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Dubai | © Peter Dowley/Flickr
Dubai | © Peter Dowley/Flickr

The Most Spectacular Places to Cycle in the UAE

Picture of Thais Kelly
Updated: 7 May 2017
Although the United Arab Emirates is known for its extremely hot summers, making any outdoor activities pretty unbearable, cycling culture appears to be growing in the country regardless. For the brave ones who can stand cycling in summer, or for the seasonal cyclists, there are an increasing number of places to take their bikes and enjoy stunning views while working out. Those interested in cycling while in the UAE should have a look through the country’s cycling laws before hopping on a bike.

Al Qudra Cycle Track

This track is one of Dubai residents’ favorite places to cycle, as the track is 86 kilometers long and provides cyclists with a breathtaking view of the desert dunes and if lucky, the local wildlife. The track welcomes both professional cyclists and amateurs and offers two different routes, one of 18km and a second of 50km, catering to all stamina levels. For those visiting without their bike, you can rent bikes, helmets and lights at the start of the track at the TREK Bicycle Store. Cycling at this track is entirely free of charge and the best time to go is sunrise.

Yas Marina Circuit

The Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is known for its Formula 1 races and fast cars, however, twice a week it welcomes cyclists to ride around the arena. On Sunday and Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 10pm, cyclists of all levels of expertise can ride the track. During these two evenings, it can only be used by cyclists and runners, to encourage physical activity and a healthy lifestyle – and the entrance is free. For those without bicycles, the arena has 400 bikes available, which are complimentary.

Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, +971 2 659 9800

Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park

This cycle track has one of the most privileged views of the Burj Khalifa and the Downtown Dubai skyline. What once was an abandoned camel racing track, now it one of Dubai’s fitness lovers favorite locations for cycling and running. The Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park offers path choices of 4km, 6km and 8km – as well as 850 meter cycling track for children to learn, with a few different obstacles to enhance their training. What differentiates this cycling track from the rest is that it has great amenities, including air-conditioned changing rooms with showers and lockers. It’s also free to cycle here.

Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park, Muscat Street, Dubai

Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre

For adventure seekers, this is the ideal location to bike. However, beginners should not be discouraged to cycle at the Hatta mountains, as this centre consists of curated biking trails for all levels, permitting the less skillful bikers to choose a trail to match their experience level. Here at the Hatta mountains, cyclists will be dazzled by the spectacular views. Another exciting feature of these trails – other than that biking here is entirely free of charge – is that they are open 24 hours a day all year round. Cyclists should bring their own bikes or rent one on their way out of town at Wolfi’s Dubai and download the trails’ map on the centre’s website.

Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre, Dubai+971 55 504 5005

Jebel Hafeet

For experienced cyclists looking for a real challenge, your best option is to head to Al Ain and cycle the Jebel Hafeet mountain. This is the UAE’s second highest peak and it’s not for the faint of heart. It is an extremely testing winding trail with an incline of as high as 30 percent in certain parts of the road. Jebel Hafeet does not have a specific cycling trail, so riders will have to be careful with cars sharing the same road as them, although it’s wide enough to easily fit both. For those willing to take on this challenge, the view atop of the mountain will certainly be worth it.

Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi