DUBAI - The UAE Cycling Federation and Dubai Sports Council have announced the launch of a brand new international cycling event for ladies – the Dubai Women’s Tour, which will be held here from February 17-20 next year.
The only Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) women’s cycling event in the Middle East, Dubai Women’s Tour will see 14 top international teams, including Team UAE, competing for honours across four stages.
The Tour will open with the 99km Nshama Stage, which will start from Dubai Festival City and finish at Town Square Dubai. On Day 2, the teams will again start from Dubai Festival City and finish at The Springs after covering 91kms in the Dubai Festival City Stage.
The teams will then move to Hatta for Day 3 for the 90km General Authority for Sports Stage, which will start at Wadi Hatta Park and finish at Hatta Dam following a steep climb. The final stage – the 112km Dubai Health Authority Stage – will start and finish at Dubai Festival City after taking the cyclists past some of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks.
Details about the new event, which is being described as a historic moment for women’s professional cycling in the region, were revealed at a press conference on Monday, December 16, at Dubai Sports Council, in the presence of Noura Al Jasmi, a board member of UAE Cycling Federation and Tour Director, and Sara Al Sayegh, Director of Communications and Marketing Department at Dubai Sports Council.
“Inspired by our wise leadership’s call to empower women in all spheres of life, empowering women in sports has become one of Dubai Sports Council’s strategic objectives,” said Al Sayegh at the press conference. “We want to encourage our women to take up sports and create opportunities for them to compete and achieve their sporting aspirations.
“This new Dubai Women’s Tour is part of that initiative, especially since the sport of cycling is growing in popularity among Emirati ladies, thanks to the excellent facilities, including dedicated tracks, available across Dubai.
“The huge success of the Dubai Tour and UAE Tour have also helped push cycling to the top of the popularity charts, and now, together with UAE Cycling Federation, we are pleased to announce the launch of another UCI event in the country.
“The Dubai Women’s Tour marks a new dawn for women’s sports in the UAE… it is the start of a new era in the empowerment of women in sports.”
Tour Director Noura Al Jasmi added: “We are really pleased to announce the launch of the Dubai Women’s Tour, which is being organised under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Hind Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, who has always been a generous supporter of women’s sports and has encouraged women in every field.”
There will be 14 teams taking part in the inaugural Dubai Women’s Tour, including Team UAE and UAE national champion Safia Al Sayegh will be lining up for them along with other young Emirati talent, challenging the world’s best for the overall leader’s jersey (yellow), the best sprinter jersey (green), the best climber jersey (polka dot) and the young leader jersey (white).
The other teams taking part are: Agolico Pro Cycling Team, Russia-based Cogeas Mettler Cycling Team, Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport of Belgium, Hungary’s Fehervar Cycling Team, Hitec-Products-ORG of Great Britain, the Kazakhstan National Team and the Under-23 Kazakhstan National Team, Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck-Immo Losch, Ciclotel of Belgium, France’s Team Feminin, Team Vaiano-Aromitalia-Basso Bikes, Germany’s Wheel Divas Cycling Team and the Uzbekistan Women’s Team.
Sayed Tayoun, Hotel Manager, Holiday Inn, Dubai Festival City, said: “We would like to thank Her Highness Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, who continues to encourage and fully support women’s sport in UAE. We also thank the organizers the UAE Cycling Federation and Dubai Sports Council for choosing Dubai Festival City for the Dubai Women’s Tour. It is our pleasure to host the Dubai Women’s Tour 2020 and to be part of this global event. We are also extremely pleased that the 14 professional teams will be staying at the Holiday Inn Dubai Festival City in addition to the organizers and media during the event. We wish all participating team’s the very best.”
Al Jasmi added: “We are really pleased with the increasing demand from international teams to participate in the event, and this interest is a reflection of Dubai’s reputation as host of top international cycling and sporting events.
“The Dubai Women’s Tour is a historical event and the UAE Cycling Federation, under the leadership of our president Osama Al Shafar, is keen to make sure it becomes the best women’s event on the world cycling calendar. “The main aim, of course, is the development of our young national squad and give them the experience and exposure they need to compete successfully at the highest level, and I am confident the Dubai Women’s Tour will meet those targets and play a huge part in the development of women’s cycling, not just in the UAE but the wider Gulf and Arab region.”