Okay, so your new year’s resolutions didn’t exactly pan out. You’ve hardly set foot in a gym this year, but you still have time to make amends. To help you get back on track, we’ve picked out some of the coolest gyms in the city that will transform you from couch potato to gym bunny. If walking on a treadmill for hours or lifting weights is not your thing, dont worry, it’s not ours either. There are plenty of fun group classes to sign up for instead.
Mixed martial arts was popular in the UAE long before Connor McGregor unleashed his first verbal barrage at Floyd Mayweather Jr. While Cobra Fitness packs in all the equipment you would expect from a top gym, it runs a variety of classes that have given it its lethal reputation. Cobra has a team of highly-skilled trainers, some accomplished athletes in their own right. From boxing to Muay Thai to Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a range of fitness classes, you can take your pick. There are also women-only and kids’ options.
Starting from Dhs800 (one month). Open Sun-Thu 6am-10pm, Fri-Sat 7am-11am, 3pm-7pm. Al Bandar, Al Raha Beach (02 449 6524).
This isn’t your typical gym. Founder Michael Haddin leads his team of trainers on to push, challenge, educate and have fun with their clients. The place runs a variety of classes including boxing, pilates, circuit training, yoga and its own Work Out of the Day. But it is best known for Primal Fitness – a 20-day, intense programme that focuses on body transformation through activities such as bending, pulling, pushing, running, squatting, jumping, and in addition to helping you get back to your fittest self, the programme has a bonus money-back offer where you can get recoup up to half the total price, depending on the number of sessions you attend.
Starting from Dhs1,140 (one month). Open Sun-Thu 5am-9.30pm, Fri 8.30am-12.30pm, Sat 2pm-6pm. Primal Fitness, Zayed Sports City (02 403 4233).
MProve Fitness Center
MProve is the brainchild of two Emiratis passionate about health and exercise. The gym runs a variety of classes and has a well-equipped CrossFit area. The programme combines a series of core-strength and conditioning exercises, with classes for mixed groups as well as women only. Once you’re done with your workout treat yourself to a delicious, yet oh-so-good-for-you meal at Steroid Café next door. And did we mention MProve has tanning beds, too?
Starting from Dhs1,400 (one month).
Open Sun-Thu 6am-10pm, Fri 10am-9pm,
Sat 10am-10pm. Next to Steroid Café, near BMW Showroom, Al Maqtaa (02 555 1146).
Sweat describes itself as a boutique studio focusing on cycling, strength and holistic health. There’s no membership fee here, you can pay per class or buy a package. Sign up for spinning classes, HIIT sessions, TRX, cardio dance, yoga and meditation classes. Those looking to overhaul their diet can consult the in-house nutritionist for meal plans and recipes.
From Dhs50 per class. Timings depend on classes. Al Seef Resort & Spa by Andalus, near Khalifa Park (02 444 5543).
This fitness and lifestyle club is all about getting fitter as a community. While it does have basic gym equipment, it also lays on a number of group classes including yoga, salsa spinning, Pilates, Zumba, boxing and hula hoop. The Room also specialises in sports massage, so athletes looking to recover from an intense workout session or an endurance challenge such as a marathon can sign up for one. There are also nutrition classes, if you need help with a healthier diet.
Starting from Dhs1750 (one month). Sun-Thu 8am-9pm, Fri 8.30am-11pm, Sat 8am-1pm. Zayed Sports City (02 444 4945).
This is one of the few gyms in the city that can boast of a view of Yas Marina Circuit to inspire you as you towards a healthier you. The facility runs an intense CrossFit programme, with a kids’ version, too. Yas Ladies, its women-only gym also offers classes such as boxing, yoga and Pilates. And if you need a little more inspiration than an F1-track view, sign up for home personal training sessions so you can shed the pounds without even leaving the flat.
Starting from Dhs950 (one month). Open Sun-Thu 5.30am-9pm, Fri 8am-noon, Sat 9am-4pm. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 583 2380).
Work it Outdoors at Delma Park
Now that the weather is getting better why not take your fitness routine outdoors? Delma Park is equipped with everything from a rubber running track to a basketball court to a climbing “mountain” for kids. Its array of workout gizmos will help you with those lat pull downs and leg raises, shoulder presses and dips. Better still, you can get a full-body workout for free, while breathing in fresh air.
Free. Open daily, 24 hours. Al Nayhan.