Hundreds of schoolchildren became the first members of the public to tread the tracks at the venue, which was called world-class by city leaders yesterday.
The £113 million arena sits on former wasteland in Dalmarnock, one of the most deprived areas of the city.
Leader of Glasgow City Council, vouncillor Gordon Matheson, said the venue belongs to "the children of the city".
He said: "It is a truly world-class venue that will be the new home of indoor sport in Scotland. The arena was built for the people of Glasgow so it is fitting the very first people to use it today were schoolchildren from across the city.
"By investing in new facilities such as this we will help inspire a generation to become more involved in sport."
Mr Matheson said: "It's principally for use for the people of the city and there will be elite athletes using it over the next few months and throughout the Commonwealth Games, but it's for everyone to make use of.
"This area was wasteland a few years ago and we now have a world-class venue."
As well as the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and the National Indoor Sports Arena, the venue has three full-size sports halls with 12 badminton courts and will act as the new home for the city's basketball team, the Glasgow Rocks.
There will also be four outdoor five-a-side football pitches, an outdoor cycle circuit, one of the largest Glasgow Club health and fitness centres in the city and a luxury spa. The venue will be called the Commonwealth Arena during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Sport Minister Shona Robison, who visited the venue during its construction, said she was delighted with the finished product. She said the key aim was to see the arena promote sport among young people.
Ms Robison said: "This venue will allow all children to participate in new sports that might give them a life-long interest and help them to be fit and healthy.
"Some people will hopefully rise to the top but it is just as important that lots of people just enjoy sport and become more active. From whatever angle you look at it, this is a major step forward for Glasgow and for Scotland."
The Emirates Arena will host eight Scottish, European or world-level sporting events in its first four months, including the Track World Cup in the velodrome in November. It took two years to build, with 500 people working on the site during peak construction, the council said.
Children gave their seal of approval to the venue, which the Dubai-based airline last week secured the naming rights to for ten years at a cost of £5m. Kyle Kennedy, 10, from St Michael's Primary, tried out the track at Scotland's only indoor velodrome. He said: "It's amazing here and it's really fun.
"When you go on the track and you're going fast on the bike and the wind goes in your face, it's like a rollercoaster."
l Sir Chris Hoy, Britain's most successful Olympian, has been honoured by the university that kickstarted his cycling career.
The six-times Olympic gold medallist was named University of Edinburgh's alumnus of the year at an awards ceremony.
The honour is given annually to former Edinburgh students deemed to have made a significant impact in public life.
Sir Chris graduated from the university with a BSc in applied sport science in 1999.
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