Historically, cycling in Dubai has never been encouraged, bikes being largely associated (in the eyes of the authorities, at least) with low-income subcontinental workers pedalling the wrong way down the one-way streets of Bur Dubai rather than with expat enthusiasts seeking fresh air and fitness. The main problem is that cycling is illegal on major roads – defined as any road with a speed limit of over 60km/h. Ironically, although you’re not allowed to cycle on larger roads, police appear to have no objection to people cycling on pavements.
Things have changed rapidly in recent years, however, with the construction of over 150km of dedicated, high-quality cycle paths in various parts of the city. Details of the paths can be found on the website of Dubai Roadsters (wdubairoadsters.com), the main local cycling group, while Cycle Safe Dubai (wcyclesafedubai.com) also organize regular events. Bikes (20dh/hr) can be rented from NextBike (wbykystations.com), who have over twenty automated rental stations around the city.