If you promised yourself that you would get fit this year, or if you’re looking for something to shake up your regular exercise routine…you’ve come to the right place! Today, MyBayut is taking a look at all the conventional, slightly alternative and downright offbeat options that will make you get out from behind your laptop screen, get active…basically, ways to get fit in Dubai!
on your bike: cYCLING TRACKS IN DUBAI
If you love the freedom and general ‘at-one-with-nature-ness’ that cyclists swear by, you’re well catered to. Dubai has a plethora of cycling tracks and bike that offer unique views of the city and are perfect for cyclists of all skill levels, depending on what you’re looking for:
Situated near the Meydan Racecourse on a transformed camel track, the Nad Al Sheba cycling park is a huge hit with those who live in nearby Meydan City and even further afield. The park has three different paths (4km, 6km and 8km), and has a dedicated children’s circuit with signs, speed bumps and other traffic fixtures so as to educate little ones in safety. Speaking of safety, the track is illuminated at night – perfect for working up a sweat while admiring the sparkling views of Downtown Dubai. In true Dubai style, the course even has its own locker, shower and changing rooms so you can hit the town straight after a ride!
For a desert, Dubai sure has a lot of gorgeous waterfront cycling tracks! The scenic Dubai Water Canal has a 12km cycling path beside the canal in the shadows of Business Bay; Palm Jumeirah has a sea-sprayed track along the crescent; the Kite Beach track is perfect for those who feel they might get a bit peckish on their ride – the area is dotted with quirky eateries and juice bars. The cycling track around the Dubai Marina is also another popular destination for residents in and around the area.
If cycling amongst leafy trees and plants is more your speed, head to the Barsha Pond Park. The cycling route here circles the lush green park and will make you feel a world away from bustling Sheikh Zayed Road, mere minutes away. The always popular Al Qudra Lakes and forest-esque Mushrif Park also has dedicated routes for cyclists, as will areas such as Mirdif and Khawaneej, due to open shortly. These soon-to-open cycling tracks in Dubai are just a few that are set to open this year, following the municipality’s bid to have a total of 500km of cycling tracks in the city by 2021.
easy and indoor
If you’re a little nervous about hitting the open trail and braving the elements, head on over to the Dubai Autodrome in Motor City. This 2.5km indoor circuit is open to newbies and those who are getting back into the sport and doesn’t require any booking – just show up!
on your bike!
So now you know where to go, but should you invest in a bicycle? We suggest renting a cycle to see if this sport is really something you will stick to. Cult favourite Wolfi’s Bike Shop offers a selection of cycles (along with safety gear), Trek Bikes in Al Qudra is the go-to for visitors to the lake while city slickers can just rent a bike by the hour thanks to Byky – fuss-free cycle rental stations that are dotted around the city.
If you would prefer to use your two legs instead of two wheels, check out this list of outdoor running and jogging tracks in Dubai.
There’s no I in Team : Sports IN DUBAI
No matter what sport you play (or want to try your hand at), Dubai has a training facility and league just waiting for you! If you’re new to the city, it’s also a fantastic way to build your Dubai circle while staying fit- sports socials are legendary, no matter where in the world you are!
duplays multi-sport facilities
Duplays is one of those fantastic initiatives that connects amateur and slightly more competitive sportspeople with state of the art venues, leagues and more. With no concrete deadlines to join a league (the only cut-off is once all spaces fill up), the sports Duplays offers such as netball, football, softball and basketball are open to people of all skill levels, with mixed gender social and competitive games available too.
Often referred to as the ‘hooligan’s game played by gentlemen’, rugby is alive and kicking in Dubai! Thanks in part to the immense popularity of the annual Dubai Rugby 7s, the city is home to several incredible rugby clubs that welcome everyone from children to vets (the over 35s) for friendly and league games. The easiest way to get involved is to find a club that trains in an area that is convenient for you! Trials for the current season may have come to a close, however, that doesn’t mean you still can’t join them for a game or make use of the club’s coaching and training facilities. Some of the clubs we recommend checking out include the Exiles, Harlequins, Hurricanes and Knights. Oh, and this isn’t a boys-only sport either, clubs in Dubai welcome women as eagerly as they do men!
Since the International Cricket Council (ICC) has its home in Sports City (much to the delight of cricket fans who live in the surrounding apartments!), it’s unsurprising that the city has an impressive offering of cricket pitches and facilities for those who enjoy the smack of willow on leather. The ICC Academy helps aspiring cricketers of all ages find a team to play in, allow teams to visit them to hone their skills as well as providing access to their uber-technologically-designed gym, made to help athletes make the most of their game. If visiting the headquarters of the ICC feels a little too formal for you, then look up some of the other cricket clubs in the city. The Darjeeling Cricket Club is the city’s oldest (founded in 1969!), the Wombats are the largest and most fun-loving while the Emirates Hawks are the most inclusive. Take your pick!
