Thought sizzling temperatures were about to put paid to your fitness levels (and figure)? Think again. We’ve pulled together summer activities and deals to keep you in shape – for both the lazy and highly energetic among you.
It’s tempting to put exercise regimes on the backburner when it gets too uncomfortable to maintain your nightly outdoor runs, but instead of stopping altogether, this summer is the perfect time to jazz up your routine with something new. Sport and exercise hubs across Dubai are introducing special summer deals and new activities to try out, not to mention the return of Dubai Sports World at the Dubai World Trade Centre from Friday June 21. We’ve scoured the city and discovered there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of sport or not, and whether you’re into touch rugby, dance fitness or even swimming with sharks. Read on and prepare to enjoy those endorphin highs…
Bootcamps and MMA
Beat the heat bootcamp
Respected fitness institution Original Fitness Co is one of many to operate out of Dubai Sports World this summer, where they will be running bootcamps, circuit and interval training for the full eight weeks.
From Dhs400 for eight sessions, Dhs550 for 12 sessions. Until August 17. Dubai Sports World, Dubai World Trade Centre, www.originalfitnessco.com (04 311 6571).
Outdoor! Bridal bootcamp
Aimed at those wanting to shape up for their wedding (though you’re perfectly welcome even if you’re not betrothed), this new bootcamp is built around surprise challenges, and aims to be both fun and effective. Each session sees participants thrown a new test to increase their total calorie expenditure. Dhs60 per session. Sessions scheduled on request.
Ongoing. The Address Montgomerie Dubai, Emirates Hills (04 390 5600).
Pride Fight Camp: Fight for Life
This six-week MMA and kickboxing-themed training camp aims to give everyday fitness enthusiasts the chance to train like a professional fighter. Made up of weekly morning training sessions and daily evening sessions, the course focuses on conditioning, and at the end of the course, there’s the chance to put everything you’ve learned into practice with a one-on-one session with a pro-trainer.
Dhs1,000. Runs June 19 to July 30. Pride Fitness Center, The Curve Building, Al Quoz (050 341 2769).
Fighting fit at Glory MMA & Fitness
Formerly Contender MMA, this centre has rebranded and moved to a brand new location in Al Quoz. Classes available include MMA, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, akido, strength and conditioning, ladies-only muay Thai, Zumba, wrestling and personal training, as well as kids’ sessions.
Dhs100 per class, from Dhs500 per month. Ongoing. KML Business Center, Al Meydan (Muscat) Road, Al Quoz 1, www.glorymma.com (04 338 2922).
Tae bo exercise classes
First developed by Billy Blanks, tae bo was one of the first cardio boxing programmes. Designed to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility, it is described as a good workout for those looking to improve their core body strength and overall tone.
Dhs60 per class, Dhs600 for 12. Ongoing. The Stables Fitness Centre, Desert Palm (04 602 9300).
This summer offer at Jumeirah Lakes Towers’ Yoga Room gives yogis three months of unlimited access to classes for the price of two months.
Dhs1,500. Until June 30. Yoga Room, Swiss Tower, Cluster Y, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (050 518 9966).
Xtend Barre Stick
This workout, available in Dubai for the first time, combines two different disciplines. Using the Pilates stick, attached to the ballet barre, it adds resistance to the Xtend Barre workout, challenging balance, coordination and strength. According to those who run the programme, you can expect to burn between 300-600 calories in a 55-minute session. Dhs65 per session, packages available.
Ongoing. Real Pilates, JBC2, Cluster V, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (04 458 5399).
Formally known as Indoorwalking Group Cardio Elliptical Endurance (but don’t let that put you off), this cardio activity claims to be ‘as intensive as it comes’, but impact-free. Prepare to feel the burn on the elliptical trainer (also known as a cross-trainer).
Free trial class, Dhs500 for 11 classes, Dhs1,350 for 34 classes. Offer valid July 1 to August 31. Indoorwalking Training Centre, Yassat Gloria Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 831 8931).
