Cycle share scheme proving surprise hit in Qatar
Thursday 24 February 2011
You could be forgiven for thinking that cycle-sharing schemes may not be as popular in the hot, dusty Middle East as they have been in Europe's temperate capitals, but a new program launched this month seems set to prove the opposite.
Q Bike launched earlier this month in Doha as the first bike-sharing scheme in the Middle East, allowing users to borrow bikes to get around the Qatar capital.
The scheme, which is modelled on the Parisian Velib system, will be free for residents and tourists until April 5 as part of a trial program in which only a single station will operate from outside the Sheraton Hotel on the Corniche, where a dedicated cycle track has been set up.
Doha authorities and q.media Decaux, the company behind the scheme, intend to use the test to allow them to assess the potential for a city-wide development.
A spokesperson told Relaxnews that at the moment, the service is proving very successful, saying that the first "results are very positive and encouraging," although full results will be announced after the test period.
Q Bike is the latest attempt from Qatar to brand itself as a sports-friendly nation, a mission which has become all the more pressing since the country was named the host of the 2022 World Cup.
It is set to boast the first dedicated cycling routes on major roads in the Middle East, according to the Qatar Cycling Federation, with 15 kilometers of cycle routes planned for the new Dukhan Highway, a major route into Doha.
The country even hosts its own cycling competition, the Tour of Qatar, which finished its tenth year earlier in February having attracted competitors from all over the world.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 2 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Natural wonders in the UK: From Giant's Causeway to Durdle Door
Flight from Britain to Turkey delayed by 7 hours after champagne cork damages ceiling
Exclusive Escapes: Upmarket holiday company goes bust on the eve of bank holiday weekend
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The most powerful passports in the world
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...