Five places to exercise outdoors in Abu Dhabi

Where to get some fresh air while you burn those calories

Five places to exercise outdoors in Abu Dhabi
The Corniche

We’re sure many of you are starting 2020 with a fresh determination to improve your overall health and fitness.

However, while we’re over run with gyms and fitness studios here in Abu Dhabi, exercising using fancy machines and in brightly lit studios isn’t for everyone (and sometimes neither is the price tag that comes with it).

But right now the weather in the capital is perfect for exercising in, and we also have lots of beautiful open spaces that are great for a jog, cycle, walk or even a yoga class.

So read on to find out the best places to exercise outdoors in Abu Dhabi.

Al Hudayriat Island
You’ve probably taken the drive over the bridge (which is impressive in itself) to Hudayriat Island before for a weekend sunbathing session, but did you also know that you can hire bikes here? Yas Cycles has bikes available for Dhs50 an hour and the dedication bike tracks loop the island and take in magnificent views of Etihad Towers, the bright blue Gulf and the Downtown skyline. Two loops are available in 10km and 5km distances and it’s the perfect way of ending the year on a high and working off some of those Christmas brunches. Or, if cycling isn’t your thing the still waters by the public beach are ideal for a spot of wild swimming. You can always reward yourself afterwards with a visit to one of the food trucks (the croissants from I Love Coffee are monstrously huge, you have been warned).
Free. Open daily 8am-7pm. Hudayriat Island.

Al Wathba Cycle Track

Next to the camel-racing track (watching one of these events should also be on your bucket list) and with views of sand dunes for as far as the eye can see, this is definitely not your average cycling track. Here you can tackle anything from a leisurely eight kilometres to a calf-aching 30-kilometre loop. But with such a stunning backdrop, you won’t have time to think about how tired you are.
Free. Open daily 24 hours. Al Wathba Cycle Track, E22 Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Road, sportinabudhabi.ae.

The Corniche
This eight-kilometre stretch of waterfront at the iconic Abu Dhabi Corniche is lined by a wide boardwalk that’s perfect for walking, jogging or cycling. There’s always a great vibe here in the early morning or evening as people of all ages head here for their daily workout. Whether you join a running group or head here by yourself you’ll feel totally at ease and part of a welcoming community. Water stations are found along the way and the route lets you take in some of the most iconic buildings in the capital such as Emirates Palace and The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. If you really get the hang of this jogging business you can always set yourself the goal of entering the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon in December, or if you’re more of a cyclist you can hire a bike for a whole day for Dhs20 from bikeshare service Cyacle, or bring your own.
From Dhs20 (bike hire for 24 hours). The Corniche, www.bikeshare.ae (800 292 253).

The Galleria Al Maryah Island
Freeling stressed? Well now you can take part in free outdoor yoga sessions three times a week at one of the most popular shopping malls in the city. The classes take place on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 8.30am to 9.30am at the Sky Park at The Galleria Al Maryah Island. From the rooftop park you’ll get great views of the city, and to take part all you need to do is reserve your spot at least 24 hours in advance by emailing yoga@thegalleria.ae. You’ll need to bring your own matt and water, and every participant gets a discount in the mall’s food outlets, meaning you also have the perfect excuse to treat yourself to breakfast afterwards.
Free. Mon, Wed, Sat, 8.30am-9.30am. Al Maryah Island, yoga@thegalleria.ae

Yas Marina Circuit

TrainYAS has been around for a while now, offering us the chance to run, walk or cycle your way around Yas Marina Circuit for free every Sunday and Tuesday evening. But now early birds in the capital can get their fitness fix several mornings a week with the recently introduced TrainAM scheme. Taking place from 5am to 8am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, it’s the perfect opportunity to get some cardio in on the 5.5km track before heading off to work or starting your day. You need to bring your own bike and water for TrainAM, but at TrainYAS there are 400 bikes available to rent for free and regular water stations along the track.
Free. TrainAM: Mon, Wed & Thu 5am-8am. TrainYAS: Sun &Tue 6pm-10pm. Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, www.yasmarinacircuit.com (02 659 9800).

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