Delving into the wacky world of weird games and fitness classes
What’s On tells you where to do offbeat sports in Dubai, like capoeira, roller derby, snowrobics, parkour, swing yoga, Bouncefit, ultimate frisbee in Dubai.
Developed in Brazil, the fluid combination of kicks and spins mean capoeira is as much a form of dancing as a martial art. If you’re not coordinated it can feel silly when you’re spinning around trying to do the moves, but rest assured this is not a trivial workout. After one of these classes, you’ll be sore on the walk home.
Team Nogueira Dubai, Street 4, Al Quoz, Dubai, Mon, Wed and Thur 9.30pm, Sat 5.30pm, Dhs465 per month. Tel: (04) 3388967. Taxi: Behind Audi showroom. teamnogueiradubai.com
Notorious spitters, habitually grumpy, slow on the turn and extremely stubborn – a camel certainly shouldn’t be the animal of choice for a polo game. But Dubai Polo & Equestrian club has turned Dubai’s indigenous desert dwellers into sporting stars. Guests can take part in a trainer-led tutorial, where you’ll learn how to ride and steer a camel. You’ll also get lessons in mallet swinging, before combining the two skills in two versus two games on the field.
Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Al Qudra Road, Arabian Ranches, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3618111. Taxi: Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. poloclubdubai.com
Channel your inner wild child, grab your skates – not to mention helmet, elbow and knee pads – and hit the oval track before someone hits you first. This is not a leisurely spin around your local roller rink. Roller derby is a thrilling, fast-paced contact sport that sees one player from each team – the jammer – tasked with forcing their way through the opposing side’s pack.
Dubai Roller Derby, Al Sufouh School For Girls, Al Wasl, Dubai, Mon 8pm to 9pm, Wed 7.30pm to 8.30pm, Dhs175 for a month or Dhs50 per session plus Dhs20 to rent gear. dubairollerderby.com
Watch those excess pounds bounce off with the latest fitness craze to hit our shores: trampolining. Bouncefit will have you boinging up and down on an individual mini-trampoline called a rebounder as upbeat dance music blares in the background. The trainers claim that people can burn between 500 and 800 calories per session and, since the trampoline acts as a shock absorber, it goes easy on your joints. The city’s trampolining emporium Bounce is running Bouncefit classes from September.
Bounce, 4B Street, Al Quoz, Dubai, daily 10am to 10pm, Dhs80. Tel: (04) 3211400. Taxi: Opposite Lime Tree Café. bounce.ae
This is not your average Frisbee fling on the beach. The Ultimate Frisbee community here in Dubai means serious Frisbee business, and once you’ve run the length of a football pitch a few times in a bid to get that pesky disc into the end zone, you’ll soon be feeling the burn too.
Emirates International School, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, Mon, Dhs400 for eight weeks. Tel: (04) 4472394. Taxi: Emirates International School. duplays.com
Simply put, this is an exercise bike in a Jacuzzi. Climb into the space-age pod in whatever gym clothing you feel comfortable in, and begin pedalling. Your upper body stays dry while your lower half is submerged. Cycling raises the heart rate and burns calories, but powerful water jets under the water’s surface massage your legs to blast cellulite, help reduce water retention, and get rid of toxins. They say the jets will prevent you from feeling sore the next day. Cycling underwater also increases the resistance, meaning you have to work harder to push the pedals. Like cycling on dry land, it’s low impact so it’s good for your joints.
Balance Spa 360, Oasis Centre, Dubai, daily 9.30am to 10pm, Dhs180. Tel: (04) 3847010. Taxi: Oasis Centre. balance-wellness-center.com
Inverted poses are nothing new to practitioners of yoga but the Swing Yoga class at Fitness First offers a sensation of weightlessness by hanging you upside down from sheets of silk. It may sound like the ultimate head rush but yogis swear by this therapeutic discipline that can relieve compressed joints. Hanging also helps to lengthen your spine, and stretch further.
Fitness First, Beach Park Plaza, Dubai, Mon 8pm, Tue 9am, Dhs100. Tel: (800) 3486377. Taxi: Opposite Jumeirah Beach Park. fitnessfirstme.com
Yes, this is aerobics on the snow. But this isn’t just a fitness fad – research shows that training at sub-zero temperatures burns more calories by increasing the rate at which your body breaks down fat. Ski Dubai offers a 45-minute boot camp on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30am and 9am, with a single session costing Dhs90. Go to all 12 in one month and the cost is Dhs1,000.
Ski Dubai, Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4094090. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates. skidxb.com
You’ve probably seen them in action films leaping effortlessly from scaffolding, launching themselves off absurdly high concrete walls and doing flips off rooftops – welcome to parkour. The UAE parkour team, Against GravITI, runs classes that have carefully-designed padded obstacles where people can practise jumping, rolling, flipping and climbing in a safe environment.
Gems American Academy, Al Barsha, Dubai, Sun 5pm, Dhs70. Tel: (056) 7628742. Taxi: Gems American Academy. uaeparkour.com