Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and the head of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, attended the first event of the Bike Abu Dhabi Festival recently on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince met with Mr. David Lappartient, President of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), and attended the 5th UCI Urban Cycling World Championship. This championship is being held in the region for the very first time and consists of three disciplines: BMX Freestyle Park, BMX Freestyle Flatland, and Trials.
His Highness was accompanied by Mr. Aref Hamad Al Awani, the Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, the Chairman of the Department of Community Development.
On November 12th, the emirate will play host to two major cycling events: the UCI Urban Cycling World Championship and the Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo, in which 500 amateur cyclists will ride 150 KM from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain for a total of $544,516 (AED 2 million) in prize money.
The festival is the latest project to come out of the Bike Abu Dhabi platform, which Sheikh Khaled set up in November 2021 to help the emirate reach its long-term goal of becoming a major cycling destination on a global scale.
Under the platform, the emirate will experience significant infrastructure improvements, including the expansion of the 300 KM cycling network to more than 1,000 KM and the construction of the 109 KM Abu Dhabi Loop, a segregated bike path connecting key locations around the city. These changes will make it easier for people to get around and encourage them to live healthy lives and use safe, sustainable transportation.
Also, there are plans to build the Velodrome Hudayriyat, which would be a track racing facility with a 3,500-square-meter capacity that could host more high-level local and international cycling competitions.
Since Bike Abu Dhabi started, more infrastructure has been built on Hudayriyat Island. This includes the headquarters of the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, which continues to promote cycling and host races at all levels, as well as Wolfi’s Bike Shop and Colnago, two major bike suppliers.
The UCI awarded the emirate the prestigious “Bike City Label” in 2021 in honor of Abu Dhabi’s efforts to promote cycling and increase its cycling infrastructure and activities. This coincided with the debut of the Bike Abu Dhabi platform.
The 2024 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships and the 2028 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships will both take place in Abu Dhabi, in addition to the Bike Abu Dhabi Festival.