A delegation of international and continental cycling chiefs, led by the President of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) David Lappartient, visited Dubai Sports Council on Sunday to discuss means of further strengthening their relationship and cementing UAE and Dubai’s position as one of the leading destinations for top international cycling events as well as international cycling tourism.
His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, welcomed the delegation which included, beside Lappartient, HE Osama Al Shafar, member of UAE Federal National Council and President of Asian Cycling Confederation, and Dr Mohamed Wagih Azzam, President of the African Cycling Confederation.
HE Saeed Hareb was accompanied by Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, as the two sides met to discuss mutual ties and future projects.
Speaking to the delegation, HE Saeed Hareb talked about the unlimited support sports, and cycling in particular, enjoy from the country’s wise leadership.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, himself is an exemplary role model for cycling and one of the biggest proponents of the great physical and mental benefits of this wonderful sport,” HE Saeed Hareb said. “His Highness has always shown great interest in the UAE Tour, as well as the Dubai Tour before that, and is present in person every year to greet participants.
“His Highness himself is a keen cyclist and has ordered the construction of dedicated cycling tracks across the city, away from the traffic and stretching 100s of kilometers, to allow cyclists to practice their favourite sport in a safe environment, and this has contributed towards an increase in the number of cyclists as well as an increase in the number of local and international cycling events in Dubai and the UAE.
“There was a recent video showing His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid cycling on the streets of Dubai, and also a video of him following the UAE Tour in person, and both videos speak volumes about his great passion and support for cycling.”
The Secretary General of the Council also briefed the guests about the efforts of Dubai Sports Council in supporting, spreading and developing sports in general by organizing more than 400 events annually. He also spoke about the Council’s efforts to support cycling, and the various cycling events that are organized and supported by the Council, in cooperation with the UAE Cycling Federation and Sports Councils, throughout the year with different cycling competitions taking place through the year for both amateurs and professionals.
The President of UCI and his delegation were also given a tour of the Council, and Sara Al Sayegh, Director of the Council’s Communication and Marketing section, and Khalid Al Awar, Director of the Sports Events Department, briefed them about the different programs and events Dubai Sports Council organizes throughout the year.
The UCI President was pleasantly surprised to learn about the number of events Dubai Sports Council organizes every year, and expressed his happiness with the growth of cycling in Dubai and the UAE. He also thanked Dubai Sports Council for the role it has played in supporting cycling in Dubai and the UAE, as well as at a global level, by jointly hosting one of the best-organised cycling events on the UCI calendar.
Mr Lappartient also expressed his amazement at the dizzying pace of growth in Dubai, which he has witnessed first-hand through his visits to the UAE, including one in January, 2020, when he met His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, to discuss ways of strengthening cooperation between the two parties.