Sport and fitness trends in Dubai - 2015 review

Time Out Dubai looks back on the biggest and best sport and fitness trends of 2015 in Dubai, including callisthenics, Cryo, cycling and fun runs in Dubai

Quite simply, callisthenics is using your bodyweight to train rather than weights and machines, and fitness fans have fallen for its back-to-basics approach. We’ve seen dedicated facilities and bootcamps, including Gravity Calisthenics Gym (, Against Gravity ( and Elite Aesthetics Dubai ( become more popular this year.

The year saw fitness in the city take a chill pill, as cryotherapy became the buzzword. Cryo ( first opened at Boulevard in Jumeirah Emirates Towers two years ago. The treatment centre now operates from Dubai Ladies’ Club in Jumeirah and Fit Republik in Dubai Sports City. Cryotherapy aims to relieve muscle tension and inflammation in athletes and involves standing in a cold sauna, where the skin’s surface cools to -120°C in 20 to
40 seconds.

Dubai really got on its bike in 2015. The RTA announced plans to build a new 21km cycling track connecting to the existing one at Al Qudra, more bike shops opened including Liv, a brand for women only at BoxPark on Al Wasl Road, and the Urban-Ultra Women’s Cycle League launched, featuring 11 teams and with races already scheduled for 2016.

Fun runs
In 2014 we killed ourselves doing gruelling obstacle courses, but 2015 was the year we runners had fun. Races such as The Color Run, Daman’s Electric Run and Nike’s We Run DXB saw the biggest turnouts, inspiring people to get moving and enjoy it.

Gyms are getting smart to the idea that developing mental well-being and balance is just as important as flexing muscles and raising the heart rate. Many sportspeople want to be able to combine cardio with the stretching and flexibility of disciplines such as yoga, and more gyms are integrating such classes into their group exercise schedules.

Zero commitment memberships
Let’s face it, we all sign up for the gym with vim and vigour in January and then quietly quit in February. Now, a number of websites and apps offer flexibility to people who want to get fit but don’t want the annual commitment. GuavaPass (, GamePlaySport ( and Go Golf (www. all offer a means to choosing a sport in a convenient location without committing to one gym or golf course.

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