If you’re a cycling enthusiast or simply enjoy the thrill of exploring new places on two wheels, then get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the Emirates. From serene coastal roads to stunning desert landscapes, the Emirates offers an array of picturesque cycling routes that are guaranteed to leave you breathless. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a casual rider, there is something for everyone. So hop on your bike, soak up the sunshine, and get ready to pedal and explore the best cycling routes the Emirates has to offer.
What is cycling?
Cycling is a popular sport and recreational activity that involves riding bicycles for various purposes, such as exercise, commuting, or leisurely rides. It is a low-impact exercise that offers numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular fitness, increased muscle strength and flexibility, and reduced stress levels. Cycling can be enjoyed individually or in groups, making it a versatile activity for people of all ages and fitness levels.
The popularity of cycling in the Emirates
The Emirates, particularly Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have witnessed a surge in the popularity of cycling in recent years. With an increasing number of dedicated cycling tracks, beautiful routes, and a growing cycling community, the Emirates have become a haven for cycling enthusiasts. The government has also played its part in promoting cycling by investing in cycling infrastructure and organizing cycling events. The favorable weather conditions, stunning scenery, and a strong emphasis on health and wellness contribute to the rising popularity of cycling in the Emirates.
Popular Cycling Routes
Dubai Marina to Palm Jumeirah
One of the most scenic and popular cycling routes in Dubai is the stretch from Dubai Marina to Palm Jumeirah. This route offers breathtaking views of the iconic Dubai skyline and the Palm Jumeirah archipelago, making it a favorite among both locals and tourists. The approximately 13-kilometer route is well-paved and relatively flat, suitable for riders of all skill levels. As you cycle along the coastline, you’ll pass by luxury hotels, beautiful beaches, and impressive waterfront developments. The route is also lined with cafes and restaurants where you can take a break and enjoy refreshments while admiring the picturesque surroundings.
For those looking for a longer and more challenging cycling route, the Emirates Road is an excellent option. This highway connects Dubai to other Emirates, offering cyclists the opportunity to explore the stunning desert landscapes and experience the thrill of open-road cycling. The route is well-marked and has wide shoulders, ensuring the safety of cyclists. Along the way, you’ll encounter sprawling desert vistas, camel farms, and traditional Bedouin settlements. It is advisable to cycle on the Emirates Road early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid heavy traffic and extreme heat.
Al Qudra Cycling Track
Nestled amidst the vast desert, the Al Qudra Cycling Track is a must-visit for cycling enthusiasts. This 85-kilometer track offers a unique experience, combining the tranquility of the desert with the thrill of off-road cycling. The well-maintained track consists of a 50-kilometer main loop and several shorter loops, catering to riders of different preferences and skill levels. What sets Al Qudra Cycling Track apart is its stunning surroundings, including native flora and fauna, serene lakes, and mesmerizing sunsets. Cyclists might come across Arabian oryx, gazelles, and other wildlife, making it a truly unforgettable ride.
Located in Al Ain, Jebel Hafeet is one of the most challenging and exhilarating cycling routes in the Emirates. This mountainous road stretches approximately 11.7 kilometers to the summit, reaching an elevation of 1,240 meters. The ascent is demanding, with steep inclines and hairpin bends, making it a favorite among experienced cyclists seeking an adrenaline rush. Along the route, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the city of Al Ain. There are designated viewing points where you can take a break and capture stunning photographs. After conquering Jebel Hafeet, cyclists can enjoy a well-deserved meal or refreshments at one of the nearby cafes or restaurants.
Al Wathba Cycle Park
Located in Abu Dhabi, Al Wathba Cycle Park is a purpose-built cycling facility designed to cater to cyclists of all ages and skill levels. The park features a range of terrains, including a flat track, a cross-country loop, and a pump track. Cyclists can enjoy various activities, such as cross-country riding, BMX, and even night riding under floodlights. Al Wathba Cycle Park is also family-friendly, with dedicated trails for children and beginners. The park provides bike rentals, shower facilities, and a bike shop for any necessary repairs or equipment needs. It is a great place to spend a day with family or friends, indulging in the joy of cycling.
