The United Arab Emirates, is once again, part of a milestone. On May 10th, Abu Dhabi hosted the first-ever Monster Jam in the Middle East. Monster Jam is very well known in the United States. My mother took me several times as a kid. But what is lesser known is Monster Jam International. You’ll find them in Finland, Holland and Sweden…even down under in Australia! And now, you’ll find them returning to Abu Dhabi next year, opening their doors to the Middle East.
I introduced my family to Monster Jam this year, at the May 10th spectacular, and even treated them to the packed pit party where we rubbed shoulders with all the truck drivers and gawked at the massive trucks. My daughter was impressed with the driver of El Toro Loco, Becky, who happens to be a woman. She cheered for her all night, and I must say, the crowd did too. She was quite impressive handling that truck, and created a frenzy when she stole the temporary lead from Blue Thunder. Perhaps the overall biggest thrill for my kids was seeing and cheering for the Hot Wheels Team; including Superman, Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man. Even my husband, a newbie to the Monster Truck scene, found himself thoroughly enjoying himself.
After the event, I had a chance to catch up with a Monster Jam representative, Denny Hartwig, and ask a few questions about their overall reflection on bringing Monster Jam to the Middle East.
What finally prompted Monster Jam to head to the Middle East?
Monster Jam is the most family friendly motor sports live show on the planet, with greater access to the the stars of the show than other form of live entertainment. The people of Abu Dhabi love great family based entertainment and Monster Jam was a perfect fit. Long time coming and together with our partner, Flash Entertainment, we made the decision to come to Abu Dhabi as a first ever Monster Jam show in GCC.
What challenges did Monster Jam face here in the Middle East vs. other locales?
In general- nothing out of the ordinary -We had to adjust the work schedule to the climate which was a challenge to some extent. With the show in Abu Dhabi we introduced the use of the “cooling suites” that helped the drivers stay cool during the show. On the other hand, it was very nice to have nice weather after a long, mostly cold tour in United States. All our shows are tailored for the specifics of the region. Last weekend, we adjusted the show format in order to respect the calls for prayer. The experience has been fantastic in all aspects: the people, food, culture. The hospitality we received has been great. We can only speak in positives.
Do you feel the event was as successful here in the Middle East as you had hoped?
The event exceed our expectations. It was a huge success and yes, we will be back next year!
What aspects of the UAE did the Monster Jam team seem to like best?
They liked the friendliness of people, the atmosphere and the unique culture of Abu Dhabi and the region. For most of the crew, it was their first visit in the Middle East, and for many, it is now their favourite destination.
I’m so glad Monster Jam was such a success here in the Middle East, and am super excited to know they will be returning for future events. It was definitely like having a piece of home way over here in the desert. Be sure to catch their International Tour at these locations:
September 28-29, 2013
Exclusively in Sydney, Australia
October 19, 2013
November 2-3, 2013
November 9, 2013