Al Barsha Distance: 1.2km If you don’t fancy running along the dusty roads of Al Barsha where footpaths are as rare as hen’s teeth, seek out Al Barsha’s Pond Park. A relatively new venue, this gated, landscaped park is in an impeccable state, and features a bouncy running track that encircles a pond. Our only niggle is that there is only one entrance to the park (near Emirates Bank on 316 Street, the main road running from TECOM to Al Quoz through Barsha), so if you live in the area you may have to walk the entire perimeter before entering the actual park.
DIFC Distance: 290m Over in Dubai’s financial district there is a strip of pavement perfect for putting your stamina to the test. If you’re facing the entrance to the Financial Centre, turn to look behind you where you will find a stretch of straight, wide pavement. The strip is ideal for 100m sprints or a fast jog, or the beep test (sprint, going back on yourself every 10 seconds – after just a couple of minutes this hurts, but it’s great for boosting the metabolism). As there’s rarely anyone around, you can power through your run without fear of knocking over a city slicker.
Dubai Marina Distance: 4.5km The walkway just beyond Marina Quays in Dubai Marina has finally opened, meaning that runners can now more or less do a loop of the south side of the marina (going over the odd bridge here and there). An alternative is to run up and down the length of JBR beach (from the SkyDive Dubai airstrip to the Sheraton). Resistance from the sand makes for good strong legs, the distance is perfect for morning runs and it’s rather nice to see the sun rise over JBR. Grab a fresh orange and carrot juice from The Hot Spot café on The Walk afterwards.
Emaar Boulevard Distance: 3.5km This route is particularly accessible thanks to its proximity to The Dubai Mall metro stop. From the station, head towards The Dubai Mall until you reach Emaar Boulevard, passing the statues of Emirati figures. on the corner. Turn right onto the boulevard and run along the pavement, passing The Pavilion and Qamardeen Hotel on your right, then jog down into the large square on the left just after the Tasti D-Lite shop. Cross the bridge in the left-hand corner into Burj Park and follow the path round to the right, around the outside of the lake. You’ll eventually reach The Dubai Mall; stay on the path and head for the statue of the bull near The Address Downtown Dubai, where you can head up the slope and rejoin the main boulevard (turn right to get back to your starting point at the metro station). There’s a handy Spinneys store next to Al Manzil Hotel if you need rehydration. Complete the route back to the metro station.
Jumeirah Open Beach Distance: 2.8km Go to Jumeirah Open Beach, on the left of Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa. There’s a carpark if you don’t live in the area. Walk onto the beach and on the far right side you’ll see the circular start to the bouncy running track. Limber up and start your jog (walk, rollerblade or cycle along the second track), with the sea on your right hand-side. Every 100m is marked, so you can keep track of the distance you’ve covered. You’ll soon reach the first jetty; you can run up the jetty and take a breather on the rocks while looking out to sea. Grab a Dhs1 water from the 24-hour tuck shop, too. Once back on the track, continue in the same direction, passing interesting villas. When you reach the circular end, jog back and you’ll be 618m off the distance round Safa Park.