Al Qudra cycle track in Dubai can be an epic addition to your day. But how to know where to start? Here’s our guide to bike rentals, distances, gear and best times of day (and year) to go.
Al Qudra bike rental
Bring your own bike or rent one from Trek UAE bike shop (located at the end of Al Qudra – prices below). It’s easy to park here too, as there are toilets and a convenience store with all the protein bars you could need.
The Cycle Hub also organizes group rides according to level, and the fee includes a free coffee after.
“I love Al Qudra because you’re out in the middle of nature and have these crazy early morning sunrises,” says Kayleigh Dawson, a Dubai personal trainer who only started cycling last year. “It was also great getting over my fear of cycling.”
Al Qudra track distances
Options on Al Qudra range from distances of 35km up to a whopping 180km.
Most beginners start with the straight section of the path that runs parallel to Al Qudra road, which is 17.5km out and another 17.5km back.
Intermediate cyclists can expect to finish the main 50km loop in roughly two hours. There are shaded tents to stop along the way, and a mosque where cyclists refill water bottles.
If you’re still feeling nervous, head to District One Cycle and Running Track in Al Meydan, says Desmond Myburgh, operations manager for Gymcare. “This helps build up to longer distances. It’s also at District One that many beginners find their life-long cycling partner/cycling group.”
What to wear cycling
When you book your bike, you can also hire a padded seat. It’s handy if you don’t have your own fancy kit. Feeling more advanced? Buy yourself a pair of padded shorts. Trust us.
The best time to cycle
In summer months, go early or late. Head out at 5am or after 8pm to avoid extreme temperatures. “The heat after 9am is unbearable, with some days reaching highs of 50 degrees Celsius,” Myburgh. “That’s when people, especially beginners, run the risk of heat exhaustion and dehydration.”
During the cooler months from mid-October to the start of March, you can head out pretty much anytime. Just ensure you’ve got enough water with you and get ready for possible winter wind chills.
Think about how busy you want the track to be. Most cyclists head out on the weekends from 5am to 10am. Yet with around 180km of cycle path to choose from, you won’t run into traffic jams — it’s more the occasional group of cyclists passing on your left.
Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge
The biggest cycling challenge in the Middle East, Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge, kicks off each year months ahead of the mid-December race with training Some 2,000 cyclists join in for the big event, meaning the atmosphere is pretty special.
What to eat after cycling
When cycling is done, you can grab plenty of street food from the food trucks at Last Exit. Cyclists also head to The Cycle Bistro, which has heaps of paleo food and a health focus.
How much does Al Qudra cost?
Renting a bike from Trek Bicycle Store in Al Qudra costs Dh53 for two hours during the week, and Dh95 for two hours at the weekend. There are discounts for small groups.
Want to cycle in Abu Dhabi? Check out the track at Al Hudayriat Island.
Try this: Desmond Myburgh’s route suggestions for beginners
- From the first car park to the Hamdan Swim Complex and back, which is a total of 25km there and back (or for those who want to have a food stop, cycle to Al Barari to have breakfast and coffee at The Farm; here the total distance will work out to roughly 40km total).
- From the second car park (at Trek Bicycle Store / ZADS Food Store / Last Exit) cycle to “The Trees” and back, which is a total of 10km.
- From the second car park (at Trek Bicycle Store / ZADS Food Store / Last Exit) cycle to the mosque where there is a facility to refill with water if required. The total distance is 21km.
- From the second car park (at Trek Bicycle Store / ZADS Food Store / Last Exit) cycle to the Bab Al Shams resort, where you can stop for coffee and breakfast, where the total distance is 27km.
Danae Mercer is a freelance health and travel journalist. In addition to working as editor-in-chief of Women's Health Middle East and Men's Health Middle East, Danae has written for The Sunday Times, CNN Travel, Dubai Tourism, The Guardian, Afar, Bloomberg and many more. She's based in Dubai and is a trainer at Crank. instagram.com/danaemercer