DUBAI, A delegation of international and continental cycling chiefs, led by David Lappartient, President of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), visited the Dubai Sports Council on Sunday to discuss ways to further strengthen their relationship and cement UAE and Dubai’s position as one of the leading destinations for top international cycling events as well as international cycling tourism.
Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of Dubai Sports Council, welcomed the delegation which included, beside Lappartient, 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.
Hareb was accompanied by Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary-General of Dubai Sports Council, when the two sides met to discuss mutual ties and future projects.
Speaking to the delegation, Hareb talked about the unlimited support sports, and cycling, in particular, was provided by the country’s leadership.
Hareb said, “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister 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 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 Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid is himself a keen cyclist and has ordered the construction of dedicated cycling tracks across the city, away from the traffic and stretching hundreds of kilometres, to allow cyclists to practice their favourite sport in a safe environment. This has contributed to 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 cycling on the streets of Dubai, and also a video of him following the UAE Tour in person. 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 the Dubai Sports Council in supporting, spreading and developing sports in general by organising more than 400 events annually. He also spoke about its efforts to support cycling, and the various cycling events that are organised and supported, in cooperation with the UAE Cycling Federation and Sports Councils, throughout the year with different cycling competitions for both amateurs and professionals.
Lappartient 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 programmes and events the Dubai Sports Council organises throughout the year.
Lappartient was pleasantly surprised to learn about the number of events the council organises every year and expressed his happiness with the growth of cycling in Dubai and the UAE. He also thanked the council for its role 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.
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 Mattar Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the council, to discuss ways of strengthening cooperation between the two parties.
Source: Emirates News Agency