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Beaches

The best beach activities in Dubai

Thu, December 10, 2020

There’s more to a Dubai's beaches than sunbathing: if you want to get your blood pumping, there's plenty of ways to keep you active on the sand.

There’s more to a Dubai's beaches than sunbathing: if you want to get your blood pumping, there's plenty of ways to keep you active on the sand.

1

Volleyball

The quintessential beach sport, volleyball is a terrific way to get your heart racing on the beach. Played in teams of six, it’s perfect for larger groups of friends and family, or a great way to meet new people if you don’t have a full team. There’s plenty of places to join a game, or even get some training – check out Esperia Volley at Kite Beach for pitch rentals, ask at your hotel, or just wander down to Sunset Beach or Al Sufouh Beach and join in a game.

2

Beach football

Beach football is a sandy twist to one of the world’s most popular sports. Played on a smaller beach-based pitch, usually with five players per team, the game rewards improvisation with plenty of chances to take a shot at the goal making it enormous fun. Dubai is a hub for beach football, hosting the Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup regularly, and there are plenty of professional pitches around. But for casual players, a decent patch of beach and some improvised goal posts is enough to get you started.

3

Running

What better way to stay healthy and see Dubai’s beaches than a run beside the sand? Sunset Beach has a dedicated jogging track which runs along the landward edge of the sand. The path actually runs for 7km along the Jumeirah coast and stretches from Sunset Beach to the Burj Al Arab, and is made from springy material to reduce joint strain.

But if a flat, sprung track sounds a bit undemanding, then go all out with sand running. Much tougher than road or track running, dealing with the shifting sands under your feet makes this a gruelling workout for even the most experienced runners – no wonder top football managers sometimes make their players run up sand dunes.

4

Gym workouts

Why work out in a regular indoor gym when you could do your routine on the beach? Dubai has plenty of dedicated gym spaces on its beaches, including free and paid options. Skydive Dubai in Dubai Marina has one of the best free coastside gyms, with a range of equipment and plenty of space for exercise. Kite Beach also has some free-to-use facilities, and is often the site of fitness and bootcamp training sessions. But one of the most comprehensive beachside gyms is Warehouse Muscle Gym at Jumeirah Beach Residences – with a massive range of equipment and classes, it also has an indoor space right next to its outdoor facilities.

5

Yoga

Yoga has exploded in popularity in Dubai in recent years, not least because of the ability to take a class by the sea. Many of the city's hotels host regular yoga sessions on the sands, including Sofitel Dubai The Palm and Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah, while Kite Beach often sees weekend sun salutations at the Sole Mio Beach Club.

If you’re in Dubai at the right time, Full Moon Yoga is an extraordinary yoga experience. Held every full moon at Fairmont The Palm, and sometimes other beachside locations, this is your chance to practice yoga in the moonlight, followed by a serene meditation session.

6

Kite flying

Wide beaches and regular breezes make Dubai a great place to fly a kite. From simple kites suitable for almost any age, to professional-grade models designed for high manoeuvrability and acrobatic displays, flying a kite can be enthralling and keeps you on your toes. Suitable for any beach as long as there’s wind, just make sure there’s plenty of space, so as not to interfere with other beach-goers (and note that Dubai’s Kite Beach is oriented around kite surfers, rather than land-based kite flying).

Dubai also boasts an annual Kite Festival every January, held at one of the city’s beaches or parks – a great chance to see a huge range of kites, and some world-class flying.

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