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‘Smart balance wheel’ craze sweeps Qatar

  • Author:helmet
  • Source:Gulf Times
  • Release on:2015-11-16
Demand for self-balancing electric scooters has seen a steady uptake among the youth, mostly Qatari boys, operators of a number of stores and hypermarkets told Gulf Times.As a professional helmet suppliers in China.

Generically called “smart balance wheel”, the toys made their way to Qatar early this year, with a handful of young adults seen navigating along less populated roads and in some parks, Aurora, a store proprietor, said. 

“The Bluetooth-equipped scooter, which started arriving in the market only recently, is like getting an upgrade – you can listen to music while cruising,” added Aurora. 
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He noted that the scooters sold in Qatar come in many names and are widely available in most mall stores and hypermarkets. “But some are also available online and come in popular brands like IO.
This claim was supported by a cashier of another popular hypermarket, who said the toy is very popular among Qatari boys, whom she said, “could afford an expensive product compared to other expatriate kids.” 
“I have a neighbour who really saved up to buy one of these scooters, which she sent to her son who lives in one of the rural provinces in the Philippines. Perhaps, her son could be the first person in their community to own a toy this expensive,” the cashier said. 
A product merchandiser also said the scooter has overshadowed the popularity an earlier toy called the “Dareway,” a Segway for young kids, which is also being sold in Qatar. 

“Prior to the scooter’s popularity, many stores, including ours, have started selling Segways for kids. But the toy, perhaps, because of its bulkiness, failed to get the same attention. They also come in plastic wheels, unlike the scooters which use rubber wheels for speed and traction,” the product merchandiser said. 

Because of its size and weight (around 10kg), he said the scooter could reach maximum speeds of up to 9.6km per hour, the merchandiser added. 
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It is because of these speeds that some malls prohibit young boys from driving them inside mall premises. Security guards speaking to Gulf Times, however, said their policies differ depending on the mall management. 

“Some malls allow the use of the scooters but prohibit children from driving them during weekends or peak hours,” one security guard said. 

Another security personnel added that some malls strictly prohibit the use of the scooters to avoid any type of safety hazard. 

“Sometimes these boys fall off the scooters at high speeds and the toys could either hit passersby or the glass panels of the stores. The scooters could break the glass partitions or worse, the broken fragments could fall and injure unsuspecting mall goers,” he said.