Dubai Cycling: A Guide on Biking in the City
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Dubai Cycling: A Guide on Biking in the City

Hopping on a bicycle is not only a great way to explore Dubai, but also a method for getting healthy and preventing many a health problem. For those new to cycling in the city, UMI has produced this handy guide featuring spots to check out and tips for cyclists of all stripes. Read on for more information.



It’s that time again! If you’re a lover of cycling in Dubai,The National’s #CycleToWorkUAE campaign is upon us again; encouraging the city’s professionals to hop on their cycles for their commutes in order to lead healthier lives. In 2016 the campaign took place on January 12th, but recognizing that people can benefit from cycling all times of the year, UAE Medical Insurance wanted to publish this article about cycling in Dubai for those that are looking to make a habit out of commuting to work by bicycle.

Let’s face it; Dubai is becoming a haven for lifestyle illnesses. Between the sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets that so many of us engage in, it’s easy to get into the habit of unhealthy living, which has resulted in the increase of instances of heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and more in the Emirate. Luckily, with a bit of effort and willpower, each individual can take charge of their health, and cycling is a great spot to get started. So, here’s a guide on cycling in Dubai to get you started.

 

Cycling Spots

When it comes to cycling friendly cities, Dubai has been a mixed bag in the past, as police measures have at times seemed at odds with the goals of the Road and Transport Authority (RTA). Thankfully, the RTA continues to make great strides in providing safe, cycling-friendly areas for all in Dubai. Here are a few of the best ones:

  • Stop by Jumeirah open beach for a beautiful ride along the sea. Smell the salt in the air and feel the ocean breeze cool the city at the end of a long work day. Heck, if you yourself need to cool off, you can even get off the bike and have a quick jump in the water!

  • Thanks to Spinneys, you and your family can take advantage of cycling in a venue unlike any other. On most Wednesday nights, stop by the Autodrome race track! Not only is this track built for high speeds, but it’s devoid of the regular traffic you may encounter when riding the streets.

  • Want a spot that has a nice bit of Dubai history attached to it? Look no further than Nad Al Sheba. Now a great series of cycling tracks, featuring 8 km, 6 km, or 4 km trails, this area was once a camel track. In addition, this area has great views of the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai. What’s more, if you have kids, this spot is great to teach them the rules of the road when it comes to cycling, as there is an area with roundabouts, road signs and speed bumps meant for education.

 

  • If you’re a serious cycler, you will likely want to spend the majority of a day on your bike at some point. A great option for these types of cyclists is the significantly long tracks found at Al Qudra Road. This site boasts two primary trails of lengths 14 km and 50 km, and a total track length of 84 km! Stop by the bike shop and café, complete with changing rooms, found at the start of the road before and/or after your tour, and make sure you’re well prepared for a lengthy ride, as distances between amenities can be great here.

Remember, this is Dubai, and temperatures can be extreme. That’s why it’s important to be well prepared for every ride you take. Riding in high heat and sun for an extended period is inadvisable, so be ready to take breaks at regular intervals. Luckily for those commuting, however, the temperature is relatively low in the early morning and evening, so it shouldn’t stop you from getting to and from work.

 

Biking Benefits

Some people may feel that cycling is kid stuff. However, there are a whole host of benefits that are afforded to those that engage in cycling on a regular basis. Here are some of them:

  • Improved cholesterol

  • Controlled hypertension

  • Increased heart health

  • Increased strength

  • Increased flexibility

  • Better joint health

  • Less stress

  • Better posture, balance & coordination

  • Better bone health

  • Lower body fat

  • Stronger immune system

  • Less anxiety and depression

It’s clear to see that cycling can aid with maintaining or improving both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can help with not only mental illness, heart disease, weight and diabetes, but it can also lower your risk of cancer. This is especially true for breast and bowel cancers, so if your family has a history of either of these, you may want to find a way to work cycling into your life.

Not only this, but people that have mobility issues will appreciate that cycling won’t take a toll on your legs, knees, feet and joints in the way that running can.

 

Tips for Cyclers

Any veteran cyclist could give you many tips on how to enhance your cycling experience, and your safety. The UK’sNational Health Service lists a few on their website:

  • Regularly test your brakes

  • Inflate tires properly

  • Make sure reflectors are properly installed on pedals and rear end of your bike. Also, have a red rear light and white front light.

  • Wear a properly fitting bike helmet

  • Look around before stopping, overtaking, or turning

  • Heed traffic lights and road signage

  • Do not cycle on busy or narrow streets, or by pedestrians

  • When passing parked cars, watch out for opening car doors

  • Do not wear headphones when cycling

  • Do not use mobile devices when cycling

It should also be noted that some roads in Dubai are off limits for cycling, and should be avoided not only for safety reasons, but because the police will be well within their rights to ticket you, or even confiscate your bicycle, should they catch you riding in certain areas. Some main roads that this is true for are Al Mina Road, Al Mankhool Road and Khaled Bin Waleed Road.

Lastly, accidents do happen, and should a serious emergency occur as the result of a bicycle accident, you will want to be well protected and receive the very best in medical care. While the Dubai Health Authority’s recent reform will require that all people in the Emirate be covered by private health insurance in 2016, the minimum required benefits may still not be enough to cover all contingencies. For this reason it may be wise for regular cyclists to look into upgrading their insurance. Not sure if your current plan is up to snuff? Please feel free to contact the knowledgeable agents at UAE Medical Insurance. Not only can they provide you with plan comparisons and answers to your questions, but they can also give you free price quotes.

 

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