The World Cup’s over. Wimbledon is done. Even the NBA is another three months away from firing up again.
So, make the most of your summertime and channel your inner Ronaldo, Federer or LeBron with some of these terrific indoor sports facilities in the city.
And yes, it’s hot out there… So head inside, that’s where the competition really heats up.
There are places aplenty to shoot some hoops in Abu Dhabi but our favourite is with Duplays. You can hire courts across the city with pals and get practising your trick shots. But for us, especially if you’re new to the city and struggling to muster the numbers, joining a team in the Duplays league comes out on top – it’s a great way to make new buddies, on and off the court. The league generally runs from five to eight weeks and games are held in an ever-changing number of spaces (always with plenty of air-con), what more could you possibly ask for?
From Dhs270 (Duplays league). Visit www.duplays.com for info.
As more than half the planet watched Mbappe fire France to victory in Russia, it’s safe to say the world’s best-loved sport remained at the centre of everyone’s priority this summer. And while the audience figures may not be as high, the quality of football (okay, again maybe that’s not as high) and facilities are fantastic at The Dome@Rawdhat. The incredible inflatable dome encases the state-of-the-art synthetic grass pitch, while air-con blasts throughout. Five- and seven-a-side comes home here every evening, while if you’re truly on a no-nonsense conditioning campaign then you and 21 other pals can play on the outdoor 11-a-side pitch. Rates for five-a-side start at Dhs150 per hour between 8am and 5pm, and double for the peak hours between 5pm-1am. Although primarily for footie, you can also hire all or part of the pitch for other sports, including American football, cricket and netball. There are excellent shower and changing rooms and café, too. Game on.
From Dhs150 (five-a-side, per hour, off peak), Dhs300 (five-a-side, per hour, peak). Open daily 8am-1am. Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street (02 447 0754).
As the Time Out Abu Dhabi team recently found out in a weekly vlog, the newly refurbished ice rink at Zayed Sports City is (obviously) one of the coolest places in the city for sports over the summer. Head coach Steve and the team run classes for beginners (some of whom have literally only just learned to walk before strapping on skates) and beyond. The rink quietens down until September, so if you visit now you’ll practically have the place to yourself – perfect if you’re still a little unsteady on your feet and want to save yourself the embarrassment of having an audience watch you crash to the ground. No need for advance booking, unless you want to hire the rink for your own private group, otherwise you can just show up, rent some skates and start whizzing round on the ice. Keep your eyes peeled for Olympic-standard figure skater Zahra Lari, who calls the rink and Emirates Skating Club home. Ladies day is every Thursday.
From Dhs40 (public lessons). Zayed Sports City www.zsc.ae (02 403 4200).
Mixed martial arts
The surge in popularity of the world’s toughest sport is owed to the Ultimate Fighting Champion. Every bloodied nose, broken bone and bruised ego has contributed to its success. And with that has come an army of tough guys and wannabes wanting to try out one of the many disciplines. Our favourite place to put your love for action movies into, well, action is at Adrenagy. Here, you can to interact with like-minded people, rather just rent a treadmill. And if your mind’s on putting burly blokes in an armbar then you’ll find plenty of people with the same interest here. The club runs regular classes and training sessions for MMA, promising to train your brain as much as your body including Muay Thai, kickboxing and boxing. It has state-of-the-art exercise facilities, including an official fight ring ready for when you’re feeling brave enough to take on one of their regulars. Probably not your first class. Adrenagy also host regular fight nights.
From Dhs2,098 (three-month membership, with classes), Dhs1,570 (three-month membership, gym only). Open daily 6am-11pm. Khalifa Park, Salam Street (02 444 1121).
Abu Dhabi is overflowing with pools… However, most of them are attached to bars and tucked away in serene corners with sweeping sunset views. We suppose you could start doing your laps in them, just dodge the hoards of dancing revellers. Or, you could head to the Olympics-sized pool at Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel. It is one of the few covered pools in the region and definitely your best bet for some serious front crawling. The temperature-controlled water is perfect for a summer dip. It’s also well-suited for young children wanting to practise their stroke. Book a set of lessons or just drop in casually for a water-based workout. Don’t forget there are ladies only timings on Sundays and Wednesdays too.
Prices vary. Open daily 7am-10.30pm. Al Khaleej Al Arabi Road, near Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (02 4415 900).