Inside RollDXB: Why Dubai's new roller disco is the place to be

The new space in Mina Rashid is bringing the UAE's skating community together under one roof

Inside a warehouse in Mina Rashid, a movement is happening. People from across Dubai – and the UAE – are coming together, lacing up and skating.

The roller skating community has been quietly growing in the UAE in recent years, but it now has a permanent home thanks to the newly opened RollDXB rink – the first such facility in the region.

But RollDXB is not just a place for the seasoned skater. Whether you are looking to learn, dance, practise your tricks or just get inspired, the space has something to offer everyone.

“RollDXB is a child-friendly, elderly-friendly, even pet-friendly destination,” says RollDXB member Eman. “People of all ages come here, children as young as 4, depending on their skate size.”

The facilities at RollDXB include an open skate space that measures 500 metres in diameter, with two overlooking mezzanine areas, one of which will be home to a food and drink offering in the future, while the other will house a DJ podium.

And of course, what disco would be complete without a signature glittering ball (or, in this case, dozens of them)?

More advanced skaters can also enjoy the use of the nostalgic tunnels and skate park.

The space opened its doors in April for what the founders were hoping would be a quiet Ramadan period to help them find their feet. However, it didn’t quite go to plan.

“Since day two we had a huge flourish of customers coming in with bookings, and it’s been great ever since,” says Eman. “We didn’t really expect this influx of people and this uptake so soon.”

What has been even more heartening for Eman is seeing how many beginners have been coming through the door and getting hooked on the sport.

“There is a huge community that come to RollDXB who started as beginners and had zero skate experience when they first came, and now they are some of our most avid guests,” she says.

“They are constantly here. Some of them have also transformed into volunteers at RollDXB, so not only have they learnt to skate with our resident coaches found on the ground, but they have also become volunteers that help with day-to-day operations and helping others learn.

“It feels great,” she says. “We love the fact that it’s already so much more than just a rollerskating facility; we are building a community of people who are just coming together and creating good vibes all around.”

RollDXB is also about to ramp things up a notch with a number of events and themed nights in the works.

“We have lots of events planned,” Eman says. “Whether it’s competitions, dance-offs, student nights, themed nights – so anything from 1960s and 1970s nights, Cher nights, hip-hop and urban nights, Great Gatsby nights – we have a huge line-up of events that are hopefully going to be announced post-Ramadan.

"And once the Covid restrictions let up, we have a beautiful line-up of DJs.”

The project has been two years in the making, but the RollDXB community has been around for much longer. Founded by a small group of enthusiasts who took up skating as a hobby while studying abroad, the group began with a number of organised outdoor skate sessions and that organically grew into a diverse and passionate community made up of people who wanted a more permanent place to come together, practise, create and share.

“We had bigger dreams and aspirations to bring everything together to have one destination where it’s the ultimate creative hub,” Eman says. “A destination for everything creative – freedom of expression. You can literally do anything at the destination; it’s a multifunctional destination, whether it’s for photoshoots, movie nights, fashion shows, sports events, dance-offs and definitely our core offerings, which are skate nights, as well.”

The facility is also home to a multipurpose room that can be used for private and group lessons, for those looking to sharpen up their skills. Group classes can accommodate up to 10 people at a time and start from Dh175 per person, while private tuition is Dh350 per hour.

Those who have their own skates are welcome to bring them along, but those who don’t can rent a pair from Dh112. Helmets are also available to hire.

Open daily, 4pm-1am. Wednesday ladies-only sessions take place at 8pm and 9.45pm. Advance bookings must be made via WhatsApp on 055 800 6868. More information is at www.rolldxb.com

Updated: May 9, 2021 11:23 AM

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