What’s on lists the best paw-friendly neighbourhoods in Dubai. Also, information on a safe and sociable indoor dog park.

– Guide to owning pets
– News: Dog-walking ban

A well-walked dog is a happy dog, but with recent news of developers outlawing the walking of dogs in Dubai Marina, finding a place to go walkies is harder than ever.

Walking a dog off-leash is off-limits and the list of banned outdoor places grows each year, sadly including many people’s first choice of desirable places to go. Beaches, parks, promenades and most recreational and shopping areas are all out of bounds. Many beaches and parks have large signs up clearly stating these rules and Dubai Municipality will slap you with a Dhs.200 on-the-spot fine (per dog) if you breach them.

Despite the gloom, there are a few places that are regarded as good dog-walking destinations for dog lovers in the know:

Desert and beaches

Head out to the open desert behind Arabian Ranches, Mirdif and in Al Barsha 1 (behind the Mall of the Emirates) where there’s ample space to let your dog stretch its legs. In Nad Al Sheba, there is also a popular area behind the camel market, which is safe, and far away from main roads.

Jebel Ali

In Jebel Ali, many people walk dogs on the beach next to the JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa. It’s not technically legal, but many residents continue to walk their dogs there early in the morning.

The Greens

The Emaar development is often believed to be the most pet-friendly apartment community in Dubai. The entire neighbourhood has pedestrian walkways, with partly shaded walking paths that enable you to enjoy a comfortable walk with your pooch. There’s also several doggie waste bins located around the lakes and buildings, and now the creation of a new doggy playground.

Dog walking in Dubai Dog walking in Dubai

Jumierah Lakes Towers

While you’re not allowed to enter the new park located in the centre of JLT, you are permitted to walk your dogs around the lakes. The patches of greenery are great for small pups and many of the restaurants and cafes welcome dogs in the outside seating areas.

Green Community

For a real doggy treat, the sociable dog park in Dubai, Paws Pet Planet is ideal for letting your dog loose to play with other dogs. The park welcomes all sizes, ages and breeds of dogs and puppies, and is the first of its kind in the Middle East.

The indoor arena is climate-controlled with paddling pools, bridges, tunnels and obstacles. On Dog Park days all dogs are supervised and if you are unable to be there, the Park also run a doggy daycare centre where dogs are fed, walked and introduced to other dogs. To attend Paws Pet Planet, all dogs must have a prior assessment and have up-to-date vaccinations (including kennel cough). Dogs must also pass a mandatory temperament assessment.

Paws Pet Planet, Dubai Investment Park, Fri and Sat 9am to 5pm, Dhs50. Tel: (04) 8848894. pawspetplanet.com