If you're wanting to spend hours of your life in the water, on a bike, or on your feet just to get away from other people, we've set out below some of the better places in Dubai/ the surrounding area where you can go to train. Please let us know of other places/ rides we could add here.
Get out there and get it done!
- Hamdan pool: the gynormous pool out on the 611 (bypass road). (Actually, there are two 50m pools here). AED 20 per session. You have to provide a medical certificate that you are in "good health to do sports" (from any clinic, hospital) the first time (or, if you can blag it, second time) you visit.
- Dubai Mens College: The 50m outdoor shaded pool at the Dubai Mens College is open 12-8pm on weekdays (except Mondays and Thursdays when its open 3-8pm). AED 25 per visit? Give them a call on 04 403 8637 to double check timings and price...
- Sea: its blue and wobbly, and just loves you swimming in it.
Hamdan training pool: Just one of the 50m pools there!
Watch out on the roads people. There are a lot of mentalists in cars out there. However, thanks to the vision of Sheikh Mohammed, the work of the Dubai Sports Council (as well as the action of the invigorated UAE Cycling Federation), and the efforts of the Cycle Safe guys and Wolfi's bike shop we now have a couple of purpose built cycling tracks. Some of the better places to ride are:
- Al Qudra road cycle track: The awesome team at Cycle Safe Dubai/ Revolution Cycles have organised/ pushed forward the construction of a new bike-only cycle track alongside the Al Qudra Road, and then on round in a loop out into the desert. Up the stick, round the lollipop and back down the stick will see you finishing 85km. The "stick" of the lollipop gets enough light at night from the road next to it to be fine for riding. Keep checking out the Cycle Safe facebook group for up-to-date information.
- Camel racecourse cycle track: Another bikes only track, again organised by the guys from Cycle Safe Dubai. The 8km, 6km and 4km tracks are floodlit, and there are changing rooms and toilets (if you walk around the back and search for them a bit).
- Dubai Autodrome: Head out to the Autodrome on Wednesday nights between 6-9pm for the 2+km loop (including mini-hill). Perfect for interval sets and bricks. Thanks to the Cycle Safe guys (do they ever sleep?!) + Spinneys this is free for all.
- Jebel Hafeet: The Alp D'Huez of the Emirates, why not head out to the "garden city" of Al Ain and ride the 13km/ 1000m vertical ascent up the mountain of Jebel Hafeet. Its just over 1hr to get to Al Ain from Dubai, and then a little while getting lost in the city (usually at least an additional 30 mins!) to the base of Jebel Hafeet.
Al Qudra road cycle path: tarmac and sand...
You can obviously run pretty much anywhere. However, there are also a few specific running tracks around.
- Safa Park track: the old favourite, Safa Park has a 3.4km track round its perimeter. Good as long as you can dodge the buggies and people walking.
- Palm Jumeirah track: another soft-surface track has been built on the "trunk" of the Palm, with a loop giving you 2.7km. Nice and convenient.
- Al Barsha Park track: hidden in the back streets of Al Barsha is a nice little park, with a 1.5km track round an hourglass lake. Check it out.
- Roy Beach track: another 1.5km track, this time out on Roy beach. There's also a 1.5km bike track right next to it (but maybe that's not long enough even for the sprint distance specialist amongst us). Good location for some swim/run training.
- World trade centre indoor track: just for the summer (8th July to 31st August), the exhibition centre turns into "Dubai Sports World" which includes a 660m indoor track. The track might be a bit spongey and you might have to watch out for people wandering around - but it does mean you're running in less than 40C!