Fancy getting your skates on and rolling with a bunch of funloving, skilled and competitive women? Look no further than the Dubai Roller Derby! The UAE’s first roller derby league, they hold regular skate nights for those who want to give competitive (yet still fun) rollerskating a spin, as well as tournaments and trials throughout the year, with training occurring both indoors and outdoors. The best way to get in touch with them is by sending them a message on Facebook, what are you waiting for?
If you have a team that’s focused on staying fit (or at least some likeminded individuals at hand) and all you need is some space…rent-a-pitch! The Dubai Sports City Village has all sorts of indoor and outdoor configurations of pitches and arenas available for sports such as football, rugby, basketball, netball, lacrosse and more. Another popular venue for football fans is The Arena Football Club in Al Quoz, while Dubai’s long-time cricket fans swear by Insportz, also in Al Quoz.
go it alone: WAYS TO GET FIT in Dubai BY YOURSELF
There is something to be said for exercising alone. Perhaps in a group, but without a friend to keep up with (or slow down for), just some time where you can focus on yourself, your health and your wellness. Luckily, we have you covered, from indoor to outdoor fitness activities in Dubai:
- Bouldering: Located in The Apartments by the World Trade Centre, this outdoor climbing wall is beloved by those in the know and has friendly staff who are fantastic at encouraging you to reach the top – even if you’re scared of heights! For an indoor climbing experience and one of the many air-conditioned ways to get fit in Dubai, head to Mountain Extreme, that also offers classes and tests so you can really see what you’re made of!
- Spinning: Touted as a ‘fitness fad’, spinning is something that is surely here to stay! Case in point is the multitude of indoor spinning classes offered in Dubai, such as the New York export, Flywheel or the homegrown Souplesse, to name a few.
- Outdoor Gyms: There is probably no better time of year to hit one of the city’s many outdoor gyms! Find these workout machines dotted around the city’s outdoor recreational areas such as The Beach (opposite JBR), Kite Beach and outside Skydive Dubai (where you can also join fellow athletes in the run-up to the annual Spartan Race)
- Beach Tennis, Beach Volleyball, Beach Football…: If it can be played on a beach, you’ll find somewhere in the city that is set up for it! Here are some of the best beaches in Dubai with fabulous facilities that you can make use of and add to your list of ways to get fit in Dubai.
- Not sure about what exactly would float your boat? Don’t want to commit to a pricey gym or studio membership? Download GuavaPass! This nifty little app lets you try out classes and gyms across the city, for a much lower price than normal, it’s the perfect example of ‘try before you buy’!
…And Now For Something Completely Different: Quirky Fitness Activities
If the above are a tad too traditional for you, there are several slightly off-beat, cool fitness activities in Dubai that will get you off Netflix and on the path to health while also showing you how to have fun while staying fit!
- Aquabiking: Spinning’s more aquatic cousin, aquabiking is essentially stationary cycling, in a swimming pool, with all the moves and aerobic activities that you would expect from spinning – just more resistance thanks to the chest-high water. While there are a few studios that offer this, dotted around the city, L’atelier Aquafitness is the city’s only dedicated facility. It also offers ‘Aquaswing’, which, if it’s anything like Swing Yoga, should be worth trying out, if only to pretend to be in your own production of La Perle.
- Vertical Dancing: Also known as polcercising, it’s the workout that activates every muscle in your body, while improving your overall flexibility, posture and coordination. It’s also a wonderful way to improve your core upper body strength, while still having a lot of fun! Visit Pole Fit Dubai to get started.
- Acroyoga: Often touted as a ‘hippie fad’, acroyoga is essentially acrobatics and yoga, but instead of using external supports, you use a partner as your base, while you balance or ‘fly’ using them as support. The Dubai acroyoga community is also incredibly welcoming of beginners and complete yoga-novices, all you need to do is show up. Check out the AcroYoga Dubai Facebook page to find out about the next session.
- Trampolining: Who didn’t love spending hours on a trampoline as a child? This somewhat new workout combines the unabashed joy of being a child with scientifically backed rebound exercises that are low impact but high in intensity. Visit Bounce in Al Quoz to see the benefits of this fun workout for yourself.
- Parkour: Born in France, parkour is the discipline that uses the urban jungle as its gym, calling for an incredibly focused mind and trained body to execute seemingly death-defying feats. Don’t be put off though, Parkour DXB in Al Serkal Avenue has a completely safe indoor course (suitable for all ages and fitness levels) as well as highly experienced trainers to teach you how to parkour.
- SUP Fit: What happens when you take stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and introduce it to yogalates? SUP Fit! This water-based workout is ideal for toning, working on your core, your inner wellbeing and even your tan! Find SUP Fit classes at the Dubai Marina Beach Resort and Spa.
- Hula Hooping: The simple plastic hoop has come a long way in recent years. Far from being a ubiquitous circus routine, hula hooping is a respected activity that works on your strength, coordination, balance and flexibility, while being almost meditative at the same time. Check out Flowground for a list of classes and workshops for all levels. The centre also offers classes in how to use poi.
As you can see, no matter how much people may complain about the ‘Dubai Stone’, there are plenty of ways to keep fit and active! What do you think of our list, anything that we might have missed? Tell us in the comments below!