Set against perhaps one of the best backdrops of any city circuit in the world, the Duabi Marathon will once again take over Downtown this Friday January 24.

A record turnout – surpassing the 2013 total of 19,837 from 145 different nationalities – of fun-runners and some of the world’s leading long-distance champions will gather at the start line on Umm Suqeim Road at at 7am.

As well as a full morning of running and activity on the roads around Dubai, there will be a wide range of entertainment around the Marathon Fun Zone.

Records tumbled last year, namely in the men’s race when the top five men all came home in under 2hrs 5mins, the first time in marathon history that had happened. What becomes of the race now a new route – which see those competing head past the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Mosque, Madinat Jumeirah and Union House – is in place, remains to be seen.

But where can you enjoy what is the Middle East’s biggest mass participation sporting event? Here’s a breakdown of the route.

Dubai Marathon 2014 route map

– Start on the Umm Suqeim Road at the Madinat Jumeirah end turning right onto the Jumeirah Beach Road.
– Run past the Burj Al Arab and head up the Jumeirah Beach Road towards the Union Flag.
– Run beyond Union Flag before turning at the next junction and heading back along the Jumeirah Beach Road.
– Pass the Grand Mosque, the Jumeirah Beach Park.
– Once past the Burj Al Arab keep going onto Al Sufouh Road.
– Go under the entrance to Palm Island, turning back at The One & Only Mirage Hotel entrance at Dubai Media City.
– Head back along Al Sufouh Road turning right along the Umm Suqueim Road for approx 500 metres to the finish just before the Dubai Police Academy.