Dance sampler package
For those who fancy dancing themselves to fitness, but don’t quite know which style is for them, this new package can help. Choose five dance classes from salsa, tango, Zumba, bellydance, Zouk, ballet and hip hop (at least four different styles) and save Dhs75. Dhs175 for five classes.
Until July 31. James & Alex Dance Studios, Concord Tower, www.facebook.com/jamesandalex (04 447 0773).
Queenax suspended yoga
Stylish Jumeirah gym Engine Health & Fitness has just launched a new group exercise class at its Queenax (a bit like TRX) platform, called suspended yoga. The practice combines yoga, gymnastics and aerial dance, utilising a padded hammock. The gym is also running a summer deal, with no joining, admin or induction fees.
Dhs55 per class for non-members, Dhs450 per month for unlimited classes, ongoing; annual gold premium membership from Dhs395 per month, until September 30. Engine Health & Fitness, Jumeirah Beach Road (800 361163).
Personal training and gyms
One-to-one self defence
Learn how to handle yourself in unexpected situations and shape up at the same time with an ISSA-certified trainer. One-to-one sessions are designed to enhance your reflexes and teach you the fundamentals of self defence in realistic situations.
From Dhs100 for 30 minutes, Dhs125 for 60 minutes. Until September 31. Spa Zen & Health Club, Radisson Royal Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 308 0000).
Customised workouts at TK Fitness Lounge
Check out this personal training-only gym in Al Barsha, which specialises in privacy and discretion for those who feel uncomfortable working out in larger clubs. The layout has been designed to give clients as much seclusion as possible with their trainer, and for those who really value exclusivity, there’s the option to privatise the whole gym during your session (though it might be beyond the budget of most everyday gym-goers…).
From Dhs2,500 for ten sessions. Valid from June 15 to September 1. Al Barsha (04 452 1456).
Bargain summer membership at Fit Lab
If you’re good at self-motivation, why not try out a new gym membership for the sweaty season? This newly-refurbished gym houses state-of-the-art equipment, and the package also grants you access to the ‘resort-style’ swimming pool.
Dhs750 per month. Until September 30. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 295 6000).
Exclusive discount for Time Out readers! Express personal training at Symmetry Gym
Dubai’s most expensive personal training studio has launched a speedy new version of its sessions, called Symmetry Express. The programme includes three demanding, ‘extremely effective’ 30-minute fat-burning sessions each week. It’s backed by Symmetry’s guarantee: get measurable results in 30 days, or your money back. Dhs2,400 per month, first week free for Time Out Dubai readers who mention this feature when booking.
Until June 30. Gold & Diamond Park, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 346 6479).
Outdoor! Adventure weekend offers
Throw yourself into a weekend of watersports from a dhow off the coast of Musandam, with snorkelling, fishing, kayaking and diving. The cost also includes buffet meals, snacks, water and juice.
From Dhs1,000-1,250 for two people for two nights. Until August 31. Al Marsa Travel, Musandam, www.almarsamusandam.com (+968 268 36550).
Outdoor! Stand-up paddleboarding on the Palm
Surf School UAE’s new initiative has brought stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) to the Palm Jumeirah’s Riva Beach Club. They’re offering group, private and express lessons (the latter for those with limited patience and a quick grasp of new sports). If you’re already familiar with the sport, you can simply rent a board and hit the water. Board rental Dhs85 per hour, lessons from Dhs125 per person (free beach entrance for Surf School users).
Ongoing. Riva Beach Club, Building 8, Shoreline Apartments, Palm Jumeirah (04 379 1998).
Check out our video! Sharkwalker at Dubai Aquarium
We’re not talking about taking a stroll through the tunnel – snoop around the inside of the tank itself and come face-to-face with sharks and rays. No need to be a certified diver, simply slip on a custom-made helmet that allows you to breathe naturally (and even keep your hair dry).
Dhs590 per person. Ongoing. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, The Dubai Mall (04 342 2993).
