The winter season is short in Dubai so it’s best to make the most of the good weather while we have it to go for a run …
With the temperatures not set to rise significantly until at least April, we’ve picked out 11 running routes in the city, applicable to all running abilities and distances.
All of the following locations are open 24-7 and free-to-use:
One of the most scenic places to run in the city and the beauty of it is you can actually follow a designated, soft-surface running track with markings.
Starting at Umm Suqeim Beach (Sunset Beach) under the gaze of the iconic Burj Al Arab, the 7km stretch takes you past Kite Beach and all the way down to Jumeirah 1. If you then turn around and go back, you’ll clock up 14km.
It’s never overly busy and it’s easy to stop for a drink or stretch mid-run too. In addition, it has a really fun vibe at the weekend.
A short and sharp 1.4km running track that surrounds the pond and is marked every 100m. Perfect for speed work or interval training rather than the long run. Busier in the evenings with plenty of people working out.
One of the newest running routes around when it was completed in late 2016, take in 6.4km of the waterfront and mix it up with as many as five pedestrian bridges.
A stunning view of the Downtown skyline will accompany you and it is also easy to link-up with the Jumeirah beaches via Al Maktoum Bridge. The best access to the canal is from Business Bay and Al Habtoor City if you’re coming from Sheikh Zayed Road.
Sticking with the Palm, the park area next to the Golden Mile Galleria has a lovely 2.7km track loop interspersed with workout stations and is a good way to work up an evening sweat if you’re short on time.
Without doubt one of Dubai’s best known places, the soft (and knee-friendly) Palm Jumeirah boardwalk is a fantastic place to run and is typically quiet too.
Starting off opposite the Atlantis, The Palm, running to either the end of the East or West Crescent and back is roughly 10km, and if you do both, you would comfortably clock up a half-marathon distance (21.1km). A perfect run to zone out, have a bit of time to yourself and soak up the sea views.
A great option if you fancy a change of scenery but the best thing is it’s easy to get to with its picture perfect location next to Dubai Water Canal and overlooking the city’s biggest skyscrapers. Plenty of green space to run and then chill afterwards with friends.
The 9km loop is perhaps the location to run in Dubai (particularly if you live in the populous Jumeirah Lake Towers or JBR) and has fantastic views to match.
The Marina boasts a completely flat surface with a few short inclines (steps) as you cross two bridges on the full route, with one of them being close to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai and then the other next to the unmissable Cayan Tower.
There are also four other bridges linked up with the Marina which means it is possible to run short distances, or repeats, giving flexibility to tweak your volume.
In the early morning and daytime, the venue is pretty much empty but is a lot busier in the evening with running groups meeting at Dubai Marina Mall often.
Another brilliant spot to take in some of Dubai’s richest and oldest culture – and away from some of the bright lights of the city that can sometimes get a bit all too much. The park itself commands just a Dh1 entry free, and from there, you can actually make your way out and to the Creek itself, taking in the old Souq and plenty more.
A popular spot for an outdoor session in the evenings, JLT has a spongy blue running track and free-to-use upper-body and core workout machines. The green bowl and attached parks are also good for a kick around or a few overs of cricket!
Part of the annual usual Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon route, a run from the One & Only Royal Mirage Dubai to the Madinat Jumeriah and back is 10km. While there isn’t a designated track to follow as such, it’s best to run on the pavement on Dubai College side as a) the pavement is wider and more stable with signs for cyclists; b) there are less small road openings to cross and c) it is easier to watch oncoming traffic and stay alert, with the roads being busy if events are on at various hotels and tourist places close by.
This is a kind 10km loop, starting at the Greens and running back around until you’re finished at Emirates Hill. On the route you’ll take in Jebel Ali Racecourse and part of First Al Khail Street (behind JLT) on your way to knocking off the top distance.