Article updated 6-September-2022
Sadly, in a recurring pattern, we witness accidents involving bicycle riders, generating big media interest. This draws a lot of attention to a topic which concerns many residents: the sports and recreational riders on the one hand, but also a big group of the working class, mainly gardeners and delivery/collection men on the other hand.
KNOW THE RULES: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has issued Executive Council Resolution No. (13) of 2022, which regulates the use of bicycles, electric bikes, and scooters in Dubai. Here is a great article summarizing the rules:
https://www.arabianbusiness.com/industries/transport/what-are-the-new-rules-for-cyclists-electric-bikes-and-scooters-issued-by-dubai-crown-prince-sheikh-hamdan and here is the Resolution No. (13) in original including the rules, fines and more:
Here are the rules for Abu Dhabi:
How to do it right (as a bicycle rider):
- Always wear your helmet
- Be in control of your ride and your bike – drive defensively!
- Make sure your bicycle is in good conditions, especially the brakes, tires and lights … have a bell, too.
- See & be seen: wear bright colors (ideally reflecting vest), stay aware of the traffic around you, make eye-contact with motorists and pedestrians
- If you have to rid on a street, keep to the right hand side
- Use hand signals when you have to turn
- Obey traffic laws (signs, lights and road markings, etc.)
- Use your lights (head light and rear light) in bad light conditions – ideally also during the day, and have reflectors on your bike. Generally, it’s a good advise not to ride at night, unless you absolutely have to!
- Give right of way to pedestrians
- Watch out for obstacles (opening car doors, objects on the road, pot holes)
- Use only safe areas to ride your bike, ideally on bicycle lanes (for example the dedicated bike lanes in the Al Qudra area, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai Autodrome, Yas Marina Abu Dhabi, etc.) – here is great guide!
- Kids cycling: make sure your kids follow the rules and they are safe!
- If you are transporting your kids on your bike, use proper equipment
Watch out for:
- If you have to drive on the street, don’t drive on the wrong side
- Avoid biking by night and in bad light conditions
- Don’t bike on unsafe roads
- Don’t bike in areas where biking is prohibited
- Don’t use your mobile phone while riding
- Don’t bike under the influence of banned substances
How to do it right (as a motorist):
- Bicycle riders are weaker than vehicles, hence be respectful and polite to them
- Bicycle riders are equal traffic participants – obey their rights!
- Anticipate moves of bicycle riders and don’t cut them off
- Keep a safe distance (from the side and from behind!)
- Be mindful that you can irritate riders with speeding, noise/honking or your head lights
- Around riders, use your indicators and make them know your planned moves
- Keep eye contact to riders
- Be extra careful when you see kids on bikes
- Carefully open the door of your car and watch out for bikers
Here is an overview of Dubai’s cycling tracks of RTA: https://www.rta.ae/wps/portal/rta/ae/home/about-rta/cycling-track
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