Abu Dhabi Is Designated As Asia’s First Bike City With New Cycling Track & Island Velodrome

by Krishna Toprani
by Krishna Toprani 846

On 2nd November, Tuesday, Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, accepted the prestigious ‘Bike City’ label from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The city is the first destination in Asia to receive the distinction. Other towns with the status include Bergen in Norway; Copenhagen, the Danish capital, Glasgow in Scotland, and the French capital of Paris.

What is the UCI?

Originating from Aigle, Switzerland, the Union Cycliste Internationale is the world governing body for sports cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events. The UCI also manages the classification of races and the points ranking system in various cycling disciplines including road and track cycling, mountain biking and BMX, for both men and women, amateur and professional. Along with this, it also oversees the World Championships.

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Abu Dhabi Cycling Loop

  • Planned infrastructure projects include a new 109-kilometre designated cycling track called the Abu Dhabi Loop and a 3,500-seat velodrome, called the Velodrome Hudayriyat, to be built on Hudayriyat Island.
  • The Loop will be a segregated cycleway linking key destinations around the city and the 12,000-square-metre velodrome will offer track racing.
  • In total, the emirate plans to extend its current 300km cycling network to more than 1,000km.

Further Plans To Promote Cycling

  • Sheikh Khaled also launched Bike Abu Dhabi, a new platform to spearhead the emirate’s long-term cycling ambitions to become a leading global cycling hub. The organisation will work on cycling infrastructure projects and foster links between three critical elements for cycling growth: mobility, health and leisure, and sport. Bike Abu Dhabi will also organise competitions and events, with three events announced on Tuesday, reports The National News
  • The Abu Dhabi Al Ain Classic is a one-day race open to UAE clubs and amateurs that will start in Abu Dhabi and finish in Al Ain. This will take place for the first time in 2022.
  • The city has also been announced as the host of the 2022 and 2024 editions of the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships and the 2028 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
  • Abu Dhabi’s new UCI Bike City label recognises the emirate’s long-standing commitment to the UCI’s Cycling for All strategy, which aims to promote cycling as a healthy, everyday activity, as a more sustainable means of transport, and as a competitive sport for amateurs and professionals.

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