Aerial Yoga at Define First of all, let’s get you looking away from a screen for a bit. Widely reported statistics say that the average adult and teenager in America and Europe spends between nine and ten hours a day looking at a screen – be that a smartphone, a TV, a monitor at work, the list goes on.
So, to change your perspective a little bit, aerial yoga at Define in Dubai Marina offers you the chance to dangle down from the ceiling, thus decompressing your squashed spine. You’ll feel ten feet tall, and will in all likelihood stand an inch higher when you come out of the session – much like having a great night’s sleep.
The first session is free, then Dhs120 thereafter, so get your mates and go. Dhs120. Various times. Unit 17 Silverene Tower B, Dubai Marina, www.definebody.com (04 421 6377).
Archery Tag at Flip Out
You don’t have to go full Rambo with this, but you will have to move a bit. At Flip Out in Al Quoz, you’ll be able to grab a bow and some arrows (with a soft tip, fear not), slip on a mask and face off against your mates, family or colleagues.
Flip Out says archery tag is “for anyone who’s seen The Hunger Games and fancies having a go at shooting a bow and arrow without actually getting hurt”.
Basically, think dodgeball with bows and arrows. There are two objectives for each game – the first is to hit members of the opposite team. The second is to successfully knock out all five discs of the opposing team’s target. Players can come back into the game when a target disc is knocked out (or when a teammate catches an arrow), which keeps the game going a bit longer.
You’ll get a full-on practise area to warm up on before you start, as well as instructions, a little bit of training and more, so it’s well worth a visit, we’d say. From Dhs80 (plus rental cost of Dhs25) for 60 minutes. Open Sun-Wed noon-9pm, Thu-Sat 10am-10pm. Al Quoz (600 567 568).
Footgolf at Address Montgomerie
The craze has swept the world in recent years, and now us Dubaians can get in on the trend. The Address Montgomerie not only has a wonderful (and challenging) Par 3 golf course to play the traditional game, for when a full round is just too much effort, but there’s also an ace footgolf course.
You don’t have to be able to finish like Messi (and not many of us can) to play here, nor do you need to bother with that pesky handicap certificate, just book in with a few mates and stroll around, occasionally hoofing a ball at a hole. From Dhs50. Daily 6am to 10pm. Address Montgomerie Dubai, Emirates Hills (04 363 1209).
Night golf at The Track
Dubai is filled with many, many wonderful golf courses that are both a treat for residents and a tourist destination in their own right – just look at the championships hosted at Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates respectively. However, for us lazies the thought of getting up at the crack of dawn to beat the heat and get an early round in before a sauna session and early lunch, is terrifying.
That’s why we’ve suggested night golf at Meydan – and our reasons are three-fold. Firstly, it’s floodlit, meaning it’s cooler when you’re playing at night. Secondly, it’s floodlit, so you don’t have to get out of bed early and can get on with the game when you’re good and ready. Thirdly, it’s only nine holes, so you don’t even have to do a full 18 to feel as though you’ve accomplished something.
All the boxes are ticked, so it’s time to get working on that swing. From Dhs360 (nine holes). Daily, 4pm onwards. The Track, Meydan Golf, Nad Al Sheba (04 381 3733).
Paintballing at Sharjah Paintball Park
Ah, paintball. Nothing like live, open and painty combat to put those many, many hours spent honing your Call of Duty online skills to the test.
And, let’s not kid ourselves, none of us are heroes. (Almost) None of us know how to properly take cover, or how to crouch and move, or how to accurately fire off your weapon under the real-life stress of (colourful) warfare.
However, while the time we’ve spent wearing our PlayStation controllers down into a fine dust may be proven redundant – it’s at least one of the most fun ways of blowing out the cobwebs. Sure it might hurt a little (wear those bruises proudly, we say) but it’s certainly good fun.
One of the best places for the game in the UAE, Sharjah Paintball Park, which offers up good packages on multi-game days, where you’ll fight them in the trenches, in the towers, and even behind black cabs in the London-themed zone. You won’t regret this one. From Dhs100 (two games). Open daily 9am-midnight. Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Sharjah (06 548 7777).
Sound meditation at Miracles Perhaps the most serene activity on this list, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more relaxing form of exercise than this meditation. Because, well, it’s not actually exercise. It’s the opposite. (You’re welcome.)
Sometimes the empty sound of nothingness can actually be quite stressful, so instead the instructor at this Barsha Heights class uses gentle gongs and Tibetan singing to help ease you in to a state of total relaxation.
Supposedly, combining certain sounds and frequencies can help you reduce stress. If you can open your mind to it, you’ll leave feeling wonderful thanks to a heightened sense of awareness which in turn will allow you to, allegedly, properly unwind and relax. We’re intrigued, and like the sound of it. Especially considering it’s less than Dhs90 per session. Dhs84. Daily 9am-9pm. Office 306, Icon Tower, next to Byblos Hotel, Barsha Heights, www.miraclesworldwide.com (04 363 9307).
Stand-up paddleboarding on the Palm
It may come with a slightly more glamorous picture in one’s mind’s eye compared the more unattractive reality of wobbling furiously atop a paddleboard, but it is one of the gentler forms of exercise that you’re likely to come across in Dubai.
On the calm waters of the Arabian Gulf, all you’ve got to do is stand up and let your arms pull you along… sort of. Well, actually it’s as good a workout for the legs as it is the upper arms – your core and lower half will go into overdrive maintaining your centre of gravity. It’s a good workout for the upper body too, while simultaneously feeling relaxed with some good old fashioned exercise-based catharsis.
You’ll already be a handy swimmer if you want to take SUP (that’s what regular paddlers call it) seriously. You may fall off a lot at first, but after a lesson to get your head around the basics, you should be good to go. And once that core is stable you’ll be paddling around at top speed. Even if you don’t love it you can collapse on the beach for a lie down in the sun after. Perfect. From Dhs90 for 60 minutes (excl. VAT). Daily, 7.30am-5pm. Two locations: RIVA, Shoreline Apartment Building 8, Palm Jumeirah. Oceana Residence, Palm Jumeirah (04 399 3333).
Yoga at The Beach
Firstly, these yoga classes are completely free – so there’s literally nothing to lose. Secondly, they take place at one of the coolest destinations in Dubai, with a top notch view of the Marina skyline, the Palm and the ever increasing Ain Dubai site.
So, all you’ve got to do, if you can muster an early start on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, is head to the South Lawn at The Beach in JBR at 7am. Grab your yoga mat and head along to take in the morning sunrise coming up from the other end of town, focus on your breath and flow, and properly chill out while doing some gentle (yet challenging in places) exercise to start your day off right. Free. Mon, Wed, Fri 7am. The Beach, opposite JBR, www.thebeach.ae (800 7699).