The cycling federation for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is working on ways to increase the level of the sport in their country. Thursday, the federation's President, Shaikh Faisal bin Humaid Al Qasimi, and the Secretary General Mansour Juma Bu Osaiba met with Belgium ambassador Philippe Dartois. According to the Khaleej Times, the two talked about how to promote cooperation between the two countries for cycling.
The meeting is an initial step toward collaboration. "This the first and introductory meeting, which I can say, is informal. We initiated this move as we know Belgium is a great cycling nation. There is the possibility of establishing a long term relation between the two countries in the field of cycling," said Osaiba to the Khaleej Times.
"There is no harm of entering into agreement with cycling bodies from Europe. We will learn from them and use their experience to improve on cyclists' technique," Osaiba said. He is also looking toward other future cooperation with manufacturers and dealers in the cycling industry.
The UAE cycling federation has struck similar deals in the past. Two years ago, they signed an agreement with the German Cycling Federation to exchange ideas to encourage development of the sport in the UAE. However, another attempt to engage the expertise of Eddy Merckx in 2005 did not work out.