Fancy hitting the streets on 2-wheels while you’re in Abu Dhabi? Whilst cycling is certainly not as common in the Middle East as in other parts of the world, there is certainly a growing interest in cycling in the UAE. Bike rental services are available in Abu Dhabi for both tourist ebikes and track bikes.
Let’s take a look at each and where you can head in the city for biking pleasure.
Careem BIKE rentals in Abu Dhabi
Ebike rental services in Abu Dhabi are currently managed by Careem Bikes (these replaced the previous ADCB bikes with the white and red livery). They are easy to spot in bright green. Here’s how you go about renting your bike in Abu Dhabi:
Where Can You Rent Bikes in Abu Dhabi?
Careem Bikes can be found docked in the following locations across Abu Dhabi:
How Do I Rent A Careem Bike in Abu Dhabi?
You will need internet access as everything is now done online to access your bike from the automated stations:
- Download the Careem BIKE App (Google Play I App Store)
- Sign up for short-term or an annual membership
- Scan the QR code on a bike to unlock, or enter the 5-digit pin from your App
- Remove your bike when you see the green light
- Return your bike to a Careem docking station
Instructions are included in Arabic and English at all docking station, example here:
Rules and Regulations For Using Your Careem Bike in Abu Dhabi
- Cyclists must comply with Safety requirements issued by RTA – Regulation No. 468 (2019)
- It is suggested that you wear a helmet and reflective vest, but these are not compulsory under local laws.
- Cyclists must not ride on dedicated jogging paths nor roads that are sign-posted over 60km/hr.
- Once cyclist per bike only, and do not carry anything that will imbalance the bike or tow anything.
- On dual-lane pathways, cyclists must stick to the right.
- Crossing roads, you need to dismount and push your bike at pedestrian crossings.
- Wear clothing and shoes fit for purpose.
What Does Careem Bike Membership Cost?
- One year membership is AED 420
- One month membership is AED 75
- One week membership is AED 50
- One-day membership is AED 20
- CPlus members get rides for free (AED 19 per month subscription fee)
Trips are limited to 45 minutes at a time, over overtime fees apply.
Track Cycling in Abu Dhabi
If you’re after something a little faster than a leisurely ride through the city, there are several locations that offer track bikes for hire and proper racing facilities. Two are fairly central in the city, the third; you’ll need some transportation to get there:
1. Al Hudayriyat Island
Abu Dhabi’s latest leisure Island, Al Hudayriyat, opened to the public in 2018 with 5-kilometre and 10-kilometre dedicated riding tracks open 7 days a week, making it a hot spot for fitness enthusiasts early morning and evening.
- You can rent bikes from Yas MENA cycles for AED 50 per hour or 150 AED per day. They’re open 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily; contact Hudayriat_bikerentals@yasvcycles.com.
- Wolfi’s also offers a wide range of bikes for hire, including ebikes, children’s bikes and – check out prices here
Added to the Hudayriyat lineup in 2023 is a mountain biking circuit, Trail X MTB.
Covering 15 kilometres and four different circuits, the track is open 5:00 AM to midnight. The bike hire shops for track cycling also stock the mountain bikes for this new circuit; use of the circuit is free.
2. Yas Marina Circuit
Ever wanted to make your way past the checkered flag on a Grand Prix circuit? No need to be a Formula 1 driver in Abu Dhabi; you can take on the challenge of completing a lap (or a few dozen!) of the Yas Marina Circuit on their open evenings TrainYAS, held on a Monday and Wednesday evening 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
There’s also a TrainAM session for early birds on a Tuesday and Thursday morning, along with a ladies-only session on a Tuesday evening (including Zumba and Yoga sessions).
They now need pre-registration before you enter the track, and you’ll get a safety briefing as a first-timer (bikes head one direction anti-clockwise, while walkers and runners take the outer lane clockwise). You’ll need to be in appropriate sports attire for entry to the track – ie no flip-flops and helmets are mandatory.
There are free bikes to rent for amateur riders, as well as better-quality bikes for a rental fee (expect AED 50)
Note: The track closes to the public during the Formula 1 Grand Prix (usually mid-November) and on selected event nights.
3. Al Wathba
Heading beyond the city into the nearby desert area known as Al Wathba, you’ll find the Al Wathba Cycle Track. It’s around a 45-minute drive outside of the city.
Here, there is a choice of an 8-kilometre, 16-kilometre, 20-kilometre, 22-kilometre and full 30-kilometre track for experienced cyclists. Most popular in the early evenings when the temperature is cooling, the track is floodlit for year-round enjoyment and is free to use 24 hours a day.
Beginners can take on the smaller tracks but do be aware the cyclists here move with speed! Make sure you’re following all the track rules to prevent accidents, and safety equipment must be worn.
It is free to use the tracks here if you bring your own gear, or there’s a small shop cycle shop on site for equipment hire. It only opens from 4:00 PM in the afternoon and is open all evening.
- Basic bike hire is AED 30/hr or Carbon bikes from AED 60 per hour
Be aware there are no facilities around the track, so you need to take your water with you and any emergency repair kits.
Top Tips For Cycling and Bike Rental in Abu Dhabi
Whilst mid-winter cycling can be mild and pleasant, for much of the year, it is extremely hot during the day. Mid-summer temperatures can be well in excess of 45C F, and the “feel like” well in excess of 50 C /F. Take plenty of water for hydration.
Safety equipment may not be mandated by law on cycle paths and roads in the city, but will be mandatory for use in any of the dedicated facilities mentioned here.
Professional Cycling Events in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi plays host to many major international cycling events during the winter months.
The largest event is UAE Tour which sees many city roads closed for this road race event, usually held around late February. 2024 dates have now been confirmed as 19 to 25 February.
Before you go… Important things to consider when planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page; it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
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