Schools may close during Dubai Tour cycle race

Emirate's schools given the options of closing on Thursday amid widespread road closures

Knowledge story, The Knowledge

Dubai schools located near roads affected by closures and diversions as a result of the Dubai Tour cycling race taking place in the city this weekend have been given the option of closing on Thursday, but none have so far taken up the offer, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) said.

A spokesperson from the KHDA said schools along the route were informed yesterday about the traffic diversions and road closures which would be put in place and were given the option to close if they believe the safety of children and parents getting to and from the school may be affected.

Any schools opting to close must first inform the KHDA but none had, as yet, taken up the option, the educational authority confirmed.

The race, which starts today at 11:30am at Dubai World Trade Centre, will result in some major roads, such as Sheikh Zayed Road and Palm Jumeirah, undergoing closures or diversions for several hours.

With the race starts at 11:30am on Thursday most children will still be able to get to school in the morning, but the challenge may be getting home afterwards in the afternoon, the KHDA spokesperson said. Schools which opt to close will inform parents in advance, she added.

This is the first time such an event will be staged in the emirate by the Union Cycliste Internationale. The initial 9.9km stage of the race will begin on Wednesday, February 5 at 1pm at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), with the route set to pass by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Boulevard near Burj Khalifa. Parts of Sheikh Zayed Road and those leading up to The Dubai Mall and Al Khail Road will be closed during the race, which will finish at 4.30pm.

On Thursday, February 6, the race will restart at 11:20am and the route of 121km second stage will take in DWTC, Zabeel Road, Meydan Road, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, Al Sufouh Road, Emirates Hills and Palm Jumeirah. Roads along the route will be closed until the race concludes at 4.30pm.

The third day of racing will kick off again at 10:30am at DWTC on Friday, February 7, but will include Airport Road, Emirates Road, Al Hubab Road and Hatta. Roads going in the direction of the race, which will be 162km long, will be closed until cyclists pass the finish line at 4:30pm.

The final stage will start on Saturday, February 8 at 11:30am at DWTC. Routes that will be closed for the final 124km leg of the race will include parts of Sheikh Zayed Road, Baniyas Road, Al Seef Road, Al Shindagha Road, Jumeirah Road and Burj Plaza. The race will conclude at 4:30pm.

Last week, Dubai Tour organisers began a promotional campaign to make residents aware of the road closures and procedures which will be place during the staging of the event.

The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) erected 480 flags to promote the event, while Dubai buses have been branded with the Dubai Tour logos and details.

Dubai Police urged residents and motorists to avoid using their cars during the staging of the race and called for schools to be closed on Thursday to facilitate traffic management for the event. Around 85 traffic police will be in place to manage the event.

For full details of the race route and traffic arrangements residents and motorists are advised to consult the events website at www.dubaitour.com

The KHDA recommended parents and staff consult its Twitter page for updates on the Dubai Tour arrangements: https://twitter.com/KHDA

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