Abu Dhabi will welcome a record number of competitors and spectators from around the world for the fourth Abu Dhabi International Triathlon this March 2nd and while the race day thrills will be the highlight for many, there is much more to explore and experience across the emirate.
The UAE capital comes alive during the winter months; jam-packed with scenic and cultural discoveries, cutting-edge theme parks, architectural wonders, high fashion shopping and first-class dining. Whether athletes seek beautiful natural surrounds for their pre-race training sessions, or a cultural day trip to unwind after their race, they will discover a charismatic destination that captivates and leaves them wanting more.
In the days leading up to the race, athletes can take advantage of the 400 kilometres of pristine coastline with training sessions in the warm Arabian climes, run part of the event course at the famous Corniche promenade, cycle the iconic Yas Marina Circuit, home to the annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix or swim at the picturesque Blue Flag certified public beach.
Abu Dhabi is also fast emerging as a winter training base for athletes of all levels looking to escape the Northern Hemisphere’s colder months. The grass roots tri scene is maturing with a number of top clubs offering first timers and seasoned athletes a chance to hone their skills. A wealth of world-class training facilities are on offer in the emirate year-round, providing compelling stay and train packages for those wanting to ‘compete in the heat’.
Training in Abu Dhabi
Armed Forces Officers’ Club
The Abu Dhabi-based club boasts facilities perfect for athletes looking to train regularly. The club has an indoor heated 50 metre Olympic-sized swimming pool and an all-weather running track open to the public. Training hours for ladies only are every Monday from 4:00pm – 8:00pm and Fridays from 8:00am – 1:00pm.
Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana
Athletes will find comfort and luxury at the event hotel, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, which has facilities such as large heated swimming pools, direct beach access, fully equipped gym, bike storage and a daily menu designed with both for athletes and their friends and families.
Abu Dhabi Corniche
The eight-kilometre waterfront stretch offers triathletes an all-encompassing training session which includes open water training and a separate cycle and jogging pathways accessible any time of the day. The award-winning Corniche is open daily to the public.
Al Mushrif Track
This is a specially-designed rubberised track for jogging at Al Mushrif. The 2.4 kilometre track is the longest jogging track in the UAE capital and runs from the ADNOC petrol station on Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street to the Federal Passports Bridge.
Al Jazira Sports Club
This fantastic facility offers an Olympic-sized pool and is open to the public seven days a week. The pool is often used by professional triathletes during the cooler months to train and stay in shape.
Yas Marina Circuit
The iconic Yas Marina Circuit – home to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – offers a unique and friendly training ground on the Formula 1™ track on Tuesday evenings. The circuit is open to runners and cyclists looking to train in a safe public environment.
Furthermore, professionals, amateurs and first timers in search of training in groups on a weekly basis can join a number of established clubs in Abu Dhabi including:
Abu Dhabi Triathlon Club – the club runs weekly cycling, running and swimming sessions for athletes at all levels
Abu Dhabi Striders – one of the oldest community clubs in Abu Dhabi since 1984 and the club provides weekly sessions to avid triathletes all year round
Raha Revolution this club provides an opportunity for Abu Dhabi-based cyclists to get together for organised rides every Friday and Saturday.
Training in Al Ain
Athletes looking to work on their cycling and running skills can navigate their way through a diverse range of the emirate’s stunning natural landscapes, from the dizzying heights of Jebel Hafeet in Abu Dhabi’s heritage heartland of Al Ain, to the vast four kilometre cooling Al Ain oasis, which is open to the public and provides a safe training ground for runners and cyclists.
Danat Al Ain Resort and Al Ain Rotana have state-of-the-art heated swimming pools open to all. www.danathotels.com/Hotels-Resorts/Danat-Al-Ain-Resort and www.rotana.com/alainrotana
Do you have what it takes? Are you brave enough to Tri? For more information on the destination or to register for the event, visit: www.abudhabitriathlon.com & www.visitabudhabi.ae