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Five reasons why Abu Dhabi is the first Asian holder of the UCI Bike City award

Date: Thu, 09/01/2022 - 16:47
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Read more about the Bike Abu Dhabi initiative and cycling in and around Abu Dhabi here.

Abu Dhabi is a fantastic place for cyclists. Whether you want to cycle to work, for pleasure and make a desert escape on a bike, there are plenty of options for safe, pleasant biking. 

Last year, it was announced that Abu Dhabi would be the first city in Asia to hold the coveted UCI Bike City award. With this news, the Abu Dhabi government announced an exciting new initiative, Bike Abu Dhabi. 

Like all Abu Dhabi government programmes, Bike Abu Dhabi is an ambitious project. It is set to further grow the profile of cycling in the city with the aim of promoting a more sustainable, healthy lifestyle. 

Read more about the Bike Abu Dhabi initiative and cycling in and around Abu Dhabi here.

What is the UCI Bike City
The UCI organisation is the Union Cycliste Internationale. This group is dedicated to raising the profile of cycling, developing cycling abilities at all levels, from children through to professionals, and partnering with organisations and cities that share the same aspirations.   

Being awarded the UCI Bike City label is a recognition of investment in cycling at every level. It is only given to cities and regions that host professional cycling events alongside a commitment to promoting leisure and commuting cycling. A serious investment in cycling infrastructure is required.

Abu Dhabi joins an elite group of renowned cycling cities across the globe. These include Paris, Bergen, Glasgow, Vancouver and the Yorkshire region of England. 

What is the Bike Abu Dhabi initiative all about
To celebrate being awarded the UCI Bike City Label, the Abu Dhabi government has launched the Bike Abu Dhabi initiative. 

Bike Abu Dhabi is an enabling platform that celebrates and showcases everything cycling. With the motto, ‘the track is your city, your city is the track’, @bikeabudhabi seeks to inform and empower the city’s cyclists and those who are considering taking up the sport.   

Bike Abu Dhabi is set to organise some incredible cycling events in the months and years ahead. These include professional cycling events as well as amateur. Read on to find out more. 

5 reasons why Abu Dhabi is the region’s home for cycling Abu Dhabi deserves the accolade of being a UCI Bike City. 

Here’s why it is a cyclist’s dream.

1. Careem BIKE
Careem BIKE is the first bike sharing scheme of its kind in the UAE. The scheme is designed to give as many people as possible access to a bike in a simple, cost-effective way. 

Eighty Careem BIKE stations are found all over the city and in multiple convenient locations. A total of 800 bikes are featured in the different stations and are available to short-term visitors and local residents.

Careem BIKES are pedal-assisted, meaning they make use of an electric motor. They are also easily adjustable, so they suit adult riders of all ages and mobility levels. 

To get started, you need to download the Careem BIKE app and choose a membership. You can join for a day, a week, a month or a year. If you are a resident and intend to use the scheme regularly, a yearly membership works out best at AED 2 per day. 

Once you are a member, you will be given a QR code. Use this to get access to any available bike at any one of the Careem BIKE locations. Once you ride away, the bike is yours for 45 minutes and can be delivered to any other Careem BIKE location. However, you can take as many 45 minute rides as you like during your membership period. 

Careem BIKE is proving really popular for quick hops around town, commuting from metro stations to the office, short leisure rides and countless other reasons.

2. The Abu Dhabi Loop
This is a newly designated cycleway that will eventually loop around the city. It will conveniently connect key destinations for residents, visitors and commuters. 

With a total length of 109 kilometres, the Abu Dhabi Loop will length the current cycle network to more than 300 kilometres. It is expected that the total length of the network will eventually reach more than 1000 kilometres when further extensions are added at a later date.

The Abu Dhabi Loop is a Bike Abu Dhabi initiative brought by the Abu Dhabi government. It is designed to encourage Abu Dhabi citizens to live a healthier lifestyle as well as improve mobility in the city. The cycle network is considered to be a vital part of the city’s travel infrastructure, contributing a healthy and sustainable option for transportation. 

3. Velodrome Hudayriyat and Hudayriyat Island 
Velodrome Hudayriyat will be a new 3500-spectator venue, purpose built to hold track cycling events. 

Velodrome Hudayriyat will be located on Hudayriyat Island, an already popular entertainment and leisure destination. It includes a sports village plus several cycling facilities. A BMX track forms part of Circuit X, Abu Dhabi’s outdoor adventure hub. 

Nearby is Hudayriyat Bike Park with three recreational trails. 

The inner trail is perfect for beginners and is ideal for introducing children to the joy of cycling. The intermediate trail offers a longer, scenic route for more experienced cyclists. The final track at Hudayriyat is a thrill seeker's dirt circuit for the most adventurous, experienced cyclists. 

4. Al Wathba cycle track and even more leisure cycling opportunities
Just 40 minutes outside of Abu Dhabi, within easy reach of the city, cyclists can enjoy a ride through amazing desert scenery. The track covers miles and miles of desert and you can choose from a variety of loops from between 8 kilometres and 30 kilometres to suit all abilities.

Al Wathba cycle track is open 24 hours a day so you can time your ride with a spectacular desert sunrise or sunset. It’s an ideal destination for visiting cycling enthusiasts too as bike hire is available, including kids’ bikes.  

In addition, Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island regularly hosts opportunities to cycle around the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix racetrack

5. Professional cycling events
The year 2022 has already seen an incredible, successful professional cycling event, the UAE Tour. 

This seven-day event included four flat stages, one of which came through Abu Dhabi, a time trial and two mountain stages. The event was dominated by UAE Team Emirates who beat Olympic standard cyclists from all over the globe. However, as part of the Bike Abu Dhabi initiative, several more professional cycling events are already lined up.

First off is the Al Ain Classic, an amateur one-day cycling event to be held later in 2022. 

The UCI Urban Cycling World Championships will also be held in Abu Dhabi in both 2022 and 2024. And in 2028, the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships are also scheduled to happen in Abu Dhabi. 

These elite cycling events put Abu Dhabi very much on the world stage for cycling. 

A greener, healthier future
Cycling is already very much a part of Abu Dhabi life.

With the Bike Abu Dhabi initiative set to grow the sport and method of transportation further, Abu Dhabi is taking another step forward towards a healthy, greener lifestyle for all.