Chilled out workouts

Worried about piling on a Dubai stone this summer now it's too hot for the outdoors?

Martial arts
Martial arts
Ice Skating
Ice Skating

The benefits: ‘Swimming is a great all-over exercise,’ says Simon Brown, the manager at The Aviation Club. ‘It’s also one of the few sports that supports all your joints, and it’s ideal if you have any kind of injury.’

How to train: ‘Forty-five minutes, three days a week is the minimum you should do to get a result,’ says Brown. ‘Also, don’t just do the crawl over and over again, you’ll get bored. For workout suggestions sign up to’

In three months you can… ‘Get washboard abs. Swimming is great for your core.’

Where to train:
Aviation Club (04 282 4122). Annual memberships start at Dhs5,250 for singles, Dhs8,750 for couples.


The benefits: ‘Skiing is a great cardiovascular exercise,’ says Lars Ipland, chairman of the Dubai Ski Club. ‘You may be in snow, but you sweat when you ski.’

How way to train: Ipland recommends making skiing a social activity. ‘Competing with your friends through racing is a great way to improve.’ Members of the Dubai Ski Club meet at Ski Dubai on the last Saturday of every month.

In three months you can… Make some really good friends and get some killer quads in the process.

Where to train: Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates (04 409 4000). Individual two-hour adult sessions are Dhs180. Three-month membership, which includes unlimited slope access and other discounts, is Dhs2,000.

Martial arts

The benefits: ‘Martial arts is second only to swimming in terms of working every muscle group,’ says Rio Altaie, founder of the World Black Belts Centre, which teaches nine different types of martial arts. ‘What type of martial art you practise depends on your body type and what you’re looking for. If you’re stocky, try Judo. If you have the flexibility, try tae kwon do.’

How to train: According to Altaie, it’s standard with martial arts to focus on something different every day. ‘You might work on kicks one day and hand techniques another,’ he says.

In three months you can… ‘Be in the best shape of your life and be less stressed. It beats having road rage or paying a therapist.’

Where to train: World Black Belts Centre (04 343 4397). Individual classes start at Dhs60, unlimited monthly memberships start at Dhs450.


The benefits: ‘Yoga not only makes you more aware of your body, it helps improve concentration and memory and works to stabilise the nervous system,’ says Noura El-Imam, the fitness manager at Core Directions.

How to train: El-Imam says morning and night are good times to practise. ‘Yoga in the morning helps us loosen up and get the blood flowing so that we feel alert more quickly, and practising before bed brings better quality sleep.’

In three months you can…
Increase flexibility and motion in the joints, improve posture, lengthen and tone the muscles.

Where to train: Core Direction (04 362 6385). Ten sessions for Dhs500.

Ice Skating

The benefits: Ziad Khedres, the main coach at the Galleria Ice Rink, says that skating can burn 600-800 calories per hour. ‘It is great for shaping and toning your legs and buttocks,’ he adds. Gordon Kirk, the general manager at the Dubai Ice Rink, adds that skating has mental benefits, too. ‘Ice skating sharpens the mind, making you more alert,’ he notes.

How to train: ‘Train at least three times per week, three hours per session,’ says Khedres.

In three months you can… ‘Learn to skate forwards and backwards, glide on one leg and jump, and lose four to eight kilograms,’ says Khedres. Kirk adds that results depend on the student, but that the real award is ‘standing up to the challenge and receiving good results’.

Where to train: The Galleria Ice Rink, Hyatt Regency (04 209 6551). Each session is Dhs25 per person, including skate rental. The Dubai Ice Rink, The Dubai Mall (04 437 3111). Five group classes that are five-hours long cost Dhs500, 25 classes cost Dhs1,750.


The benefits: ‘You can easily burn off around 700 calories within your first hour of climbing,’ says Sarah Mills, a personal trainer at the Pharaohs Club, adding that it also builds mental agility. ‘People that rock climb two or three times a week are more goal driven than people who don’t climb,’ she claims.

How to train: ‘Training really depends on whether you’re climbing to get fit, or getting fit to climb. Either way, you should treat climbing like you would any other workout and do it regularly during the week,’ says Mills.

In three months you can… ‘Increase flexibility, strength and endurance.’

Where to train: Pharaoh’s Club. Wafi (04 324 0000). Dhs40 for a two-hour session.

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