The winter season has kicked off once again with the Dubai Fitness Challenge. The annual sporting extravaganza encourages the city to get moving for 30 minutes each day for 30 days – and build a healthier lifestyle. Held from 30 October to 28 November, the world’s largest city-wide fitness festival puts a spotlight on Dubai’s incredible sporting facilities – available to visitors year-round.
A holiday in Dubai isn’t complete without a trip to the beach. The city’s pristine public beaches have safe zones for swimmers, so you can top up your tan while you work on your freestyle. For dedicated swimming lanes, take a trip to Hamdan Sports Complex, which offers two Olympic-sized pools and a gym for warming-up. Closer to the centre of town, Blue Wave sits in a converted warehouse, with a 25-metre lap pool, training pool and classes for beginners.
Sometimes it feels like Dubai has a gym on every corner. Expect to see some international concepts, like Barry’s Bootcamp, Orange Theory and F45 – all offering fast-paced HIIT workouts for a heavy burn. You can also grab a day pass at a range of Warehouse gyms across the city, with a huge variety of workout facilities and open spaces. Otherwise, keep it simple and check out the dedicated gym at your hotel, for quick and convenient sessions.
Dubai residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to sports clubs – from amateur rugby leagues to softball clubs and ultimate frisbee tournaments. Visitors can get in on the action, too. Why not pop down to Kite Beach, where you’ll find a range of beach volleyball courts, with pick-up games taking place daily.
One of the most popular and iconic running spots is the green spongy track on Jumeirah Beach Road. Easy on the legs, the track starts at Burj Al Arab and stretches over 14km, past Kite Beach and over the new Dubai Water Canal. There is helpful signage every 100m so you know how far you’ve travelled and how much further you have to go. You can also check out Mushrif Park, which has a few challenging hills, the rolling greens of Zabeel Park or the well-equipped Al Barsha Pond Park, close to the Mall of the Emirates.
From converted camel tracks to safe-cycling autodromes to dedicated cycle clubs, jumping on a bike is the perfect way see some hidden corners of Dubai. Out toward the Al Marmoom Desert, you can rent a bike and enjoy the Al Qudra Cycle Path – offering a peaceful 50km loop. Alternatively, the cycle path at Nad Al Sheba is a converted camel track that's located near Meydan racecourse, offering brilliant views of Downtown Dubai and the Burj Khalifa.
Take a short drive to the mountain town of Hatta for an incredible range of adventures. The rugged enclave is the perfect escape for thrill-seekers thanks to Hatta Wadi Hub, an activity centre with something to suit every adventurer, both big or small. Rent a mountain bike and tackle 52km of trails, colour-coded according to difficulty, or hike Hatta’s rolling peaks at your own pace. Visitors can also book alternative thrills such as archery or axe-throwing, or try zorbing nearby where you’ll roll downhill inside a giant transparent ball. There's even a huge 12m-high water slide where you can splash down, cool off and practise your flips.
For more activities and inspiration, check out www.visitdubai.com.