Rolland said the focus of his schedule will be to remain fresh for the second half of the season, when he'll tackle the Tour de France and possibly the Vuelta a Espana.
"The goal of this program with a lagged start is to keep a maximum freshness for the 2nd part of season that fits me better," Rolland wrote on his Facebook page.
Following Abu Dhabi, the 31-year-old will compete on Paris-Nice, the Volta a Catalunya, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Tour de Romandie, the French championships and then the Tour de France.
"I also hope to participate in the Vuelta," Rolland wrote, "but it is still very far away."
Rolland signed with Slipstream, then riding as Cannondale-Drapac, in 2016 after five years with Europcar. He got top 10s on stages on the both the Tour and Vuelta that year, and in 2017 added an emotional Giro d'Italia stage win to his palmares along with a stage at Route du Sud. His Giro stage win was the first at a GrandTour for the team in more than two years.
Rolland started his 2017 season at the Vuelta a Andalucia in February and wrapped up at the Bretagne Classic in August after having completed the Giro/Tour double.