Mikhail Gavrilov, CBDO & co-founder at MapMagic.app
I recently started cycling in Dubai, and it’s been an incredible experience. Riding around this city has given me a new perspective, and I’ve found some beautiful and lesser-known places. Having explored many areas, from downtown to the peaceful coastal paths, I’ve come upon some great spots to cycle and relax. I’ve put together all the routes and places on a map so you can easily find your way around and experience the city’s cycling scene. I hope you’ll try these routes and love Dubai as much as I do!
General Rules for Cycling
Most places in the UAE can only be reached by car. If you are going to ride in the UAE actively, you will need to either rent a car or use only routes with a short-term bicycle rental service. Finding good bikes for a few days’ rental is hard, so taking your bike with you to Dubai is much more convenient.
Cycling in Different Seasons
Winter (November to April): The weather is milder and suitable for cycling at any time of the day.
Summer (May to October): Due to the extreme heat, it’s advisable to cycle early in the morning or late in the evening. Staying hydrated and wearing protective gear to shield from the sun is crucial.
Where to stay
For cycling enthusiasts visiting the UAE, Dubai stands out as the premier destination, offering the perfect blend of world-class training facilities and strategic positioning for exploring various cycling locations across the country. Here’s a tailored accommodation guide:
Dubai for Exploring UAE Cycling Spots:
- Staying in Downtown Dubai/Sheikh Zayed Road: Ideal for those planning to travel by car to diverse cycling spots across the UAE. The central location provides easy access to major roads and cycling destinations.
- Recommended Stay: Rove City Hotels. These hotels are favored for their free parking and excellent service, making them perfect for cyclists who plan to explore different areas.
For daily Cycling Training:
- Al Qudra: Renting an apartment near Zahra Townhouses offers proximity to the renowned Al Qudra cycling tracks, famous for their extensive and quality road biking routes.
- Nad Al Sheba: The Meydan area is ideal for a focus on track cycling. Its proximity to the Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park allows convenient access to top-notch cycling facilities.
Dubai’s status as a hub for exploration and cycling training is unmatched in the UAE. Whether you want to venture across the country’s varied landscapes or engage in focused training at facilities like Al Qudra and Nad Al Sheba, Dubai offers the perfect base for every cycling enthusiast’s needs.
Top Routes for Road and Gravel Rides
Al Qudra Cycle Track: With 86 km of track and amazing views of the desert, you might catch a glimpse of local wildlife – including the Arabian oryx. Rent a bike at the nearby Trek Bicycle Store or Hello Bike Dubai if needed.
Nad Al Sheba cycling track (Meydan Cycle Track): Offers an 8-km loop with views of the Burj Khalifa, lit at night for safe riding. Rent a bike at the nearby BikeOn and grab a coffee or food in multiple cafes.
Jumeira Street and Dubai Canal Track: This 19-km path runs along Jumeirah Beach and offers breathtaking views. It connects to the 7km Dubai Water Canal cycling track, taking you through one of Dubai’s newest developments.
Mushrif Track: The length is 15 km. The track consists of the Mushrif Park track and the community of Mirdiff and connects to Warqa from the south and to Khawaneej from the north.
Hatta gravel route: The mountainous area of Hatta is home to multiple cross-country cycle routes, each of various grades that cater to all levels of ability, from beginners to experienced riders. The Hatta Trails are free to ride and are open all year round.
Al Wathba Cycle Track: Set amidst vast desert scenery in the UAE, it offers illuminated routes for all levels, from 8 km up to 30 km. It’s located near the Camel Race Track, about a 40-50 minute drive from Abu Dhabi.
Al Hudayriat Cycle Track: Al Hudayriat Island is dedicated to sports and beach activities: a 10 km cycle track and an amazing shining Colnago boutique on top of it.
Corniche Cycle Track: It’s a scenic 8-km track along the coastline.
Trail X Al Hudayriat Island: A new 15-km bike trail called Trail X opens on Hudayriat Island, Abu Dhabi. Trail X is a mountain biking, or off-road bicycle racing, sport facility that is set on rough terrain mimicking mountains, deserts, and rocks.
Sharjah, Al Ain, Ras Al-Khaimah, Fujairah, Ajman
Al Batayih Cycle Track: It covers 24 kilometers, 48 kilometers back and forth, with a total width of 5 meters.
Al Suhub: This 6,6-km bike climb is located in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The average gradient is 8.7%.
Jebel Jais Climb: The highest mountain in the UAE and the highest point one can ride on a bike in this region. Ride 24 km from 315 meters to the finish at the Jebel Jais viewing deck at an elevation of 1,346 meters. This climb includes giant hairpin turns and the longest zip line in the world at the finish. The average grade of the Jebel Jais bike climb is 5.3%.
We recommend parking at the bottom of the climb. On the mountain’s top is a cafe with nice food and coffee.
Shawka: The mountain area offers a variety of routes for road and gravel riding to different levels of cyclists, from a few up to hundreds of kilometers.
Al Ain Zoo MTB/Gravel trail: Up to 9 km of rough roads offer a combination of adventure and the opportunity to enjoy the natural and wildlife surroundings of the Al Ain Zoo, one of the UAE’s largest and most acclaimed animal sanctuaries.
Jebel Hafeet Climb: It’s located in the Al Hajar Mountains in Eastern Arabia. The average grade is 7% for all 14.5 kilometers.
Our top routes to ride
The Al Qudra Full Circle 80 km: Smooth tarmac, scenic desert landscapes, and proximity to wildlife, including the Arabian Oryx and Al Qudra Lakes’ bird species.
The classic mountain stage of the UAE Tour 153 km: The traditional long ride in the desert north of the city is covered in the first part. The route then winds through Al Ain, where many symbolic landmarks are touched (Al Ain Zoo, Al Qattara, Al Hili) until it returns to Green Mubazzarah. Here, the final climb of Jebel Hafeet begins, which, with its 10 km section, will be the final chord of the ride.
Dubai city ride 37 km: Starting at Jumeirah Beach, the route takes you along the beachside, offering tranquil ambiance and stunning views of the city’s skyscrapers along the Dubai Canal before heading to the Meydan Track for a loop. The return journey to Jumeirah Beach combines the peaceful beach atmosphere with Dubai’s dynamic urban landscape, providing an enriching cycling experience.
From Umbrella Beach Al Fujairah To Jebel Jais 185 km: Beginning in Fujairah, this challenging cycling route starts with a ride through the desert’s undulating terrain, then leads into a demanding 20-km climb up Jais Mountain, featuring a consistent 5% gradient that intensifies to 7% in the final 2 km. It skirts the Hajar mountains, bypasses Ras-al-Khaimah, and culminates with hairpin bends on a wide road, where gradients shift from 4-5% initially to 5-7%, peaking at 9% near the finish on straight asphalt roads.
Bike Shops, Service & Rentals
Most bike shops in UAE have a store, service and a cafe at the same time. Most of them offer group social rides 1-2 times a week.
Ingruppetto (shop, service) web | instagram
Trek Bicycle Store (shop, service, rental) ****web | instagram
Coffee & Pastry (under construction)
THE BARN Coffee Roasters Dubai