Outdoor exercise all the rage at UAQ’s corniche

A free outdoor gym is proving to be very popular among residents of the emirate, who are taking advantage of the fresh air to train at the corniche.

The free gym at Umm Al Quwain public beach has been a hit with fitness fans. Pawan Singh / The National
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UMM AL QUWAIN // Residents have been making the most of the fine weather by taking their exercise routines outdoors.

In Umm Al Quwain, they have been assisted by the Al Bayt Mitwahid society, which has set up a free gym on the corniche. The outdoor fitness complex has eight machines, including a shoulder press, cross-trainer, chest press and spin bike.

It was opened in May but, because of the summer heat, it has taken until now for its popularity to increase.

Salwa Salem, an engineering student from UAQ, visits three times a week to work out.

“When a person works out in the fresh air and nice weather, he becomes relaxed and active,” the 24-year-old said.

“Having an outdoor gym gives more motivation to exercise than an indoors gym, especially when someone is walking on the corniche and sees this equipment, he will get excited to try it.”

Maryam Salem, 18, spends half an hour twice a week at the gym but said she would prefer a women-only facility.

“It is a great idea to have an outdoor one, which motivates me while walking on the pathway to work out, but I prefer if they make one for males and another for females who want to exercise but can’t because it is uncovered,” the IT student said.

“However, the location of the gym is perfect because many families and visitors come to this place and definitely they will use or try one of the machines.”

Ali Hassan Mohammed, an Emirati football coach from UAQ, has been working out at the gym since it opened.

“I am here every day,” the 28-year-old said. “I spend five hours working out on all the equipment, especially the cycling one.

“Many athletes come here because the place, especially in front of the sea, gives activity, vitality and energy, while the indoor gyms give boredom.”

The gym was positioned in a place frequented by families and tourists and is surrounded by beautiful views, said Mohamed TajAldeen Al Qadi, programme director at Al Bayt Mitwahid.

“We have looked at other countries’ experiences and found that outdoor gyms offer more attractive environments for people to exercise,” he said. “They are often more effective in encouraging the community to adopt a more healthy lifestyle.”

He said the feedback from UAQ residents had been good.

“The feedback has been especially positive when the weather improved and more people are beginning to frequent the gym,” he said.

Al Bayt Mitwahid, which means our home is united, is a platform for UAE communities to give back to society with fund-raising, planning and implementing creative, caring initiatives, programmes and events.

It has a range of corporate sponsors who fund all their projects, including Total, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, First Gulf Bank and Al Masoud Group.