Top 6 spots to cycle in the UAE

Pedal-friendly places for cycling enthusiasts and family days out

With cycling as popular as ever, the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge fast approaching and the weather cooling down, here are six of the best places to get on your bike:

Where: District One, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai.
The route: With paths of differing lengths, 8km, 6km and 4km, this Nad Al Sheba course (once used for camel racing) even has an 850m cycling proficiency course for kids, equipped with roundabouts, road signs and speed bumps so children can master those all-important road safety rules.
Perfect for: Families and those new to cycling.
When to go: The park is open till 11pm; late enough to get a full evening of exercise in after work.
Extra perks: With impeccable views of the Burj Khalifa, a well-lit track for night time cyclists and amenities such as toilets, showers and lockers, District One is well worth the visit.

Where: Dubai Autodrome, Dubai.
The route: A multi-purpose 2.4km motorsports circuit that also plays host to keen cyclists.
Perfect for: Everyone.
When to go: The impressive venue opens its doors to cyclists on Wednesday nights between 6pm and 9pm for three hours of cycling amusement.
Extra perks: If you don’t own a bike then don't sweat it, they can be rented from Revolution Cycles just a short walk away in Motor City. With an on-site pit and medical crew, people of all ages and levels can have a go under the watchful eye of trained professionals. And best of all? It’s free.

Where: Al Qudra cycle path, Dubai.
The route: A long, smooth 86km track featuring two courses; one of 18km and a 50km path looping past the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa, in case you wanted to stop for a coffee, breather, or even a pampering treatment (you’ve probably deserved it by that point).
Perfect for: Serious cyclists with a few hours to spare.
When to go: Whenever – the course offers 24-hour access free of charge. If you’re cycling at night however, make sure the lights on your bike are in tip-top condition.
Extra perks: With little traffic, clear markings and potential wildlife sightings, the course is a refreshing break from busy city life. Changing rooms, bike hire and a café can be found near the beginning of the course for those needing refreshments to kick-start their cycle. Make sure to stock up on snacks and water before you set off though – the majority of the track is all you, your bike, and the open road.

Where: Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi.
The route: A smooth 5.5km circuit.
Perfect for: Those who don’t mind a crowd – cyclists should expect to be accompanied by walkers and runners ranging in all ages and abilities.
When to go: The Formula One track becomes a bike circuit on Sunday and Tuesday evenings from 6pm-10pm as part of the StartYas and TrainYas programmes.
Extra perks: In need of a girly night? GoYas hosts a ladies-only evening on Wednesdays from 6pm-9pm – great for get-togethers, group cycling or solo training.

Where: Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre, Abu Dhabi.
The route: Multiple cross country routes are colour-coded to suit a range of abilities; green for beginners, blue for intermediate, red for experienced riders and black for those who consider themselves expert cyclists.
Perfect for: As an epicentre for mountain bikers, this is perfect for cyclists of all abilities who prefer a hillier, more rocky terrain.
When to go: It’s open 24 hours a day, all year round, so while you may begin on a green route, practise could see you advancing to more challenging colours.
Extra perks: The main facilities are located at the Hatta Trail campsite. If you wish to reward yourself with tasty treats, a supermarket and café can be located at the nearest village, just a short walk away.

Where: Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain.
The route: An 11.7km track with a steep incline, 60 turns and plenty of room for both motorists and cyclists.
Perfect for: Those looking to push the limits. This course is only for cyclists of a high calibre – not quite Tour de France standard, but on the way.
When to go: Any time.
Extra perks: A difficult yet rewarding course, there are several stopping points along the ascent where you can catch the magnificent views below.

So whether you’re a cycling enthusiast – in which case, sign up for the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge, if you haven’t already – or are just looking for a day out with the little ones, the UAE offers something for everyone.