Abu Dhabi: Held under the patronage of Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nayan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, the inaugural Bike Abu Dhabi Festival is to take place in Abu Dhabi from 7 to 13 November, 2022.
The festival is the latest initiative under the Bike Abu Dhabi platform, which was launched by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed in November 2021 to spearhead the emirate’s long-term ambitions to become a leading global cycling hub.
As part of the Bike Abu Dhabi Festival, the emirate will host two world-class cycling events, including the fifth edition of the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, which is being held in the region for the first time, from 9 to 13 November. As well as bringing the world’s top urban cyclists to Abu Dhabi, the event adds another world-class cycling event to Abu Dhabi’s calendar and brings the sport live to new audiences.
In addition to the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, the first-ever Bike Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo will take place on 12 November, starting in Abu Dhabi City and finishing in Al Ain across a distance of 150km. A prize pool for the amateur event has been set at AED2 million with an equal split for both men and women.
Top urban cyclists
The world’s top urban cyclists will also compete in the BMX Freestyle Park (on the Olympic Games programme since Tokyo 2020) and in the BMX Freestyle Flatland and trials. In BMX Freestyle, competition categories will include Women Elite and Men Elite, including riders aged 15 and over. In the trials, there will be a national team competition as well as rainbow jerseys for the winners of the individual categories: Women Elite, Men Elite (20”), Men Elite (26”), Men Junior (20”), Men Junior (26”).
Commenting on the launch of the festival, Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said, “We are extremely proud to host the spectacular UCI Urban Cycling World Championships in 2022. After receiving the prestigious UCI Bike City label in 2021, we now enhance our portfolio of world class cycling events and entertainment offerings in the region and look forward to showcasing, to the world, what Abu Dhabi and the UAE has to offer, for both amateur and professional cyclists.”
UCI President David Lappartient said, “We look forward to Abu Dhabi, the first UCI Bike City in the Middle East and Asia, hosting this year’s UCI Urban Cycling World Championships. For the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will again see athletes from BMX Freestyle Park, BMX Freestyle Flatland and trials come together for these unique UCI World Championships. Abu Dhabi will provide a majestic stage for this action-filled event.”
Nekhaira Alkhyeli, CEO of Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, commented, “Firstly, I would like to extend my gratitude Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nayan for his generous patronage of the inaugural Bike Abu Dhabi Festival. Through Bike Abu Dhabi and thanks to the efforts spearheaded by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi steps ever closer to achieving its long-term goal to be a leading global destination for cycling, supported by the work of Abu Dhabi Cycling Club. The Bike Abu Dhabi Festival will celebrate the 2022 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, adding another high-profile international event to the Abu Dhabi Sporting calendar, alongside a wide variety of cycling events for the community to enjoy, including the Bike Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo. Abu Dhabi has the full support of Abu Dhabi Cycling Club in ensuring the ongoing success of and growth of cycling in the emirate.”
The hosting of the Bike Abu Dhabi Festival comes a year after Abu Dhabi received the prestigious UCI Bike City label from the Union Cycliste Internationale in recognition of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to promoting cycling and developing cycling infrastructure and programmes across the region’s communities.
In addition to competitive events, the Bike Abu Dhabi Festival will host a variety of cycling events and activities for the community, covering all ages and abilities and including dedicated community rides for ladies only.
An event village with entertainment and family friendly activities will provide activities such as short bicycle courses, face painting, bungee trampolines, graffiti artists, street dancers, BMX stunt shows, live music and lots more, will be hosted at Nation Towers.