14 ways to get fit for free in Dubai

Put away your wallet – here are some excellent ways to work out without spending a single dirham

14 ways to get fit for free in Dubai

Want to drop an inch or two but can’t help thinking about the cost of all those burpees and lunges adding up? No spare dirhams for a personal trainer or that hip new spin class that everyone is talking about? Worry not, our list of fitness freebies will have you jump-squatting for joy.

Crank it up at Crank
Imagine if they did spin classes in nightclubs? No need to imagine any longer, Crank ‘Ride’ classes are fast, loud and the flashing lights will have your body dancing on that bike – it even runs sessions with a live DJ. As well as all that spinning it also offers the HIIT-style ‘Shape’ sessions and ‘Stretch’ classes too. The best bit is the first class (whichever you choose) is absolutely free, all you have to do is register online and book your session.
Open Sat-Thu 6.30am-9pm, Fri 8am-1pm. Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, www.crank-fit.com (04 321 2095).

Do some laps at Barasti
Combine a pool day and some exercise by heading to this longstanding beach club at Al Sufouh. Not only is it totally free to enter, there’s a smashing pool too. No one said anything about lounging around though – it’s time to do some lengths before you reward yourself with lay in the sun (and possibly a few tasty bar snacks, ahem).
Open Sat-Wed 11am-1.30am, Thu-Fri 11am-3am. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh (04 318 1313).

Feel the burn at F45
If you really want to push your body with a 45-minute circuits-based workout that will leave you sore in places you didn’t know existed – then welcome to F45 Training. The HIIT-style workout will challenge you with a variety of different classes that mix bodyweight and free weight exercises to get you sweating. The best bit is that it offers a two-week free trial at the Dubai Marina and Motor City branches and a one-week free trial at the Jumeriah branch. Sweating and saving money while you do it? Winning.
Open daily. Various locations. f45training.ae.

Fly a kite at Kite Beach

Bring thing back to basics with this family-friendly activitity. Head to Kite Beach and turn your hand to kite flying – you’ll be running around all over the place in no time at all.
Just off Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim.

Free trial at ClassPass
Can’t decide if you’d rather do a yoga class at Dryp, a Black Box session at Warehouse Gym or book a personal trainer with Fit Squad DXB? Well now you can have it all – and all for free. Register for the ClassPass free month trial now and get 35 free credits to spend on everything from meditation to boxing. The fitness membership app covers more than 150 studios and classes in Dubai and has just launched in Abu Dhabi too.

Join the Spartans
Want to improve your fitness, have a laugh and get obstacle race-ready at the same time? Join in with one of Dubai’s best beachfront bootcamps without spending a dirham. OCR Nation coaches (all qualified personal trainers and Spartan Race ambassadors) will put you through your paces every Friday morning at 8am on Kite Beach. Expect burpees, sprints, sandbag carrying and even spear throwing to name a few of the brutal exercises.
Fri 8am. Kite Beach (Near Fili Cafe), www.ocrnation.net (05 5851 2709).

Keep on running around Dubai

The best thing about running is that it doesn’t need to cost a thing and you can do it pretty much anywhere. As long as you’ve got your kit and a bottle of water you’re off. Choose from tracks at Kite Beach, JBR, JLT and Palm Jumeirah boardwalk to name a few. Fancy some company? Join the Adidas Runners (again for free) all over Dubai for their mix of runs and yoga sessions for all abilities. Visit the Adidas Runners site to book your next run.

Perfect your pull-up at Calisthenics Park

Curious about calisthenics? (That’s gymnastic-style exercise, in case you’re wondering.) Love training outdoors with some of the fittest (and coolest) people in Dubai? Head to the free-to-use Calisthenics Park near Skydive Dubai. The public gym is more like an adult playground with its huge yellow climbing frame consisting of monkey bars, pull-up bars and climbing ropes, as well as a sprint track and a functional training area. Not only is it free to train there, the view overlooking Dubai Marina’s impressive skyline is priceless.
Open daily. Calisthenics Park, Near Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina.

Moving on up
Stairs are your friend. They’re everywhere in the high-rise metropolis that is our beautiful city. Tired of waiting for that lift to your 30th floor apartment? Take the stairs, walk back down and then up again… and you’ve got your heart racing and legs aching in less time than it takes to get to a gym.

Night swimming at Palace Beach
Love the sea but want to stay out of the sun? Why not try a night swim instead. Head to Palace Beach on Al Sufouh Road for a peaceful paddle. If you’re not a strong swimmer try the night swims at Kite Beach, where lifeguards can keep an eye on you.
Al Sufouh.

On your bike at Al Qudra

Get ready for some ‘wheel-y’ good fun at the free-to-use Al Qudra cycle track. Take your wheels through the heart of the Dubai desert, taking in wildlife as you ride. The 85km track weaves its way along Al Qudra road and through the desert dunes, offering the chance to spot birds, camels and oryx. Need people to ride with? Then join the Dubai Roadsters’ free weekly ride of 85km on Friday mornings. Riders meet at Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park at 5.30am in the summer months and at 6am during the rest of the year. The group heads out on the roads and highways to Academic City.

Skip to it at The Beach
Want to add intensity to your jog? Then grab yourself a skipping rope, as you only need a few square feet of space. Pop on some headphones and skip along to your favourite tunes. Want to up the calorie-count? Do intervals: skip as fast as you can for 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds and repeat until you’ve bagged 20 to 30 minutes. The best news? You can skip anywhere for free. We recommend The Beach at JBR for the views and top places to refuel.
The Beach, JBR.

Sporty sun salutations at lululemon
lululemon doesn’t just do great workout clothes, it also does great yoga – and you can find both in-store. Mix browsing the aisles for fabulous leggings with perfecting your tree pose at complimentary yoga sessions every week in stores at Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Marina Mall and City Centre Mirdif. No registration or mats are required and look out for the new free HIIT sessions.
Various timings and locations. www.facebook.com/lululemonMiddleEast.

Walk it off at JLT
Your fitness doesn’t have to be daunting. Get the job done with a nice walk. Head to JLT to walk around the lakes, JBR, La Mer or Kite Beach for a sea view, or if you want to stay indoors, head to the mall for a stroll. The Dubai Mall metro bridge is roughly 1km, continue through the mall down to the Dubai Fountain and you’ve easily doubled that.

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