The inaugural edition of the Dubai Tour will take place from February 5th to 8th, 2014, it was announced on Friday. The new race is organised by the Dubai Sports Council in association with RCS Sport, and at a press conference in Pescara on Friday the organising committee confirmed that it will take place the week before the ASO-organised Tour of Qatar.
“We won’t go into competition with the Tours of Qatar and Oman,” RCS Sport managing director Michele Acquarone said. “The Tour of Qatar will take place the week after our race. We brought forward our original dates for the Dubai Tour because ASO had a problem in changing the dates of their races due to the Ladies Tour of Qatar.”
Acquarone confirmed that the first edition of the Dubai Tour will be a four-day race but said that it was too soon to divulge details on the exact make-up of the course.
“Our friends in Dubai have asked us to design a technical race that also showcases the best of their country,” Acquarone said. “We’re still in the process of thinking about the course but we hope to have a very technical and interesting parcour.”
While the UCI calendar for 2014 will not be finalised until the world championships in Florence in September, the organising committee expects to be awarded HC status from the UCI, like the Tours of Qatar and Oman.
“With that categorization, we could work with ASO and the UCI to have synergy in regard to the teams that are selected,” Acquarone said. “The plan is to have 70% of the places awarded to WorldTour teams and 30% to Pro Continental teams, and as it’s an Asia Tour race, we would certainly like to have some Asian teams.”
Television rights for the Dubai Tour are also yet to be finalised, Acquarone explained. “Obviously, we’re talking with Dubai TV about production and what’s possible, but we’re also involving foreign stations, including RAI, to see if they’re interested,” he said. “The work we’ve done with IMG will help in this regard.”
Dubai Sports Council delegate Saeed Hareb confirmed the dates of the inaugural Dubai Tour for February 5-8 of next year and said that one of the aims of the race was “to show the world what Dubai has to offer.”