The Abu Dhabi and Dubai Tours have been merged as the UAE Tour and will run over seven stages from next year following a Memorandum of Understanding between the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Sports Councils.
The MoU was signed by HE Aref Hamad Al Awani, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and his counterpart from Dubai Sports Council (DSC) HE Saeed Hareb at the ADSC auditorium on Wednesday, March 14.
HE Al Awani said, "The objective of the merger was to enhance the World Tour event in the UAE to be 'one of the best' races in the ICU's calendar of events."
"After the success we have had in the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Tours we have decided that it was time for us to move forward together," said HE Al Awani.
"The instructions have come from our leadership that we should utilise the success that we have achieved during this period. This is also the right time as it coincides with the Year of Zayed (which marks 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE)."
"Our objective is for all the Emirates to participate and be a part of this event. The distance of the race will vary from stage to stage but in seven Emirates we have more places to explore. The only thing that is under discussion is how to fit the race in the best time of the year in the UAE. We usually submit two dates with priority one and two. And it is on the reasonable days of the year when we have very attractive climate which is February. We will like to keep the same."
The organisers of the UAE Tour will continue to partner Velon who works closely with World Tour, Pro-Continental Teams, race organisers, broadcasters and the international cycling media.
"We will continue to work with Velon because they manager most of the teams and as such there shouldn't be any impact on the cycling teams coming to the UAE," said HE Al Awani.
"We will have the announcement of how the tour will be like, the new logo, new trophy and dates by September or October."
The Dubai Tour was first staged in 2014 and the Abu Dhabi Tour established in 2015, and it was included in the UCI World Tour in 2017.
The Dubai and Abu Dhabi Tours have both attracted the cream of the cyclists from around the world and discover more of the UAE's landscape.
"It is a proud moment for us," said HE Hareb. This event will provide the world audience a better idea of the country's landscape from the beachside areas to the sand dunes and the mountains.
"For instance, we can show the world of the work that's in progress for the Expo 2020 because we will take the cyclists across this project."
"The Abu Dhabi and Dubai Tours were both successful, now the UAE Tour is stronger to create a bigger impact all-round and provide the world-wide television audience to discover new areas and locations in the country." - ends