Dubai: The third edition of the Dubai Desert Triathlon, to be held on March 13, has generated significant excitement within the triathlon and endurance horse riding communities in the UAE and Middle East.

The Dubai Sports Council (DSC), in partnership with Meydan, debuted this innovative event — which combines the traditional Emirati heritage sport of endurance horse racing with the triathlon disciplines of running and cycling — in April 2014.

“We are very pleased with the response we have had from teams, triathletes and endurance riders so far. This is the third running of the Dubai Desert Triathlon and we see this as the new sport from the Middle East,” said a spokesperson from DSC.

“This event showcases not only the strength of these sports in Dubai and the region, but also the creativity and innovation which has become Dubai’s international trademark.”

The event, which will take place at Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC), has attracted competitors from across the world. Competitors who are not registered horse riders can participate as teams and can be matched with a rider to complete their team.

The event will kick off at 6am, beginning with a 5km run, followed by a 50km cycle and finish with a 40km endurance horse ride at DIEC, which is approximately a 40-minute drive from Dubai, next to Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa.

Athletes will be competing for honours in the categories of fastest overall individual triathlete and fastest team.

DIEC will also be transformed into a triathlon village for the day, with activities and entertainment for families supporting the event.

The village will be close to the transition area so spectators can catch all the action as the individual triathletes and teams vie for honours.

The Dubai Desert Triathlon is held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and DSC Chairman.