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With safe cycling and lovely weather (when it's not too hot) - Dubai is fast becoming a cycling destination...

Dubai’s new flagship 32km cycling lane will be open in November, allowing better access for three residential districts.

Those living in Mushrif, Mirdiff and Al Khawaneej will benefit from being able to ride the city’s 250km of tracks, which will be expanding to cover 500km by 2021.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, the transport authority, said 90 per cent of the work was complete on the project.

“Our aim is to provide an infrastructure at residential districts that encourages residents to practice sport, in view of its immense health benefits to people.

“The project is also part of a master plan developed by RTA for providing dedicated cycling and running tracks covering the entire emirate that can also be used as environment-friendly mobility means for cycling enthusiasts.

“Advanced countries and communities pay much attention to raising the proportion of trips made by walking and cycling,” he told Gulf News.

“The selection of these areas was based on several criteria highlighted by the population density, appeal to cyclists and pedestrians, suitability of locations and the traffic safety level.

“Moreover, lanes have been designed in such a way that ensures the safety and security of cyclists,” added Al Tayer.

“RTA is planning to construct more cycling tracks of around 234km during the period of 2018-2021. These lanes will pass through several areas including Al Warqaa, Jumeirah Beach, Nad Al Sheba, Expo 2020 site, Downtown, Jebel Ali, Al Quoz, Al Karama, Oud Metha, Hor Al Anz, Al Qusais and Al Barsha.

“These tracks will bring the total length of cycling lanes in Dubai to about 500 km by 2021,” said Al Tayer.

The popularity of cycling is booming in Dubai, especially in the cooler October to May months. It is mandatory to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle in Dubai, and cyclists are not allowed on the main highways, mainly due to the dangers from speeding cars.

Cyclists found riding on roads with speed limits of 60kmph or greater may be fined.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.