By Nigel Wynn
A major developer in Dubai is to create 105 kilometres of new bike paths, as cycling increases in popularity.
The newly-created cycle tracks will be part of the Dubai government's 'Cycling Master Plan' strategy to promote cycling as part of a healthy lifestyle. The new paths will cost a total of 150million United Arab Emirates Dirham (just over £33 million).
The paths will include what developer Nakheel is dubbing a 10km 'super loop', which will be designed for faster cyclists.
"Cycling in Dubai has seen a huge surge in popularity over the last few years, with the Government promoting the sport through world class events like the Dubai Tour and by building hundreds of kilometres of bike routes across the city," said Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah.
“Our new cycle track network will make cycling more accessible and inspire people to get pedalling as a way to keep fit, socialise and help the environment. Under our plan, people will be able to bike their way to the shops, school and friends’ houses without getting in the car.
“Our plan will encourage people to take up cycling as a sport and recreational activity, in turn promoting health and fitness among all age groups. It will also offer something for experienced riders, who will benefit from new routes linked to Dubai’s existing bike path network as well as our 10km super loop.”
Five areas will get new cycle paths, with the longest 40km route linking up Al Furjan, The Gardens, Discovery Gardens and Garden View Villas.
Construction of the first phase of the cycle tracks has already started, with works completed in mid-2019.
The Dubai Tour is an annual stage race that was created in 2014. This year's edition takes place from January 31 to February 4.
UAE also supports a WorldTour team, with Abu Dhabi stepping in as title sponsor of the former Lampre-Merida team after Chinese backers failed to provide sponsorship money.
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