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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Cycling Across Sheikh Zayed Road: A Departure from Driving Norms in Dubai

Sheikh Zayed living near the first interchange on Sheikh Zayed Road for over a decade, the daily routine involves navigating through relentless traffic on this bustling artery. However, on a Sunday morning, the usual scene underwent a remarkable change as the entire highway stayed car-free for nearly six hours, courtesy of the annual Dubai Ride—an event that turned one of the UAE’s busiest roads into a cyclist’s haven.

Vibrant Cyclist Parade: Sheikh Zayed

Thousands of participants, adorned in vibrant attire, descended upon the road as early as 3:30 am, converting it into an expansive cycling track. The route, commencing in front of the Museum of the Future, offered diverse options, including a family-friendly 4km route. Cyclists pedaled over the Dubai Canal, relishing the unique experience of traversing iconic locations, such as passing under the Salik gate without the usual toll concerns.

Festive Atmosphere and Family Participation

The event featured a cool and breezy atmosphere, with multiple water stations and DJs playing lively music to enhance the festive mood. Families brought picnic chairs, settling around the Al Safa area to cheer for cyclists. Notably, the event showcased a significant number of families, from 4-year-olds to teenagers, reinforcing the Dubai Fitness Challenge’s goal of making Dubai the world’s fittest city.

Families Embrace Health and Quality Time

One American expat, Burton, and his 6-year-old son Anderson, returning for their third Dubai Ride, emphasized the health benefits and quality time the activity offers. The event attracted families like Chris, Lottee, and their children, Exdee and Kiel, who drove from Sharjah to participate.

Expressing Beliefs and Advocacy through Cycling

Cyclists also utilized the event to express their beliefs, with some advocating for environmental awareness and others displaying support for Palestine. The Dubai Ride not only provided a unique experience for cyclists on Sheikh Zayed Road but also demonstrated the growing enthusiasm for a healthier lifestyle, aligning with the Dubai Fitness Challenge’s broader mission.

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