Thu 10-11-2022 11:50 AM
ABU DHABI, 10th November, 2022 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, today attended the inaugural edition of the Bike Abu Dhabi Festival at Abu Dhabi’s Corniche.
During his visit, His Highness met with David Lappartient, President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), and witnessed competitors participating in the 5th UCI Urban Cycling World Championship, which is being held in the region for the first time and comprises three disciplines: BMX Freestyle Park (on the Olympic Games programme since Tokyo 2020), as well as the BMX Freestyle Flatland and trials.
His Highness was accompanied by Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development; and Aref Hamad Al Awani, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
The week-long Bike Abu Dhabi Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed and organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, brings 300 of the world’s top urban cyclists to Abu Dhabi.
It will see the emirate host two world-class cycling events: the UCI Urban Cycling World Championship; and the Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo, for which 500 amateur athletes will tackle a 150km course from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain and compete for an AED2 million prize pot on 12 November.
The festival is the latest initiative under the Bike Abu Dhabi platform, launched by Sheikh Khaled in November 2021 to spearhead the emirate’s long-term ambitions to become a leading global cycling hub.
Under the platform, the emirate will see significant infrastructure enhancements, including an extension of the emirate’s 300km cycling network to more than 1,000km, as well as the 109km Abu Dhabi Loop – a segregated cycle way linking key destinations across the city, further enhancing mobility and encouraging the community to engage in a healthy lifestyle and use safe and sustainable transportation.
Plans are also in place to build Velodrome Hudayriyat, a 3,500sqm capacity arena for track racing that will provide further opportunities to host high-profile international and local cycling events.
Additional new infrastructure on Hudayriyat Island since the launch of Bike Abu Dhabi includes the headquarters of Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, which continues to promote cycling and organise competitions at every level; and two large-scale bike suppliers, Wolfi’s Bike Shop and Colnago.
The launch of the Bike Abu Dhabi platform came as the emirate was awarded the prestigious ‘Bike City Label’ by the UCI in 2021 in recognition of Abu Dhabi’s efforts to promote cycling and expand its cycling infrastructure and programmes.
In addition to the Bike Abu Dhabi Festival, Abu Dhabi will host another edition of the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships in 2024, as well as the 2028 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.