Just days after receiving Gold Label status from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has unveiled a new route that will take the world’s richest long distance running race back into the heart of the city.
To be held on January 27, the 2012 edition of the classic 42.195km race will now see the runners start beside The Pavilion in Downtown Dubai, in the shadow of the imposing Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building developed by Emaar Properties, before heading along the spectacular, 3.5 km Emaar Boulevard and turning left onto Doha Street with The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, on the left.
The route will then turn right heading up towards the Dubai World Trade Centre and take the field to the coast along Satwa and through to the UAE flag flying high at Union House.
As in previous years, however, the runners will once again tackle the flat stretch along the Beach Road to the turn before the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel and return along the same route before passing The Dubai Mall and The Address Downtown Dubai and finishing approx 1km before the entrance to the Burj Khalifa.
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, a headlining event that brings together thousands of Dubai residents and visitors. As ‘The Centre of Now,’ Downtown Dubai serves as a perfect backdrop for the marathon event, which is all about perseverance and dedication - values that have been the driving force of Emaar in accomplishing our iconic developments such as Burj Khalifa.”
For the field of elite athletes and enthusiastic runners alike, the new route promises to be yet another fast and challenging route with a new start and finish area alongside the world’s tallest building.
“While we have enjoyed three successful events starting and finishing up by Dubai Media City, it’s time to bring the start and finish back into the city centre and there are few better places than Downtown Dubai,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “We are working closely with Emaar to make sure the 2012 race is the best in the short history of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.”
With registration already open, thousands of runners of all ages and abilities have signed up for the Marathon, the 10km and the 3km Fun Run in an event that is staged under the auspices of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council with Standard Chartered as the title sponsor.
“This is our eighth consecutive year as title sponsor and we are delighted to play a part in promoting health and fitness in the UAE. This world class event gives us an opportunity to maintain our active role in the community as part of our commitment to be ‘here for good’,” said Jonathan Morris, CEO of the UAE at Standard Chartered Bank.
“This is one of the key highlights of the sporting and social calendar in the region. We are excited to host some of the world’s best elite runners who will undoubtedly strengthen the UAE’s position on the international marathon circuit and help drive the development of sport in the region,” he said.
With the event now holding IAAF Road Race Gold Label status, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is the highest accredited race of its kind in the Middle East and confirms Dubai’s place at the top table of marathon running alongside cities such as London, Berlin and New York.
Event General Co-ordinator Ahmed Al Kamali, President of the UAE Athletic Federation and Member of the IAAF Council, believes this is a new chapter in the story of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.
“Following our elevation to Gold Label status, the eyes of the running world will now be on our event on January 27,” he said. “But with a new route and a start and finish line beside the Burj Khalifa we can showcase Dubai as both a 21st century city and a global sporting venue second to none.”