Nakheel to add 105km of cycling tracks in its Dubai communities

'Our cycling plan will encourage people to take up cycling as a sport and recreational activity, promoting health and fitness among all age groups,' said Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah.
Above, group of cyclists head out from Nad Al Sheba cycle park in Dubai. Reem Mohammed / The National
Above, group of cyclists head out from Nad Al Sheba cycle park in Dubai. Reem Mohammed / The National

Dubai-based developer Nakheel is to spend Dh150 million adding a total of 105 kilometres of cycling tracks around many of its communities in Dubai.

The developer said that a series of new, linked routes are being created around Jumeirah Village Circle, Jumeirah Village Triangle, Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Park, Discovery Gardens and Al Furjan.

Alongside this, a new 10km “super loop” speed track for experienced cyclists, with a smaller 5km loop inside it, is being built on a section of land between Jumeirah Park and Discovery Gardens.

A new 5km cycling route is also currently being built around the Dh2.4 billion, 1,500-villa community currently under construction at Nad Al Sheba.

Work is due to start on the network of tracks within the next three months. The Nakheel chairman, Ali Rashid Lootah, said: “We’ve been working on this for the past five to six months and now is the time to announce it. The weather is nice,” he joked. “It’s a big plan, and hopefully we will execute it in two years.”

Once this initial network is completed, the developer will look to introduce tracks to other communities, including International City and Palm Jumeirah, which Mr Lootah said “requires more time to study” due to space restriction. Mr Lootah envisages two or three phases of adding cycle paths to existing projects, and said “we will try to accommodate” tracks into any new communities it builds.

He said that adding cycle lanes was “along the same line and policy we have of enhancing the quality of life in all of our communities”, and that most now have jogging tracks and parks.

“We think it’s a positive thing to have from the real estate prospect. It adds value to the properties.”

The 105km of tracks currently being built include 20km around Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Heights and Jumeirah Park, 13km around Jumeirah Village Triangle, 27km around Jumeirah Village Circle and 40km through Discovery Gardens, Garden View Villas and Al Furjan.

Nakheel’s cycling paths will be linked to the proposed extension of Dubai’s cycling master plan at two points. The Nad Al Sheba track will link to a proposed extension of Dubai’s cycle network along the Mohammed bin Zayed Road corridor, while at Jumeirah Village Circle a link will be built to a proposed network in Al Barsha.

Speaking at the event, Saeed Hareb, the general secretary of Dubai Sports Council, thanked Nakheel for its efforts, saying it “added value” to the cycle network in the emirate.

David Godchaux, the chief executive of property consultancy Core Savills, said that cycling and running tracks do not add anything in monetary terms to a property’s value, but he expects this to change as more developers move away from merely building units to creating communities.

“It’s a very positive trend,” he said. “In the early years, anyone was willing to buy anything to be a part of the story of Dubai. Now buyers are a little more picky. And buyers are more picky because tenants are more picky. As an investor, you want to be sure that your property is going to be tenanted – and if possible at a premium, or at least not at a negative premium.

“If you’re the only community that doesn’t offer that, of course there will be a negative -premium.”

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Updated: July 21, 2017 06:41 PM


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