Ethiopian three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele will lead the Dubai Marathon field in the Middle East’s biggest mass participation event in what will be only his second appearance on the Dubai roads – a surface he will share with more than 30,000 “running mates” on Friday, January 20.

“It’s not often that athletes get to share the stage with one of the greatest sportsmen of all time,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “There are few long distance runners with a pedigree like Kenenisa so it’s quite an honour to say you’ve competed on the same track beside the best in the business.”

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