Cyclists to cross seven emirates in seven days in new challenge

Event organised by non-profit Ride for Unity to promote tolerance and diversity

Ride for Unity's inaugural '7 Days 7 Emirates' cycling challenge will begin in Dubai. AFP
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A cycling event will bring together business leaders, professionals, paralympians and changemakers in the UAE, who will hit the road for seven days, travelling across all seven emirates.

The Ride for Unity's inaugural “7 days 7 Emirates” cycling challenge will be held from January 6 to 12, with the aim of promoting unity, tolerance, diversity and sustainability.

The seven-day event will kick off in Dubai on Saturday, followed by Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

Stops along the way include a business forum, cultural visits, and interactions with educational institutions and charitable organisations.

Sareh Ameri, managing director of Ride for Unity, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting unity and tolerance through sports, said the event aims to highlight the uniqueness of each emirate.

“The UAE is a living, breathing role model of our values of unity, diversity, tolerance and sustainability,” she said.

“With over 200 nationalities harmoniously living and working together, it was critical for us to engage in every emirate, highlighting not only the uniqueness of each community but to leave a lasting impact, demonstrating how to genuinely implement these values, and legitimately incorporate diversity in business, education and entrepreneurship.”

Justin Levene, 35, from the UK cycles in a hand bike. He said the ride represents the power of sport and how these values can be used across all aspects of life.

“We have an incredibly diverse team that has been brought together for this event, and though our lives may be different, we are all unified through sport and the immense positive impact that is has had on our lives,” Levene said.

“With spinal injuries, one of the challenges I will find hardest is dealing with the climate.

"Without having proper temperature regulation, the heat plays a real part of the challenge and is an aspect I have to be acutely aware of during the ride.”

Another cyclist taking part in the event said the event was a chance to bring people together.

"Sport is always been the greatest unifier to bring people of different parts of the world and backgrounds to fulfil a much bigger mission,” said Daniel Bernard, 48, from the UK.

“It is so critical especially in today's troubled world that we teach the values of diversity and tolerance and we learn about sustainability for a better future.

"The UAE is perfect place for ride for unity.”

The challenge will have riders pedal from Fujairah to the Dibba Coral Life Conservation Site, continuing on to Ras Al Khaimah for a business forum with the RAK Department of Development and American University RAK, followed by an interactive morning at The WellSpring Private School.

The tour will then stop at the Mangrove Plantations in Umm Al Quwain, Ajman National Charity School, House of Wisdom, Sharjah and Dubai, with a visit to Senses Residential and Day Care for Special Needs as well as a seminar at American University Dubai.

The riders will also cycle with children with special needs along Kite Beach and ride into the night through Al Qudra.

The challenge will finish in Abu Dhabi with a grand finale gala dinner at Wolfi's on Hudayriat Island.

Ms Ameri said the challenge will be an annual event in the UAE's sporting calendar, with plans to expand it globally.

“It's about making a difference today for tomorrow,” she said.

Updated: January 06, 2024, 2:18 PM