Dubai Destinations: Cycle around lakes, deserts and camel tracks to explore Emirate like never before

With temperatures dipping below 10°C, just rent a cycle and check out Dubai’s marvels at a slower pace


Sahim Salim

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Published: Mon 17 Jan 2022, 10:52 AM

Last updated: Mon 17 Jan 2022, 10:58 PM

Did you know that over 55 per cent of cycling trips registered in Dubai are for commuting?

According to Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) data shared with Khaleej Times, residents are increasingly using this eco-friendly transportation method for daily commutes.

In the first quarter of 2021, about 3.4 per cent of public transport users cycled their way to their stations, the data showed.

Russian expat, Natasha Rukavishnikova, who had recently won a free one-year subscription to Careem BIKE service, told Khaleej Times earlier: “If I am looking to travel to Downtown and must take the Metro, especially during summer when it’s very hot and unbearable to walk down that distance, on a bicycle it's just 2.5 minutes. It’s much quicker and efficient to bike to the Metro station than walk down.”

Renting a cycle

In Dubai, you don’t have to buy a bike to cycle around. With temperatures dipping below 10°C, just rent a cycle and check out Dubai’s marvels at a slower pace.

In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Hussain Al Banna, executive director of traffic at Traffic and Roads Agency, RTA, said: “The rental service covers a range of populated areas throughout the city, where 760 bicycles are distributed in more than 74 stations.”

Some of the areas include Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Road, JLT, Al Rawda, Barsha Heights, Dubai Water Canal, Dubai Media City, Downtown Dubai and Al Qudra. It’s offered as a mobility option in Karama, Mankhool and Al Qusais as well, he added.

Know the rules

According to Al Banna, cycling is prohibited in Metro stations and on pedestrian bridges. You need to get off your bike and push it on bridges and fold them to carry in the Metro.

Cyclists under the age of 12 are not allowed to ride on the road or on a track unless accompanied by an adult. They are required by law to wear a protective helmet and a reflective jacket.

“Cyclists must ride towards traffic, not the other way around, and follow the designated cycle path,” said Al Banna. “They must not use dual headsets while riding.”

The maximum number of allowed individuals per group is 20.

Over 750km to explore

From paths made from camel tracks to desert routes, cyclists are spoilt for choice.

According to Al Banna, Al Qudra Cycling Trail is the longest path in Dubai. Extending 135km in length, it connects Al Barari to Bab Al Shams along Al Qudra Street and passing near Al Qudra Lakes.

See the desert like never before:

Photo: Visit Dubai
Photo: Visit Dubai

According to Visit Dubai, Nad Al Sheba has a path carved out of a camel track near the Meydan racecourse. It “offers brilliant views of Downtown Dubai and the Burj Khalifa”.

“There are three different loops – 4km, 6km and 8km – plus lockers, air-conditioned changing rooms and shower facilities. The course is even lit for night riding, making it the perfect choice even in the warmer summer months,” the Visit Dubai website says.

Photo: Visit Dubai
Photo: Visit Dubai

And Dubai has ambitious plans to expand. By 2026, nearly 300km will be added, bringing the total to 759km.

Among the routes to watch out for is a 50km track that will see you bike down sandy paths, surrounded by lush green trees. The first facility of its kind to be built by the Dubai Municipality in the heart of the city, the track will snake around the park’s forest that has 70,000 trees.

Photo: Dubai Media Office
Photo: Dubai Media Office

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