lot to offer us as Americans. I am not speaking from a financial standpoint either even though most of these guys are total ballers. The other night on stage Craig Scanlon of Polaris said it best so I will sum up my BoomerTeam thank you with this. Craig said “We as Americans have a lot to learn from all of you (Emirates)..” The BoomerTeam for us represented what the UAE is about and its about love, respect, kindness, and finally being humble. If we began to treat one another like they treat each other here and like they treated us as visitors I couldn’t imagine a more harmonious world. So thank you UAE, BoomerTeam, Dubai RZR Team, and Polaris RZR, this was the the experience of a lifetime, one we will never forget and we can’t wait to GO BIGGER next year for 2015 Camp RZR UAE!
Until next time… Love – Fidelity – Country!
Photos by Vincent Knakal // UTVUnderground.com – Mad Media
See Friday’s Photo Action Here: http://www.utvunderground.com/camp-rzr-uae-pics-13022.html
Event Preview Story Here: http://www.utvunderground.com/2014-camp-rzr-uae-11785.html
2012 UAE Trip Adventure Here: http://www.utvunderground.com/utv-goes-to-dubai-82.html
2012 Trip Video Recap Here: http://www.utvunderground.com/breaking-down-the-uae-trip-242.html