DUBAI // Some of the world's biggest motorbike daredevils will take to a ramp to execute 20 metre-high backflips as part of a competition to be held in Dubai.
Twelve riders will open up the throttle at the Red Bull X-Fighters series, begins in mid-April.
After its opening leg in Dubai, the competition will go on to tour four other countries before winding up in Australia in September.
More than 20,000 spectators are expected to fill a purpose-built arena in front of the Jumeirah Beach Residence complex on April 15.
"This is the first event of its kind in the region," said Hessa al Kous, head of marketing at the Dubai Sports Council. "We are able to promote Dubai and position it as a global sports city. It is a great way to create awareness and involve the communities in different events. It is our way to promote sports and get people involved in healthier lifestyles and activities."
The riders have been in training all winter and are expected to attempt stunts never seen before during the 90-minute event.
The competition started in Valencia, Spain, in 2001 and has since been held in bullfighting arenas in Mexico, in front of the Sphinx of Giza in Egypt and in Red Square in Moscow.
Competitors will include Nate Adams, an American who was last year's overall winner.
Andre Villa of Norway and Levi Sherwood of New Zealand, both runners-up in last year's competition, will also be competing. A panel of judges will measure skills including height, stunt technicality, and the difficulty of the jump.
Tickets go on sale today and range from Dh55 for standing room to Dh245 for a seat in the main grandstand.