The UAE Tour was first held in 2019 as a result of the merging of the Abu Dhabi Tour and the Dubai Tour. It has quickly established itself as one of the premier cycling events on the men’s WorldTour calendar, attracting many of the best riders in the world since its inception. Its four winners so far include Primoz Roglic in 2019, Adam Yates in 2020, and Tadej Pogacar in 2021 and 2022. The race will celebrate its fifth year in 2023, alongside the introduction of the inaugural UAE Tour Women, and has attracted a field of an equally stellar class.
But perhaps just as importantly, for 2023, the race is opening up opportunities for the people of the UAE to be involved, inspired and empowered by cycling.
The race itself is much more considered than one might assume at first glance. The men’s race comprises seven stages, purposefully chosen to symbolize the seven Emirates of the UAE.
In addition, the winner takes home the heptagonal UAE Tour ‘Unity’ Trophy; its seven sides serve as another nod to the Emirates that make up the UAE. The trophy is gold-plated, too, paying homage to the golden colour of the sand and the sun.
What’s more, the race’s four leaders’ jerseys not only mimic the four colours of the UAE flag, but symbolise attributes that reflect the values of the seven Emirates. Red, the leader’s jersey, symbolizes energy. Green, the points jersey, represents challenge and strength. White, given to the best young rider, represents future and hope, and finally black, the intermediate sprints jersey, represents effort.
The women’s race took place from February 9-12, with the men’s race running from February 20-26. Both races comprise of 20 teams battling it out for victory. With seven riders in each team, a total of 280 of the world’s best cyclists will descend on the country in short order.
The race is organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (opens in new tab), the government body responsible for developing and promoting sport, physical activity and healthy lifestyle initiatives in the United Arab Emirates. ADSC was behind the construction of world-class sports facilities, such as Zayed Sports City stadium and the Yas Marina motor racing circuit – which is regularly used for cycling events – and also plays an important role in promoting sports tourism in Abu Dhabi.
Evidence of the Council’s impact can be seen with the inception and creation of the new UAE Tour Challenge,…
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