After a one-year postponement due to the corona crisis, the World Expo was held in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) from October 1 to March 31 last year. The Belgian pavilion was located in the Mobility District. And what suited this better than bicycles.

For several years, Dubai has also been known as the country of the only World Tour race in the Middle East, the UAE Tour, which was held for the fourth time this year. The tour is always held at the beginning of the cycling season. The sixth stage (180 km), won by Czech Mathias Vacek (Gasprom-Rusvelo), started and finished at the Expo.

Belgium cycling country

Before our visit to the Belgian pavilion, while waiting at the entrance, we watched the greatest moments of Eddy Merckx’s career pass in review. Year by year, Eddy’s exceptional achievements were portrayed. Eddy is not unknown in the Middle East. For fifteen years, he was involved in the organization of the Tour of Qatar, which disappeared from the cycling calendar for good in 2017.

Flanders Bike Valley

Once inside, it was then the bike on which Victor Campenaerts set the world endurance record in 2019 that drew attention. With the help of the innovation center for the Belgian bicycle industry Flanders’ Bike Valley in Beringen, Ridley had designed this bike. A fine example of Flemish technological innovation.

Cycling in Dubai on the rise

With the construction of bike lanes in tourist areas, cycling, in a city dominated by cars, is increasingly on the rise. For tourists, it is a unique way to explore this extraordinary city. In the desert, a special bicycle route of no less than 117 km has been created, the El Qudra Cycle Track. A section is illuminated in the evening. Bicycles can be rented, in the city there is also a TREK Bicycle Store. All info on the route can be found at


Text and image: Rens Klaasse

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