Abu Dhabi might not seem like the most obvious place for a gruelling triathlon, but a substantial $250,000 (€184,000) prize fund means that a triathlon in temperatures approaching 28°C isn't to be taken lightly.
For some, a highlight of the March 13 race will be the bicycle section that includes a full lap of the Yas Marina Formula One circuit at its northern tip. The cycle course stretches all around Abu Dhabi's island network to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to the southeast.
Before that, competitors start the endurance test with a 3km swim in the Persian Gulf, courtesy of a lagoon situated next to the Emirates Palace Hotel, and complete the triathlon with a 20km run linking Abu Dhabi's Marina and its beachside thoroughfare, The Corniche.
With the Ironman World Championships side-stepping the Middle East - the nearby Malaysian Ironman will have taken place on February 27 - the Abu Dhabi Triathlon is one event ensuring that residents and travellers alike acan satisfy their urge for an endurance trial of international standards without leaving the UAE's luxurious surrounds.