With some of the best restaurants in the world as well as enticing and extravagant nightclubs, keeping fit in Dubai is always a bit of a struggle. Obesity continues to grab headlines in the UAE’s major newspapers and women’s magazines. Many experts continually complain about gaining weight in a country that is very hot 90 % of the time—a seemingly impossible idea, yet a very real concept when it comes to leading a sedentary lifestyle. Nevertheless, Dubai has great health and fitness clubs to match its high-end lifestyle.
When you walk into Exhale, you don’t get the impression that you will soon fall prey to a very intense workout. Whether it be a Pilates, yoga, body Toning or cardio class, this ladies fitness studio leaves you feeling not only quite sore after your first class, but ready to come back for more. A very inviting and friendly atmosphere, Exhale also has a massage room and a complimentary refreshment bar as a relaxing way to end your workout. Monthly and yearly memberships are available as well as the possibility to pay by the class, although I’d recommend at least a one-month membership as you will surely return for more.
Aviation is one of the most popular clubs in town. It is home to Dubai’s prestigious tennis tournament as well as one of the few clubs to establish itself on the Deira side of the Creek. The facilities include two squash and eight tennis courts, a swimming pool with three 25 meter lap lanes, two aerobics studios, a spinning studio, a sand volleyball court, saunas, steam rooms, and a plunge pool. All the standard aerobics classes are offered, and non-members can pay for one-off session or a course of 10 sessions. There is also the option of personal training, which is surprisingly inexpensive starting from 190 AED per session. There are also a few licensed restaurants and cafes on the club’s premises so that you can treat yourself after a workout well done. The cost is 4,500 AED (female) or 5,500 AED (male) for yearly membership, plus a joining fee of 2,500 AED.
Aviation Club is located off Sharjah Rd., Garhoud, 04 282 4122.
Elixir Spa & Health Club
You will work out with the sea next to you at Elixir Spa and Health Club located in the luxurious Habtoor Grand Resort. A very modern and sleek club, facilities include three swimming pools, a poolside Jacuzzi, two floodlit tennis courts, two squash courts, a gym and fitness studio, and a beach volleyball court. Water sports such as para-sailing, jet skiing, wake boarding, and windsurfing are also offered. The cost of annual membership starts at 19,500 AED for couples.
Dubai Ladies Club
Dubai Ladies Club goes beyond the traditional notion of a fitness club to serve as an actual community center. With a variety of aerobics classes to choose from as well as yoga (indoors and outdoors), taek won do, tae bo and aqua aerobics, facilities also include squash courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, a jogging track, football field, and beach volleyball. The cost for an annual membership is 12,000 AED.
Located in the prestigious Emirates Towers with a décor of polished chrome and steel, The Big Apple is the epitome of the modern fitness center; one that you would surely find in New York City or London. The instructors are extremely well-qualified, as are the assessment programs that are painstakingly rigorous. What the center lacks is a swimming pool, sauna, or steam room which is easily made up for by sophisticated gym equipment. There are aerobics classes during the day and evening, and classes cost Dhs35 for non-members and Dhs25 for members. Personal training is offered to members at a rate of Dhs150 per hour, or you buy 10 sessions and get one free. The cost is 3,530 AED for a year’s membership.
Big Apple is located at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Boulevard Mall, Sheikh Zayed Rd., 04 319 8660.