Sheikh Hamdan leads from the front as Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road turns into a cycle track

Thousands of cyclists - including football legend Luis Figo - enjoy a rare moment to enjoy the busy motorway without traffic

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The Crown Prince of Dubai has led from the front as Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road turned into a giant cycle track.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed on Friday joined in as cyclists took advantage of the rare opportunity to enjoy the busy motorway without traffic.

It was the first time the road has been closed for such an event.

About 20,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities - wearing masks to protect against Covid-19 - enjoyed a perfect morning as they moved past global landmarks such as Burj Khalifa and the Trade Centre.

"More than 20,000 participants in the Dubai cycling challenge today," said Sheikh Hamdan.

"Thank you to each of you for the positive spirit. This is a vibrant, vibrant and energetic Dubai that knows nothing but a spirit of challenge and a look to the future."

More than 20,000 participants in Dubai Ride

More than 20,000 participants in Dubai Ride

Dubai Ride - which took place from 5am to 8am - was part of The Dubai Fitness Challenge. The free-to-enter community event had two routes with the longer spanning the city’s main road. The other took riders around Downtown Dubai. Others who participated included Portuguese soccer star Luis Figo.

The event encourages residents to embrace a more healthy lifestyle by taking part in 30 minutes of physical activity a day for 30 days.

It runs until November 28 and offers more than 2,000 free fitness sessions.

Last week, Sheikh Hamdan urged people to join him and participate in the event.

“Dubai endeavours to be among the most active and dynamic cities in the world, and as part of this year's Dubai Fitness challenge, we've launched Dubai Ride on November 20, which will pass through the city's top landmarks,” said Sheikh Hamdan. “Join me by registering at”

The Crown Prince of Dubai also led business leaders during the week on a bike ride as he urged the public to join him in the month-long fitness push.

Sheikh Hamdan rode a bike by Italian company Colnago, which made the model used to win this year's Tour de France, as he accompanied 30 business leaders for a 20-kilometre tour of Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex.