The capital of the United Arab Emirates has become world-famous for its opulent imports.
In Abu Dhabi, you can find Lamborghinis, gold-sprinkled cappuccinos, and hundreds of thousands of imported palm trees.
Now you can find Colnago’s high-end road bikes too.
The Italian bike company will open its “flagship” store on the city’s Hudayriyat Island — the new adventure playground for Abu Dhabi’s growing tourism sector. The 10,000-square-foot, two-floor building will offer current Colnago bikes as well as historical models. It will also have the world’s first Colnago Caffè, so guests can get a taste of Italy’s famous coffee.
If you think cycling (at least the “exclusivity and elegance” of Colnago) is at odds with international oil interests, you’re not in the brand’s camp. In fact, you’re not aligned with Hudayriyat Island’s city leaders, either.
It’s not entirely surprising that at least one major bike company sees opportunity on the island, which officially opened in November 2020. In recent years, city officials have doubled down on their support for cycling by building infrastructure and drawing global events — with plans to expand.
A ‘reference point’ for Abu Dhabi cyclists
With its new store, Colnago aims to become the “reference point for all cycling fans and communities that animate the city of Abu Dhabi,” the company said.
Not familiar with the cycling community of Abu Dhabi? Not surprising, but its global profile will likely grow in coming years.
Emphasizing fitness and nature in its design, Hudayriyat Island already boasts 40 kilometers of illuminated cycle paths. It’s become popular among cyclists and runners, and has hosted both triathlons and obstacle courses, according to UAE’s National News.
The Abu Dhabi Cycling Club broke ground on its new cycling hub on the island in November 2021. Then there’s the first-ever Abu Dhabi Bike Festival, which kicks off in November 2022. The festival includes the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships and the first-ever Abu Dhabi Gran Fondo.
Clearly, Colnago sees a wealth of opportunity here.
“We hope having this physical space in a city that is growing rapidly will help meet the needs of cycling enthusiasts in Abu Dhabi, enabling them to experience first-hand the products that have made us the ace of cycling,” Colnago CEO Nicola Rosin said in a press release.
Colnago’s fancy new digs
With plenty of room in its two-story building, Colnago has big plans for its new hub.
The store will include a display of Colnago bikes for sale, along with an exhibition of historic models. At the Colnago Caffè (’cause what is upper-echelon cycling, or Abu Dhabi tourism, without high-end coffee?), guests can chill out with food and coffee while watching races on a big screen.
But it’s Abu Dhabi, right? You need flashiness to stand out here. That’s why the store will also have “advanced technological installations.” Those include a sliding screen that reconstructs the history of Colnago’s historical models, and a cutting-edge bike fitting system. Then there’s the “three-dimensional configurator,” with a giant screen (4.8 x 2.7 meters) that allows customers to design their own bike, Colnago said.
The “contemporary works of art” display, designed by Spanish interior architect Pablo Paniagua and his team, is the icing on the cake.
Guests at the store’s recent opening included the entire roster of UAD Team Emirates and UAE Team ADQ, including Tadej Pogačar.
“As an organisation that prides itself in creating superior experiences through expertly crafted bicycles, the launch of our new store in Abu Dhabi represents another significant milestone in our journey at Colnago as we continue to build the brand worldwide,” Rosin said.