Our columnist looks forward to new cycle routes, the first Dubai Tour and next January’s sporting events.
It’s great to see the UAE really cementing its commitment to cycling this week with news that 52kms of cycle routes are to be built around the city over the next three years. The RTA has announced that cycle paths will be built in 11 residential districts to complement the facilities we already have, such as Nad Al Sheba. It sees thousands of cyclists use the facility, and of course we have numerous cycle challenges and meets there each week, not to mention the fact that next year will see the first Dubai Tour take place at the circuit, with the likes of Alberto Contador and Bradley Wiggins competing.
Work on the first cycle path has already started in Bur Dubai and soon enough, Dubai will be known for its biking accessibility, perhaps just as much as London or even Amsterdam both are. It’s hoped the scheme will reduce the number of cars on the roads – although I think we’re some way off from seeing a cycle path down the middle of Sheikh Zayed Road. You never know though, one day – as they have done with old Subway lines in New York – we could see the Metro line used as a cycle or walkway in years to come.
In Grand Prix news, we could well see F1 pre-season testing take place at the track ahead of the new season, around January 2014. At the moment, testing happens in Spain but with Bahrain possibly about to stage the first Grand Prix of the calendar again, the UAE sits perfectly as a location for it.
Yas has shown over the last four years that it puts on a fantastic F1 event and with so many influential people in the sport expressing their love for the track, it’s easy to see why testing over here would be a good call. If it happens, it would make January 2014 a real sporting month, with the 25th Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and F1 testing all taking place. And if that doesn’t cure the January blues, I’m not sure what will! Tom Bushell hosts Sport On 7 on City 7 TV (Mon 8pm) and is Arabian Radio Network’s head of sport.
And another thing…
Commiserations to the UAE FA President Yousuf Al Serkal, who failed in his bid to become the next Asian Football Confederation President. It was Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman who was handed the position after receiving 33 of the 46 votes. Al Serkal only received six.