This is how you can get fit in Dubai in a not so usual way
23 October 2017| Last updated on 25 September 2019
Everyone is talking about it, and it is filling up your Instagram AND Facebook feed: The Dubai Fitness Challenge. Residents in Dubai are becoming active and participating in the challenge set by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai.
In case you still don’t know, the Dubai Fitness Challenge is a 30 day challenge set to all Dubai citizens, residents and visitors to be active for 30 minutes a day. It is running from October 18th, 2019 to November 16th, 2019 and more than 3,000 free community-led events, workout classes, fitness facilities, and more are being offered all over Dubai for the duration of the challenge.
The easiest way to get, is to download the Dubai Fitness Challenge App where you can view free activities available according to specific locations or activities, join friends and colleagues on workouts, track your progress and see where you rank among Dubai residents. If you are however thinking of becoming involved in the fitness challenge without doing all the mainstream things like running or cycling, then why not try one of these:
Fun ways to join the Dubai Fitness Challenge
1. Ninja Warrior Course
To be honest, you will have to run a little bit in this… And you will have to climb and crawl and do all kinds of interesting things that you most probably didn’t see yourself doing anytime soon but it is really great fun and worth the effort.
The Ninja Warrior Course is a 4-element obstacle course available at Just Play Sports Complex.
Who said you are too old to get on a skateboard and learn a couple of tricks? This is a growing sport that has even been included in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and Dubai has a number of skate parks in the emirates.
Just think, you can be cooler than your kids!
If you have a lot of energy to burn, then why not get onto a trampoline? The best part is, you don’t even need to leave your house! You can either go to one of the trampoline parks in Dubai or buy a mini trampoline. NASA even uses trampolines for astronauts when they return home as it helps with strengthening the body and increasing bone mass.
4. Horseback Riding
It might look quite easy to ride a horse, but there is actually much more to it than just sitting on the back of a horse and holding on. There’s a lot of coordination that goes into horseback riding and it helps with body awareness, strengthening your core, toning your muscles and helping with flexibility. Other than the physical benefits, it is also really therapeutic, relaxing and a good mental exercise.
There are plenty of ranches in Dubai, and we've found two with value-for-money offers:
Al Dhabi Group
Enjoy a 60-minute desert horse ride along the UAE's scene sand trails, with offers starting from only AED 179.
Ambition Equestrian Club
Save over 50% off on a 45-minute horse riding lesson for only AED 99.
5. Kayaking and Canoeing
Image Credit: Smart Destinations
If you love water then this might just be the sport for you! Not only is it refreshing but you also get some good exercise in while enjoying time in the water and getting a tan. Dubai has a number of venues where you can rent a kayak or a canoe and go out into the water for a good workout.
Go kayaking for the Dubai Fitness Challenge using this unmissable AED 35 kayaking offer for 1-2 people.
6. Paddle Boarding
If you have good balance and don’t mind getting wet then you need to try paddle boarding. You can lay, kneel or stand on the board and propel yourself forward using either your arms if you are laying or kneeling or a paddle if you are standing.
Kite N' Surf has 1-hour paddleboarding session from just AED 35 for 1-2 people, if you would like to give it a try.
All the kite surfers at Kite Beach always make for amazing photo’s but why not get out there and try it for yourself. You don’t need to be particularly fit or strong to start kitesurfing and it will help a lot with your upper body strength, core stability and aerobic fitness.
There are numerous places in Dubai where you can rent the required gear and even a couple of schools that will teach you all the necessary skills and techniques to start doing awesome tricks.
Take advantage of Kite n Surf's more than 40% discount on a 90-minute kitesurfing discovery course for 2 people.
8. Dance classes
Dancing is a great way to socialise and meet new people while building your self-confidence, becoming fit and improving your posture. Why not join one of the numerous dance classes in Dubai and learn how to Salsa, Waltz, Tango or even do the FoxTrot! It is always fun to show off your skills at a party or a wedding.
This might lean a bit more to the mainstream side of things, but all you need to go for a walk is just a comfortable pair of shoes. It is a great time to clear your mind and get some fresh air or if you want pop in your earphones and listen to your favourite beats or podcasts while you walk.
We do however keeping a bit of a faster pace to get more benefits from the exercise.
Swimming will help cool you down and is also easier on your joints if you suffer from joint pain. Who wouldn’t want to go and splash around in the pool for 30 minutes and get some really great exercise? Most apartments have pools available for residents or you can join a gym with a swimming pool or go to a hotel for a pool day. Otherwise, you can go to the beach as well for a dip in the ocean.
11. Ice skating
If you grew up with an ice skating ring close to you then you will know how much fun this is and how quickly the time goes by. In the beginning it can be scary knowing how easily your feet just slip out under you but you will love it as soon as you get the hang of it. There are ice rinks at the Dubai Mall, Al Nasr Leisureland, The Galleria and Arabian Centre. You will be able to rent the ice skates from the ice rinks and some of them also offer classes to help you glide as eloquently across the ice as the performers of Cinderella on Ice.
12. Bubble Soccer
Get ready to run, fall, roll and laugh louder than you have in a really long time! Bubble soccer is actually a thing and you can find it in Al Quoz 1. The video describes it best: