More than 20,000 people took part in Dubai Ride, the first-of-its-kind cycling event on November 20, organised as part of the month-long Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC). An initiative of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, the event saw the Dubai royal join residents for the epic ride along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai.
A section of Sheikh Zayed Road turned into a cycling track from dawn as riders converged from neighbouring emirates as well as Dubai on the weekend holiday. Dubai Road Transport Authority (RTA) had announced road closure from 4am to 8am in advance for the event.
The non-competitive, free-to-enter, community event saw participants on two distinct routes – a 4-km family-friendly, fun ride open to participants as young as five and an extended, 14-km open ride for cycling enthusiasts aged 13 years and older. Participants could cycle at their own pace, on either of the two routes at their nominated check-in time. People of determination also participated in the ride with their family and friends.
At 6.05am, Dubai Police escorted the first batch of cyclists as they began the ride on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai’s arterial road that was closed to other traffic for the event. A pleasant 23℃ and cool breeze provided the ideal environment as various nationalities in full cycling gear and mandatory face masks hit the road in style.
The Family Route commenced close to The Dubai Mall Cinema Parking entrance, taking riders around Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai. Participants made a full circle around Souq Al Bahar, The Dubai Fountain and the Burj Khalifa, before finally heading back to the finishing point.
The Sheikh Zayed Road Route participants went along a loop of the main highway, between Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Safa Park. For the first time in history, both directions of the highway was open for cyclists only. Participants were given their allocated starting point based on their allotted check-in time.
Speed limits were set throughout the stretch to ensure safety, closely monitored by race marshals. This also ensured social distancing between cyclists. No backpacks were allowed on the cycling routes. Water stations were available at regular intervals along both routes.
Sheikh Hamdan thanked participants for making the event a tremendous success.
More than 20,000 people participated in Dubai Ride today… To every single rider, thank you for your positive energy and passion. This truly is the dynamic heart of Dubai that makes us proud and optimistic for our future. pic.twitter.com/mfyyEWglzP
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) November 20, 2020