Outdoor! Watersports galore with Al Boom
The trusted diving and watersports company now operates a centre at Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, as well as Atlantis The Palm and Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort & Spa in Fujairah. At all locations, you can try water skiing, wakeboarding, knee boarding, wake skate, SUP, windsurfing Hobie sailing catamarans, pedalos, kayaking, banana boating, rides on the Wacky Whopper, Great Big Maple and other crazy inflatables. There are also speed boat cruises available at both Méridiens.
From Dhs50. Ongoing. Atlantis The Palm (050 799 6827); Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa (052 867 5665); Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort & Spa (09 204 4925).
Ultimate snorkel at Atlantis The Palm
Strap on a mask and snorkel (which you can keep at the end) to scope out The Ambassador Lagoon. The tank is home to more than 65,000 sea creatures, including sharks, wrasse and rays, and as part of the experience guests are also educated on protecting the ocean.
Dhs225 per person. Ongoing. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 1030).
Leagues and tournaments
MPAC Basketball summer league series
The basketball training academy hosts two six-week summer leagues. Sign up a team for the three-on-three tournament (with a men’s, women’s and mixed division) or five-on-five tournament, which has separate divisions for men and women.
Dhs500 teams of three, Dhs2,000 teams of five. Runs from June 23 to July 21. Dubai Sports World, Dubai World Trade Centre (04 385 1777).
Exclusive discount for Time Out readers! Hire a court and play by your own rules
Can’t find an indoor spot to play your favourite sports? Hire a venue to organise your own activities with E-Sports, which is running a 20 percent discount exclusively for Time Out readers on monthly facility bookings throughout summer. Just make your booking online and email firstname.lastname@example.org with the code TIMEOUTSUM for a reduced rate.
Dhs75-500 per hour. Until August 31. Various locations across Dubai, www.esportsuae.com (050 237 9173).
Outdoor! Beach handball with DIHC
The new Dubai International Handball Club take their sport out onto the beach during the month of June, and they’re welcoming both male and female newcomers to the game with open arms (or hands).
Dhs100 per person. Until June 30. Kitesurfing Beach, www.facebook.com/dubaiinternationalhx (050 443 7341).
Football, volleyball and basketball tournaments
On Friday July 5, Duplays’ men’s football, basketball and mixed volleyball open tournaments take place at Dubai Sports World.
Football Dhs150 individual, Dhs1,000 team (maximum seven players), 10am-6pm; basketball Dhs150 individual, Dhs500 team (maximum seven), 10am-6pm; volleyball Dhs150 individual, Dhs600 team (maximum eight), noon-6pm. Dubai Sports World, Dubai World Trade Centre, www.duplays.com (04 447 2394).
Corporate sports tournaments and leagues
Duplays hosts corporate men’s basketball, football and volleyball tournaments on Friday June 28 at Dubai Sports World. There are also corporate basketball and football leagues running from Tuesday June 25 and Monday June 24 respectively at Gems World Academy in Al Barsha. Pull together a team from work and have your HR department enter you.
Basketball Dhs1,500 team (maximum seven), 11am-6pm; football Dhs1,500 team, 11am-6pm; volleyball Dhs1,500 team, 11am-6pm. Dubai Sports World, Dubai World Trade Centre, www.duplays.com (04 447 2394).
Outdoor! Softball league
Starting on Wednesday June 19, this eight-week softball league is open to mixed teams of ten, and is one of the most social leagues taking place over summer. Bats and balls are provided by the organisers, but you will need to pick up your own gloves.
Dhs320 individual, Dhs3,200 team. Wed 7pm-10pm. Until August 7. Next to the former site of the Metropolitan Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.duplays.com (04 447 2394).
Outdoor! Ultimate Frisbee
From Monday June 17, Duplay’s high-speed, eight-week Ultimate Frisbee league returns for another instalment, with guys and girls battling it out on the field in teams of seven.
