Training starts now…

Despite only being a little way into 2023, there’s already so much global sporting focus to look forward to in Abu Dhabi. And the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is always firm favourite with crowds (not to mention the emirate’s Pocari Sweat and Vaseline vendors), even if less fun for the amateurs invited to compete alongside the world’s best distance runners.

Taking place this year on Saturday December 16, this year’s ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon will invite the world’s elite distance runners to compete on one of the quickest 42.2 kilometres on the marathon circuit.

Not quite up for the full slog? You can also take part in the relay, 10k, 5k and 2.5k races too. Registration is open now and full Marathon participation, with 30 per cent early bird discount, will cost you Dhs245 (plus tax).

Routes to manouvre

The looping stretch of track for the 2022 edition took competitors past some of the city’s most dazzling landmarks including the Corniche, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Zayed Sports City (which is hosting the Mubadala World Tennis Championships 2022 this weekend), Qasr Al Hosn, the World Trade Centre building and opportunities to spot snatches of mangrove forest from the coastal legs.

The prize purse for 2022 sat at USD50,000 each for both the men and women’s categories with big bonuses available for any record-breakers.

Sports fans

Of course it’s not just running that’s racing towards Abu Dhabi’s sporting spotlight — there’s the recently announced UFC, the return of the Foruma 1, more Mubadala Tennis, T10, basketball and more. You can find the full up-to-date list in our guide to upcoming Abu Dhabi events.

Abu Dhabi, Sat Dec 16 2023, price from Dhs245. regitser now at

Images: Provided