x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Healthier Abu Dhabi

The new 16km dedicated cycle track at Al Wathba, outside Abu Dhabi, is a step towards a healthier population who can exercise in safety.

A dedicated cycle track outside Abu Dhabi allows athletes to train in safety. Photo: Courtesy Al Wathba Cycle Challenge
A dedicated cycle track outside Abu Dhabi allows athletes to train in safety. Photo: Courtesy Al Wathba Cycle Challenge

With a smooth surface and solar powered lights to point the way, the new cycle track on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi is a welcome addition to the sporting facilities available to the emirate’s residents.

As The National reported yesterday, the new 16km long Al Wathba Cycle Track hosted its first competitive event for amateur cyclists on August 16. The loop track will also soon be extended to include an additional 100km of path.

Having a new separate infrastructure for cycling is a good step along the road to safety following several incidents involving motorists and cyclists, including the tragic death of triathlete Roy Nasr. Any initiative such as this, which offers a safe place for cyclists to train, has to be applauded. Organising community-wide events– such as the Emirati Cycle Challenge – also helps promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and might encourage otherwise inactive adults to take up the sport.

This country is facing up to several lifestyle and health challenges – not the least of which are diabetes and obesity – with varying degrees of success. Opening facilities such as the Al Wathba track and other places to train may yet encourage even the most sport-averse to get off their sofas and get into sport.