For most of the year, Dubai provides al fresco living at its finest, making it easy to want to spend all of your time outside. Good news, then, that Dubai provides fitness fans with a huge range of healthy activities in the great outdoors.
Surf House Dubai
Head over to Surf House Dubai (www.surfingdubai.com) for everything you need, including lessons for all levels of experience and board rentals for those who already know what they’re doing and just want to get out there. Surf House has two outlets: the main HQ at Sunset Beach in Jumeirah, where you can follow up your surf session with a hearty and healthy meal at the in-house café, Single Fin, as well as at Nikki Beach Hotel (www.nikkibeachhotels.com/dubai), where the luxurious restaurants and stunning property will lure you into staying for hours post-surf.
Al Qudra Cycle Track
Whether you’re a passionate cyclist or a casual bike-rider, this extensive desert-bound track is one of the best in the emirate, and for good reason: it’s so beautiful that enthusiasts often recommend waking up to cycle here at sunrise or sunset. And with up to 100km of track, there’s more than enough space to enjoy the view and take in the surroundings. The track is also part of the recently opened Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve (www.ddcr.org/en/index.aspx), the first unfenced reserve in the country which boasts more than 20 environmental, cultural, and sporting initiatives.
Another great option for fitness lovers and adrenaline junkies is kitesurfing, which has become a popular sport in the emirate, where there’s even a beach – the aptly named Kite Beach (www.kitebeach.ae) – dedicated to the pastime along Jumeirah’s beautiful shoreline.
Riding is a popular, and historically significant, sport in the Middle East, and there are plenty of stables in Dubai where you can take a lesson or book a ride. Al Jiyad Stables (www.aljiyadstables.com) is a popular option, offering all equipment for rent, plus they cater for all levels, from beginners to more experienced riders. Many of the horses are ex-racing horses and highly coveted breeds, which is sure to delight equestrians and equine enthusiasts.
Arguably one of Dubai’s most breath-taking natural attractions, Hatta Dam’s beautiful waters are set against the stunning backdrop of the Al Hajar Mountains. The rugged landscape is ideal for hiking, with plenty of trails suited for both casual hikers and more experienced ramblers, while water-lovers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to get out onto the dam’s beautifully calm waters.
Dubai is a jogger’s paradise, with running tracks dissecting almost every district in the city. One of the most popular tracks is a 14km stretch along Dubai’s Jumeirah coastline; beginning at Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa (www.dxbmarine.com), this recently developed track crosses the newly opened Dubai Water Canal (www.rta.ae/links/promotions/en/dwc.html ) and runs all the way to Kite Beach (www.kitebeach.ae) before ending at the iconic Burj Al Arab (www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/burj-al-arab/). For more competitive runners, Dubai also offers a full season of races, including The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon (www.dubaimarathon.org), Dubai Desert Road Run (www.dubairunning.com) and the obstacle-filled Dubai Spartan Race (www.spartanarabia.com/en).
Al fresco yoga is big in Dubai, with The Beach opposite JBR providing free morning classes, four days a week between October and May. Dubai also plays host to various yoga festivals, including XYoga’s Feel Yoga (16-18 March) (http://xdubai.com/event/feel-yoga/), which is offering a weekend of holistic outdoor yoga at Kite Beach, and Yoga Fest (www.yogafest.me), taking place 15-17 November 2018. But there’s more coming, too – in the shape of dedicated yoga venues and events within the aforementioned Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve (www.ddcr.org/en/index.aspx).