Dubai: Buoyed by the growing returns, the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) has vowed to ensure the highest status possible for its annual Dubai Tour that is normally held in the first week of February each year.
Organised by the DSC in partnership with Italian-based RCS Sport, the Dubai Tour has now started thinking even bigger for the future of the sport.
In a matter of just three editions, the Dubai Tour has evolved into one of the top sporting events hosted by the DSC in its portfolio of more than 400 in a calendar year.
Launched as part of the UCI Asia Tour in 2014 with a 2.1 classification, the DSC had the second edition upgraded to a 2. HC race — paving the way for more UCI World Tour teams to compete since 2015.
Such steady progress has made the organisers dream for bigger aspirations. “Perhaps, we need to add one more stage and have the race over five days,” Saeed Hareb, General Secretary, DSC revealed at the announcement of Commercial Bank of Dubai’s (CBD) extension of its sponsorship for the event until 2019.
“There is no doubt on our ambitions for this race in particular. Perhaps, we can upgrade the Dubai Tour to a race over 12 days or perhaps even 15 days in the future. That’s our long-term goal and aim, and we will do our best to achieve this,” he promised.
The DSC and RCS have already submitted a joint letter for consideration during the course of the ongoing 185th Congress of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that is currently being held in Doha, Qatar along the sidelines of the UCI Road World Championships that is scheduled to conclude on Sunday.
“The request to increase Dubai Tour by one day has been made to the UCI and hopefully, they should be taking a favourable decision in the next couple of days when the annual calendar is being finalised,” Lorenzo Giorgetti, CEO, RCS Sport and Events, said.
The focus, however, was the extension of the jersey contract by CBD till 2019. “Commercial Bank of Dubai is thrilled to renew our sponsorship for three more years with the Dubai Tour beautifully aligned with the bank’s corporate social responsibility objectives of promoting a healthy lifestyle. This event contributes significantly to elevating the UAE’s sports sector and embodies the vision of the government to develop and promote sports in the UAE,” Peter Baltussen, CEO of CBD, noted.
“We have been close partners with the Dubai Sports Council since the past few years, starting off with the Youth Athletics Championships that have fetched good results for the country. Now it is the turn of cycling as it can be done by everybody. It is all coming together so well for the future and we are more than comfortable to support such a big race,” he added.
Giorgetti, who has been associated with the event since its inception in 2013, believes that the next world champion at the UCI Road World Championships will be a former Dubai champion. “Such is the appeal of the Dubai Tour on the UCI calendar and we are confident of helping this push to the top,” he said.