Anyone who has ever been to Dubai will say that it is a city for drivers. Although it does have a few beautiful cycling paths, the city is still very limited when it comes to bicycle friendly spots, with traffic making it difficult and even dangerous for cyclists to get around. However, this is about to change, as Dubai will be introducing 500km of cycling routes to the city.
During his most recent visit to RTA (Roads and Transport Authority), His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai as well as Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, made a few important decisions regarding transportation in the Emirate. Perhaps the most impressive project approved by Dubai’s Ruler was the additional 500km of cycling tracks to be developed throughout the city.
This project came about as a way to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, making Dubai more eco-friendly and encouraging people to leave their cars at home. This would essentially make for a healthier population as well as having a positive impact on the environment. ‘Isn’t Dubai too hot to cycle?‘ some may ask. While in the summer this may be true, the winter and spring months offer extremely pleasant temperatures, which see residents and tourists venture outside to enjoy as much fresh air as possible without worrying about the overwhelming heat. More options for cycling would further encourage people to be outdoors and take in the fantastic weather.
The new routes around the city will be a game changer in terms of transport. In order to get some perspective on how long the track will be, think of Sheikh Zayed Road. At 558km long, this is one of the main roads in the country, going all the way from Al Sila’a in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to Ras Al Khaimah. Taking this into account, if the new routes were to be placed together, they would allow cyclists to travel nearly the same distance.
It’s still unknown which of Dubai’s roads will be getting their own cycling routes, but residents are anxiously waiting to find out. The tracks are set be complete by 2021 – but people are already raving about them as well as some other important projects that were given the green light by His Highness during his RTA visit.
The city now plans to expand capacity in several metro stations, including Burj Khalifa and Mall of the Emirates. Additionally, Dubai hopes to introduce approximately 3,000 more taxis and 750 green buses by 2020, in time for the long awaited Expo 2020.