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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Dubai Desert Responder for cyclists introduced

Dubai Ambulance launches six-wheeled desert-going vehicle that can also carry bicycles if riders are injured.
The Desert Responder ambulance, dedicated to assisting injured and unwell cyclists in the desert, will be used for the first time on the Nad Al Sheba cycling course. Reem Mohammed / The National
The Desert Responder ambulance, dedicated to assisting injured and unwell cyclists in the desert, will be used for the first time on the Nad Al Sheba cycling course. Reem Mohammed / The National

DUBAI // Dubai Ambulance has launched a special vehicle for cyclists who encounter trouble and need assistance in the desert.

The six-wheel vehicle, called Desert Responder, is said to be the first of its kind in the region, catering specifically to cyclists.

“We have produced two so far,” said Musallam Hussein, a paramedic. “We usually have 4x4 ambulances but these will be used for the cycling courses in Dubai, most of which are found in the desert.”

The vehicle has a cycle rack attached to its front and tires that can adapt to the rough desert ground.

“Their bicycles are expensive so this metal rack can hold them,” Mr Hussein said. “We used to have an ambulance which was open from the back so we had to inform the [manufacturers] that we needed a closed ambulance due to the sand and hot weather in the UAE,” he said.

Although a specific number was not given, more vehicles are being produced.

Cycling accidents are all too common in the country. Last month, a British cyclist was killed in a 220-kilometre challenge ride after colliding with two motorbikes on the way to Fujairah from Dubai as part of a UAE tour.

Earlier this month, a professor from the American University of Sharjah died after a car hit him while he was cycling with a friend.

Cyclists experiencing issues in the desert were urged to call the service on 998.

cmalek@thenational.ae

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