Dhs400 individual, Dhs2,750 team. Mon 7.30pm-9pm. Until August 5. Gems World Academy DXB, Al Barsha, www.duplays.com (04 447 2394).
Outdoor! Touch rugby
Dubai’s Midas Touch league is back and open to both men and women. Teams of six fight it out on the field, and each team must have a minimum of one female player on the pitch at all times.
Dhs450 individual, Dhs3,400 team. Tue 8.30pm-11pm. Until August 13. Wellington International School, Umm Suqeim, www.duplays.com (04 447 2394).
The sports facility management company will be running a number of four-week tournaments throughout summer. The Ramadan series will include basketball and five-a-side football at Wellington International School in Al Sufouh, and either volleyball or basketball at Jumeirah Baccalaureate School in Jumeirah. There may also be cricket and badminton tournaments, depending on the level of interest.
Dhs2,000 per team. Run from July 9 to August 7, and August 19 to September 9. Various locations, email@example.com (050 237 9173).
Outdoor! Low midweek golf rates
If the temperatures don’t bother you, you’re in prime position to make the most of reduced golfing rates. Book a round at The Montgomerie Golf Course between 10am and 2pm on weekdays and pay even less than the standard summer rates.
Dhs225 per player. Until September 30. The Address Montgomerie Dubai, Emirates Hills (04 390 5600).
Outdoor! Learn golf in a week
Following a successful launch at the Emirates Golf Club, the Learn Golf in a Week programme is now available at Dubai Creek. During four 90-minute sessions, pro golfers will take you through the essentials of the game, and you’ll also get two weeks of free driving range access, plus free hire of any equipment you may need.
Dhs495 per person. Until September 30. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 205 4666).
Outdoor! Golf academy summer packages
As well as individual lessons, there are a range of summer packages at the Emirates Golf Club Academy: the range package, which includes four 30-minute lessons and one month’s free access to the driving range; the players’ package, which includes two 30-minute lessons, a nine-hole Faldo playing lesson and a month’s access to the driving range; and the champions’ package, which includes eight 30-minute lessons, unlimited driving range access, unlimited par 3 access and a TrackMan (radar analysing) session.
Dhs895-3,000 per person. Until September 14. Emirates Golf Club, firstname.lastname@example.org (04 417 9845).
Outdoor! Cycle Safe Dubai rides
This cycling club runs three events every week. On Wednesdays from 6pm-9pm, they host Revolution Nights at Dubai Autodrome, a free event where you can cycle, run, walk or jog. On Friday mornings from 6am, groups head out from Al Qudra Road on free rides open to beginner to advanced riders, covering distances of 35km up to 100km. Saturdays from 6am, there is a 30km ride out to Bab Al Shams for coffee, followed by a 30km ride back – with a Dhs40 cost per rider. There are also plans to introduce a Monday event – keep an eye on the group’s Facebook page for updates.
See email@example.com or search ‘Cycle Safe Dubai’ on Facebook (04 369 7441).
Essential tips to keep summer weight-gain at bay
Symmetry Gym’s managing partner Alexandra Causton divulges some expert advice
‘Eat root vegetables such as beetroot, potatoes, sweet potatoes and turnips at night. They’ll help you sleep – and sleep is key to any slimming plan you have.’
‘To burn the most fat in the least amount of time, 99 percent of the time do full-body workouts – sets such as squats, push-ups and planks, or lunges, shoulder presses and side planks. Forget long, boring cardio sessions.’
‘Never cut out your carbs – short-term gains will equal long-term losses, whether it’s rebound weight or damage to your metabolism. And forget eating like a caveman. We are not cavemen – we’ve evolved.’
‘Yoga is awesome for a little feel-good stretching, but unfortunately not great for fat loss. An average yoga class burns 130 calories. Sweeping your floors burns 130 calories.’
‘Start exercising today – don’t wait until Sunday, or put it off any longer. You don’t want to look back and realise you could have shed a whole two inches months ago.’
Gold & Diamond park, www.symmetrygymdubai.com (04 346 6479).