My UAE: Hamad Alkhoori and his Batmobile drag-racing car
By day, Hamad Alkhoori is a relationship manager at an Abu Dhabi bank. By night, Alkhoori is Batman, a drag racer known for his customised Corvette.
The bonnet of his 2013 Corvette Z06 is emblazoned with the Batman emblem. Other drivers regularly challenge him to illegal drag races. Alkhoori always declines. He advocates road safety and will only race at Yas Island. Last Friday, he placed first in a Corvette race and celebrated with a party at his office.
Raised on cartoons, Alkhoori grew up admiring Bruce Wayne, the fictional billionaire philanthropist who fights crime in his city disguised as the masked superhero.
“Superman comes out in the day, Batman comes out at night,” says Alkhoori. “Batman’s perfected himself and he’s done it an honest way.”
Alkhoori, 26, has owned 16 cars in his lifetime. The Z06 was an easy choice for his Batmobile dream. He’s owned four other Corvettes and believes nothing is as similar to the original Batmobile of the early Batman movies.
“The Corvette has the same design and style,” he says. “I found another good match, but it was a Lamborghini and cost a lot.”
The Corvette shares a driveway with Alkhoori’s 2009 Suzuki Swift, his 2014 Mercedes C63 and his pride and joy – a mint-green 1974 Mini Cooper ordered from London.
“The car I drive depends on my mood,” he says. “If I’m in a comic mood, I go with the Mini Cooper, because it’s like Mr Bean’s car.”
For work, drag races and the National Day parade, he rides in the Batmobile.
Whatever he rides, though, safety comes first. “Be careful,” he says. “Racing on the streets does not show that you’re a man or that you are better than anyone. It shows you’re irresponsible. Life is short. If you want to race, go to Yas.”
My big brother, Ahmed. He was instrumental in changing my behaviour. I was a crazy person who was doing everything crazy and I didn’t care. My brother tethered me. He was sitting with me, checking on my problems. I used to think money grew on trees. He put limits on my behaviour.
Favourite Batman movie?
I like the last movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
It shows that he is a normal man who builds himself up.
One item you always carry with you?
My iPhone. All my secrets are in here. Your phone is your secret. Without your phone, khalas, you are nothing.
My dream job is to work with the police, because I love helping people and protecting the people.
From when I was young until now, it is Mr Bean [Rowan Atkinson]. He makes me laugh. He acts silly, but he’s a genius.
Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Everyone knows that.
The new Nissan 1,200-horsepower GTR. It’s so powerful, no one can even race you.
You have a lot of ideas in your mind. Follow your ideas and you will be able to realise your dreams. Be yourself. My brother said this.
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Published: May 8, 2014 04:00 AM