The onset of Dubai's cooler weather means one thing: it's time to lace up those trainers and explore the great outdoors.
And with Dubai Fitness Challenge usually coinciding with this time of the year, it's a good opportunity to take your daily workout routine outside. Luckily, Dubai has no dearth of venues that are specifically designed to meet your walking and jogging needs. From paths along the beach to those within parks, there are multiple options for all kinds of fitness levels. So if you're looking for a picturesque view and some fresh air alongside your daily walk, jog or run, give these a try.
For short and sweet runs
The Walk, JBR
With beach vistas on one side and views of Dubai Marina's skyscrapers on the other, the track along The Beach at JBR is always a popular option. The two-kilometre soft track can get a bit crowded during weekends and afterwork hours, but after the run is done, it presents plenty of food and drink options for those wanting to fuel up.
Those looking for lush greenery with a Downtown Dubai skyline can head over to Zabeel Park, which has a 2.5km jogging path that encircles the park. The well-maintained track has access to plenty of restrooms, parking and views of the Dubai Frame. It gets busy during the cooler seasons, with plenty of families and events, but ample space ensures that it's never too crowded, plus there's plenty to green vistas to enjoy along the way.
Al Barsha Pond Park
Another great spot for nature-lovers, Al Barsha Pond Park features a 1.4km path that circles the pond. The soft running track is marked every 100 metres, making it great for interval training while those wanting long-distance runs can take several laps around. Views of skyscrapers, and birds swooping along the pond make for a welcome sight along the run, and the central location is just another plus point.
This neighbourhood features a 3.5km brick path that is lined with greenery and wraps around the picturesque lake, making for a good walking or light jogging spot. There are also plenty of food and beverage options nearby if you're feeling peckish after your workout.
Al Ittihad Park
This quaint space located on Palm Jumeirah offers a picture-perfect running track lined with trees. The soft path is 2.7km long, so it's not much of a challenge, and there are children's play areas and views of the monorail along the way.
The picturesque beachside venue has grown in popularity since it opened, thanks in part to its water views and its dining options. The beachfront also has a boardwalk and changing facilities, making it a good spot to pack in a workout. A jog from North to South La Mer and back – or vice versa – will definitely get the heart pumping. It does tend to get busy on weekends though, with parking filling up quickly too.
For those looking to sweat it out
Expo 2020 Dubai
The newest addition to Dubai's wealth of running options is Expo 2020 Dubai. The global fair has separate running or jogging tracks, while there are also plenty of pathways for walking around too. The entire area is bigger than the Principality of Monaco and dwarfs the Vatican City, the smallest country in the world, so you know that you're getting enough exercise just moving around the place, and there's plenty to see. A single-day ticket is Dh95, so this might be best for season pass holders.
Jumeirah Beach running track
The 7km stretch of track along Kite Beach offers Dubai residents one of the city's best views, taking in the sand, sea and glimpses of world-famous landmarks such as the Burj Al Arab. The path features a soft surface and distance markers. Those looking to challenge themselves can go along the track and back, completing a good 14km. The sea breeze and sound of the waves only add to the ambience, and there are plenty of food and beverage options nearby too.
Al Safa Park
The expansive park features brick pathways that are ideal for walks or runs. After paying an entrance fee of Dh3, guests will have views of grassy lawns and trees stretching out on every side. There's a lot of ground to cover and the buildings of Sheikh Zayed Road in the distance add to the view. As a plus point, this park offers one of the best views of the Burj Khalifa.
One of Dubai's oldest and largest, Creek Park is a family-friendly destination with children's play areas and barbecue spots. Its running track is 4km long and offers green views.
The park features a cycling track that has an assigned running area. A lap is 4.5km for those wanting to work up a sweat.
The Dubai Canal, which was inaugurated in 2016, features a 6.4km stretch that presents serene water views for walkers or joggers. One can even see the Burj Khalifa peeking through across the distance. Those wanting to challenge themselves can also access the five pedestrian bridges to add more kilometres to their workout.
Al Mamzar Beach running track
A 10-minute drive for those living in Deira, Al Mamzar features a 4km synthetic running track. There are water views and distance markers.
Burj Park running track
When it comes to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain views, this is as good as it gets. Burj Park sports a track that's about 5km, but it can get busy during the cooler months.
For long-distance runners
The promenade alongside Dubai Marina offers a scenic view of the area's high-rises and yachts. The entire loop is about 8km long, however there is no dedicated synthetic running track, so you'll need to make your way around passersby. But lovely water views make it worth the effort.
The Boardwalk along The Crescent of Palm Jumeirah is 11km long, making this a good spot for those looking to push their limits. However, it's always possible to park closer to Atlantis, The Palm and run to the East or West crescent and back for a shorter loop. The area can get a bit crowded during weekends and public holidays, especially during the cooler months.
Al Qudra Road
The 85km road offers a quiet and uninterrupted run far from the madding crowds. The desert vistas on all sides has its own unique charm.