8 great fitness activities to try in Dubai this summer
Let’s talk about the Dubai Stone. It’s real. It comes from the fact that every single takeaway is willing and able to deliver fast food goodness to your door – any time, any place. Thankfully, there are more than enough ways to slice off that extra weight. From CrossFit classes and football games to boxing gyms and mixed martial arts sessions, the fitness industry in Dubai is well-equipped to keep that added padding at bay.
All you have to do is get up off your sofa and head to one of the following places. Just remember try not to ruin it all with a midnight binge of carbs.
It’s a hybrid sport that – yes, you guessed it – combines football and golf, and it’s actually great. Instead of lugging a golf bag around the course, you simply carry your football. Then from wherever it lays, you launch it towards the over-sized cup, majestically, like a Paul Pogba cross-field pass.
Although you can wander round solo, Footgolf, like almost everything in life – apart from reading a book – is better with mates. It also gives you a workout as you punt the ball and walk between holes. And the carpet like greens and fairways of the course is like the ultimate playing surface for striking a football.
Where: Address Montgomerie
Contact: +971 4 363 1209, website
6 Pillar Fitness
Spread across 4,000sq feet of well-equipped space, this isn’t your ordinary style of gym. As the name suggests, there are six pillars to work on here that will both create a head-turning beach body and enable you to lead your best life. Fitness, health, wellbeing, nutrition, strength and lifestyle are all part of the PT sessions that are conducted either one-to-one, two-on-one or in small groups of up to six people. Not only do 6P put you through your paces with exercise, they’ll even create a nutrition plan that you can follow to make sure you’re super-buff in no time.
Where: Palladium Building, Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact: +971 4 325 1002, website
Ever watched the UFC fighters pummelling each other and thought ‘I fancy a bit of that’? Well, TK MMA – run by former cage fighter Tam Khan – will put you through your paces at this Dubai favourite. You can try your hand (and feet) at Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing or even Mixed Martial Arts itself, which is a little bit of everything. Warning: It’s hard work. However, the result of the conditioning part of the training are incredible. There’s also a fully-kitted out gym, yoga and pilates classes and a spa that will help you melt into relaxation after a tough session.
Where: Shatha Tower, Media City
Contact: +971 4 452 3388, website
There are loads of places to play football in Dubai. However, when it comes to world-class pitches – indoors and out – the Football Academy is one of the best. The pristine 3G playing surfaces allow you and your mates to live out your English Premier League dreams. Whether you’re just up for fun bit of 5-a-side or a full-blown battle over 11-a-side, and everything in between, the facility has you covered. It even has a well-maintained grass pitch so you can dust off your old studded footie boots. The best bit? Kickers bar is attached to it so you can head up there after the match for some extra-time that will quench your thirst.
Where: Dubai Sports City
Contact: +971 4 448 1555, website
It’s become something of a Dubai institution now, and rightly so. Warehouse Gym is open 24 hours and is known for its lively atmosphere that brings groups together and helps to push them towards their goals. Its focus is on CrossFit, though you can dabble in strength training, boxing classes or good old-fashioned circuit training. If you live by the ‘sun’s out, gun’s out’ philosophy of training the showstoppers and little more, then you can head to the Warehouse’s outdoor gym that’s part of their facility in JBR. It’s the closest that Dubai gets to the iconic Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, LA, and will allow you to flex to passers-by… if you’re into that type of thing, of course.
Where: Umm Sequim Road | The Beach Mall, JBR
Contact: +971 4 323 2323 | +971 4 368 4080, website
Round 10 Boxing Club
The noble art of throwing hands is one of the best ways to get yourself back in shape, and to learn a new sport. Obviously, a majority of what you can do at Round 10 is batter pads or your opponents, but there are classes that revolve around the athletic fitness of a boxer that will keep you shredded. There’s a strength and conditioning class that revolves around bodyweight movements. Power boxing kettlebell and TRX (read: those strap things with handles that hang from the roof). And BIT, a sport-specific version of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that promises to burn up to 1000 calories per session.
Where: 8th Street, Al Quoz | Jumeirah Islands, JLT
Contact: +971 4 338 0101 | +971 4 243 4789, website
Scientifically proven to change your body at a cellular level, this US-brand will get the blood pumping through its range of high-intensity workouts. The trick here is keeping your heart rate in a specific zone to boost metabolism and energy.
Where: Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz
Contact: +971 52 658 2020, website
Trampolining might not come top of most lists of manly pursuits, but you’ll certainly get a full workout. The dodgeball sessions are great for settling old scores with friends, while the X-Park parkour course will test test your agility and mental strength.
Where: Building 32, 4B Street, Al Quoz
Contact: +971 4 321 1400, website