Here's your guide on where to jog, walk, run, cycle, swim and do yoga and more in the Capital.
23 July 2013| Last updated on 29 May 2017
Abu Dhabi is a haven for the health conscious with many health clubs, swimming pools, gyms and exercise classes for ladies to choose from. If, however you prefer to exercise on your own in the outdoors and on your own time we have compiled a list of places that you can visit for a run or a cycle.
Abu Dhabi is virtually crime free and running in the early hours of the morning or late at night is a preferred choice among the residents mainly due to the heat. However there are other aspects regarding safety that you have to be aware of before you begin your outdoor routine.
Firstly, make sure that you eat well and hydrate before you venture into the heat of the emirate. If, at any point, you feel faint rest and recover or jump into an air conditioned cab and head home. It is important that you are aware of what your body can handle. If you are cycling make sure that you do wear a helmet and if u are an unsure cyclist stick to areas such as the cornice which have a dedicated cycling path. Your safety is of paramount importance.
If you are quite fond of swimming then take to the public beach and jump into the sea. You can swim lengths in the sea and the strong currant of the Arabian Gulf will provide resistance ensuring that you strengthen your muscles. Swimming is a great form of exercise and the salty sea water had added benefits for your skin.
The most popular jogging destination in Abu Dhabi is the Corniche with its wide paths and uninterrupted flow. Put on your running shoes and take to the jogging path. You will find exercise stations along the path such as bars for doing pull ups, areas to do pushups and you will see many fellow joggers stretching doing sit ups along the path. The only downside to the cornice is that it gets very busy with people ambling along. A great thing about it is the vending machines placed along the entire cornice at intervals dispensing water and other beverages. Alternatively you can take your run onto the sand and enjoy a nice morning beach run or walk. The sounds of the water are calming for the nerves and will get you in a great mood for the day ahead.
Khalifa Park is also another great place to go jogging for those of you that do not live close to the cornice. The park is quite big and will provide a lot of space for other exercise as well.
Al Mushref Ladies Park is located 10 minutes from the cornice (driving) and is perfect if you are jogging on your own or with other ladies as it is a park dedicated to the girls.
If you live in Al Bandar, Al Zeina or the surrounding areas they all have beach access so it’s nice to run or walk on the beach there. Another great area for an outdoor jog is around the Shangri La and Fairmont Bab Al Bahr areas. There is quite a lot of space on the grassy pavements that ensures that you are not running in the traffic. If you are not quite willing to venture out doors there is a group of mall walkers that take to Abu Dhabi Mall in the early hours of the morning. You can window shop and exercise.
The Abu Dhabi striders are a group of runners that get together and run different routes in Abu Dhabi. They charge a nominal fee but they have established routes ranging from short to long distances. They organize the annual half marathon and train towards it throughout the year. If you like to run in a group then they will provide the correct motivation and encouragement for you.
Jogging is universal and can be done virtually anywhere but those are the areas that we think are best for the ladies that run. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking a good amount of water before and after your run.
Cyclists and motorists will never get along but must learn to live harmoniously on the roads of Abu Dhabi. The best place to begin cycling is on the cornice as it has a dedicated cycling path going from Marina Mall all the way to Mina Port making it a good but doable distance. If you do not own a bike then you can rent one at the Corniche for a small sum, just make sure to bring a helmet with you for safety purposes.
The Fairmont Bab al Bahr also rents out bicycles and gives cyclists maps to three different cycling routes in the surrounding area. This gives the cyclist some leeway with regards to veering off course and exploring that area of Abu Dhabi. You could even be sneaky and take your own bike there and take advantage of the gorgeous surroundings.
Yas Island has an all-purpose built infrastructure and opens its doors to the public on Thursdays with guided tours around the Island. You have to option of renting a bike or you can join in with your own. It’s a fun and safe way to exercise.
As Island has an all-purpose built infrastructure and opens its doors to the public on Thursdays with guided tours around the Island. You have to option of renting a bike or you can join in with your own. It’s a fun and safe way to exercise.
If you haven’t yet tried Yoga or are a diehard fan Anaadi Yoga offers free classes on the beach. They take donations for a Nepalese Charity after the class that you can choose to give to. It is a perfect exercise for women with stressful lifestyles, whether it is the work environment or motherhood. Taking some time out for yourself at the beginning of your day can really make the difference in your attitude towards life.
By Nela L For ExpatWoman.com