Thousands of cyclists had turned some of the UAE's biggest and busiest roads into a giant cycling track for Dubai Ride in the early hours of Sunday. The free annual event, held as part of the month-long Dubai Fitness Challenge, is the largest for the cycling community in the emirate, and is open to those of all abilities.
Authorities had announced the closure of the busy 14-lane Sheikh Zayed Road for motorists between 4am and 9am. The closure affected parts of the motorway between Trade Centre Roundabout and the Safa Park interchange, as well as Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai.
Dubai Ride began at 6.30am with participants choosing either a four-kilometre or 12km route. Families, as well as recreational and professional cyclists, rode past some of the city's landmarks, including the Museum of the Future, Dubai Water Canal and Burj Khalifa.
This year, the Roads and Transport Authority allowed participants who didn't have bikes to rent a Careem Bike for free at certain entrances of the race.
A total of 34,897 cyclists took part this year, organisers said.
Dubai Run, which will follow a similar route, will also return as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge, on November 20.
Championed by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, this is the sixth year the Dubai Fitness Challenge has been held, encouraging the city’s residents to commit to 30 minutes of daily activity for 30 days. The citywide campaign runs until November 27.
More information and a schedule of events is available at dubaifitnesschallenge.com