Aside from being an alternative mode of transportation, cycling is a great way to stay fit and explore scenic routes across the UAE. Here in the capital, Abu Dhabi, there are several cycling tracks where you can have some exercise while enjoying beautiful views.
The best time to go cycling in Abu Dhabi would be during the cooler months, between November and May. Nevertheless, you can still go cycling all year round, especially in the afternoon and evenings, if you can’t stand the summer heat! In today’s post, we’ll be looking at some of the best places where you can enjoy a leisurely bike ride or a desert adventure, right here in Abu Dhabi!
Where to Go Cycling in Abu Dhabi
Below are some of the most popular cycling routes and tracks in Abu Dhabi, where you can bring your bike for an exciting ride. However, even if you don’t have a bike — there’s no need to worry — because all of these places have bike rental stations. So go ahead and enjoy your ride, as well as the views!
1. Abu Dhabi Corniche
The Abu Dhabi Corniche cycling track is perfect for leisurely rides. It runs parallel to the promenade, following the coast line from Mina Dhow harbor, past the Emirates Palace Hotel, and up to the Presidential Palace. Along the way, you will pass public beaches, volleyball courts, cafes, hotels, and beach clubs. It’s a popular spot among citizens, residents, and tourists alike.
At the Abu Dhabi Corniche, you can bring your bike anytime, any day of the week — for a free and relaxing ride. You could also rent a bike from any of the three bike rental stations along the route. There’s one station beside the National Riviera Beach Club, another near Sheraton Hotel, and one more near the Abu Dhabi public beach.
The bike rental charge is just AED 20 per hour. You can rent and pick up a bike from one station, and return it to the same station or any of the other stations along the route. Cool!
2. Al Hudayriat Island
Officially opened in 2018, Al Hudayriat Island is an entire island designed for sports and water activities. It has two cycle tracks, a 5 km and 10 km route, both of which feature magnificent sea and city views, including the Abu Dhabi skyline!
You can bring your own bike to the cycling tracks, or you could rent one from Yas Cycles, which is open from 5:30 am until 10:00 am in the morning, and again from 5:00 pm until 12:00 am (midnight). The bike rental charge is AED 50 per hour for adult bikes, and AED 25 per hour for kiddie bikes.
Notably, if you bring your own bike, you can also avail of Yas Cycles’ service packages (e.g. gear tune, re-grease, etc.), which start at AED 150.
After a refreshing bike ride along the cycling tracks, you may want to stay longer on the island. You could simply relax at the public beach, grab a bite to eat at any of the food trucks nearby, or rent a kayak and have some fun in the water!
3. Al Wathba
If you don’t mind taking a 40-minute drive from downtown Abu Dhabi, consider heading to Al Wathba Cycle Track, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. The looped track offers 8 km, 12 km, 16 km, 18 km, 20 km, 24 km, and 30 km distance options, as well as a built-in elevation for more experienced cyclists.
At Al Wathba Cycle Track, you can bring your own bike or rent one from FLS Bikes. The rental charge is AED 30 per hour for a hybrid or standard aluminium bike, and AED 60 per hour for a carbon bike.
After an exhilarating ride, there are shower rooms and toilets available at the site. There’s also a bike shop, as well as a 24/7 convenience store where you can enjoy some coffee and snacks.
4. Yas Marina Circuit
Have you ever wanted to go cycling on a race track? Just head to the Yas Marina Circuit on a Sunday or Tuesday, between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm. During these period, the track is open to the public — joggers and cyclists alike. Bike rental is free, although advanced registration is required.
Situated on Yas Island, the Yas Marina Circuit is the venue of the prestigious Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It holds the distinction of being the second Formula One track in the Middle East region, the first one being the Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain.
5. Qasr Al Sarab
If you happen to be a guest at the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, then you shouldn’t miss their biking tour. Get ready to ride one of their “fat bikes,” which feature 4.8 inch wide tires!
The tour starts at AED 175 per person, and covers around 7 km to 10 km of desert track. It will take you for a thrilling, one and a half to two hour ride across the large dunes surrounding the resort, which is part of the famous Empty Quarter, the largest desert in the world. There’s no need for you to worry, though, because these fat bikes are specifically designed for the desert terrain!
Some Safety Tips for Cyclists
Whether you are an advanced, intermediate, or beginner cyclist, observing safety is a must. So before you go cycling in any of these Abu Dhabi tracks, do keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Wear safety gear (e.g. helmet, knee pads, etc.) at all times.
- Check the condition of your bike before taking it for a ride.
- Always stay on the cycling track.
- For longer routes, use seat padding on your bike.
- Lather on some sunscreen if you’re going on a day trip!
- Wear bright-coloured or fluorescent clothing, especially at night. This will make you more visible to other cyclists and motorists.
As you can see, there are many places in Abu Dhabi where you can go cycling. Aside from getting some much needed exercise, you can also enjoy the different views, discover restaurants, cafes, and shops, or simply have a great time with your family and friends!