Photo essay: happy birthday to Singhs Motorcycle Club UAE

The community club turns eight this week

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Singhs Motorcycle Club UAE has been revving loud and proud for the Sikh community in Dubai for the past eight years, and this week the group had a big bash to celebrate the anniversary.

Marking the occasion alongside Bhangra Crew, a traditional dance school that turned six years old this week, members held an event at Al Khoory Sky Garden Hotel.

Members of Singhs Motorcycle Club UAE during the club's eighth anniversary and Bhangra Crew Dubai's (Folk Dance School) sixth anniversary bash in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

Gurnam Singh, founder of the UAE chapter of the motorcycle club, said the event was "fantastic".

"The Bhangra Crew are our brothers, they're from the same roots. We've done a number of projects together over the past six years, exploring and sharing the same culture and traditions from the Punjab and India."

Members of the Sikh community performing Bhangra traditional folk dance of Punjab region in India. Pawan Singh / The National

The soiree didn't only mark the dual anniversaries, either, as Singhs MC UAE also launched its elite club, and invited people to join the club who don't ride bikes but want to do something for the community.

"Anybody can join who is looking forward to doing something for the community, the youngsters and the next generation, to promote the culture, traditions and connect people," Gurnam Singh says.

Young member gets his turban ready for the event. Pawan Singh / The National

The legacy of Singhs MC UAE, the members of which like to call themselves the "Turbanators", dates back to 2014, when Gurnam Singh, a long-term Dubai resident and architect, co-founded the club with Tanuj Singh.

"During that period we have done a number of projects that have been extraordinary. So many special rides for the nation, so many parades," he says, citing events for the Year of Tolerance, Year of Zayed and breast cancer awareness.

Gurnam Singh, left, founder of Singhs Motorcycle Club UAE. Pawan Singh / The National

Most recently, the group participated in an anti-drug rally alongside the Dubai Police this month, and took part in the inaugural Kandura Rally.

At the event, the guest of honour was Virasat Sandhu, a Punjabi singer and lyricist, who also "promotes the culture of the Punjab and Sikh history", Gurnam Singh says.

Punjabi singer Virasat Sandhu performing at the anniversary celebrations. Pawan Singh / The National

Bhangra Crew performed wonderfully on stage, Gurnam Singh says. The school teaches traditional Indian dance to youngsters, "diverting their attention from gadgets and devices and bringing them on to the floor to exercise and be physically fit for one hour on weekends", he says.

Women also performed the Punjabi folk dance of giddha at the event.

Participants performing giddha, a popular women's folk dance in the Punjab region in India. Pawan Singh / The National

Another highlight of the event was when the community paid tribute to late Indian singer Sindhu Moose Wala, who was killed while he was driving near his home in Moosewala village in Mansa district of northern Punjab on May 29.

When Moose Wala visited the UAE last year to shoot his music video GOAT, Singhs MC UAE were invited to be part of the video.

"We paid tribute and everyone was standing, from children to the elderly."

Members of Singhs Motorcycle Club UAE paid tribute to the late Indian singer Sidhu Moose Wala. Pawan Singh / The National

Gurnam is also celebrating the club's latest achievement, which is setting up a chapter in Sydney, Australia called Singhs Social Motorcycle Club, which currently has 28 members.

The latest ride they took part in was travelling 350 kilometres to a war memorial to pay tribute to Sikh soldiers who fought in the Second World War.

"Our next vision is our northern India chapter," Gurnam Singh says. While that chapter already exists, there are plans to expand its reach.

Members of he Sikh community getting ready for the event. Pawan Singh / The National

Gurnam Singh says he couldn't have done any of it without the community in the UAE.

"We thank the community that gives us so much love, our fans who get involved on social media, the government of the UAE and the authorities who give us freedom to ride in a turban and promote our culture and explore the vision of brotherhood.

"We look forward to taking this message further, beyond the UAE."

Members of Singhs Motorcycle Club UAE in selfie mode. Pawan Singh / The National
Updated: July 09, 2022, 10:33 AM
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