The Dubai Tour is an annual professional cycling race held in Dubai, attracting some of the best cyclists from around the world. The race consists of multiple stages, each showcasing different areas of Dubai. It provides a platform for professional teams to compete in a challenging and prestigious event. Spectators can witness the thrilling action along the routes, cheering on their favorite teams and cyclists. The Dubai Tour is not only a competitive race but also a celebration of cycling, bringing together cyclists from different backgrounds and inspiring the local community to embrace the sport.
The Sharjah Tour is another significant cycling event in the Emirates, taking place in the neighboring Emirate of Sharjah. This multi-stage race attracts international cyclists and teams, creating a vibrant atmosphere and promoting the sport on a global scale. The Sharjah Tour offers cyclists the opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of Sharjah while challenging themselves in a competitive setting. The event showcases the beauty of the Emirate and encourages riders to push their limits, inspiring the local community to participate in cycling and embrace an active lifestyle.
Abu Dhabi Cycling Festival
The Abu Dhabi Cycling Festival is a vibrant and inclusive event that caters to cyclists of all ages and abilities. Held annually in Abu Dhabi, the festival aims to promote cycling as a healthy and sustainable mode of transportation and recreation. The festival features a wide range of activities and competitions, including road races, mountain bike races, and family-friendly rides. Participants can enjoy the thrill of racing or simply join in the festivities, soaking up the lively atmosphere and interacting with fellow cyclists. The Abu Dhabi Cycling Festival successfully encourages community engagement and serves as a platform for promoting the Emirates as a cycling-friendly destination.
The Dubai Tour is a five-stage professional cycling race that takes place annually in Dubai. The race attracts some of the world’s top professional cycling teams and riders, providing an exciting and challenging competition. The routes cover diverse terrain, showcasing various iconic landmarks and attractions throughout Dubai.
One of the most anticipated stages of the Dubai Tour is the Individual Time Trial, where cyclists compete against the clock along a designated route. The Time Trial allows riders to showcase their individual strength and speed, making it a thrilling event for both cyclists and spectators. Another popular stage is the Jabel Hafeet climb, which takes the riders up the steep and challenging mountain road, unraveling breathtaking views and creating an exciting climax to the race.
Participation in the Dubai Tour is limited to professional cycling teams and riders who are members of UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) teams. The race is not open to general public participation. However, cycling enthusiasts can witness the action by lining the routes and cheering on the competing teams and riders.
Since its inception, the Dubai Tour has seen renowned professional cyclists claim victory. Some past winners include Marcel Kittel, Elia Viviani, and Mark Cavendish. These athletes have showcased exceptional skill and determination, etching their names in the history of the Dubai Tour.
Abu Dhabi Cycling Festival
Description of the festival
The Abu Dhabi Cycling Festival is an annual event that celebrates the joy of cycling and aims to encourage active participation from the community. The festival encompasses various activities and events, providing a platform for cyclists of all ages and abilities to engage in the sport.
Activities and competitions
The festival offers a wide range of activities and competitions to cater to different interests and skill levels. Road races, mountain bike races, and leisurely rides are organized to appeal to both professional and recreational cyclists. Cyclists can challenge themselves in a competitive setting or simply enjoy a leisurely ride with family and friends.
The Abu Dhabi Cycling Festival is a family-friendly event, with special activities and dedicated routes for children and beginners. The festival strives to create an inclusive and enjoyable experience for cyclists of all ages, encouraging families to actively participate together. It serves as an excellent opportunity to promote the importance of an active lifestyle and strengthen family bonds through shared experiences.
How to get involved
To participate in the Abu Dhabi Cycling Festival, individuals and teams can register online or at designated registration centers. The festival provides information about the various events, registration fees, and requirements on its official website. Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or a beginner, the Abu Dhabi Cycling Festival welcomes all cycling enthusiasts to be part of this exciting and community-centric event.
With its diverse range of cycling routes, world-class cycling events, and a flourishing cycling community, the Emirates have established themselves as a premier destination for cycling. Whether you choose to pedal along the Dubai Marina to Palm Jumeirah route, conquer the challenging Jebel Hafeet, or participate in the thrilling Dubai Tour, the options are aplenty for a delightful and unforgettable cycling experience. So grab your bike, put on your helmet, and explore the Emirates on two wheels. Happy cycling!