Feeling sporty? Here’s our pick of fitness events to sign up for this winter. See you on the starting line…
Dubai Fitness Challenge
Perfect for: Couch potatoes.
Now in its second year, the Dubai Fitness Challenge was launched by Crown Prince HH Sheikh Hamdan as part of a bid to make Dubai the most active city in the world. The premise is simple – commit to 30 minutes of exercise a day for 30 days. This year, there’ll be more than 2,000 free classes, events, community-led activities and weekend carnivals taking place across the city, and you’ll also get to register for the brand-new Dubai Fitness app, to track your workouts and find out about fitness sessions.
Oct 19 to Nov 17
The Color Run
Perfect for: Non-competitive runners.
Need some colour in your life? And in your hair and your clothes, too? Sign up for the ‘happiest 5km on the planet’, where runners will be covered from head to toe in powder and foam in an array of hues as they run the course. Participants can look forward to the new Super Zone, where there’ll be a chance to throw yet more paint over each other.
Dubai Autodrome, Motor City, Dubai, 7am, Dhs170 to Dhs280, Dhs55 children. Tel: (04) 3678700. thecolorrun.ae
XDubai Spartan Race
Perfect for: Teams.
Unleash your inner Spartan warrior at the foothills of Hatta. Running through mud, climbing mountains, crawling under barbed wire and jumping fire are just a handful of challenges participants can expect. The race is split into three categories: the 5+ km Spartan Spring, which challenges participants to conquer more than 20 obstacles, the 13km race, covering 25 brutal obstacles through tougher and more rugged terrain, and a separate 3.2km Spartan Kids race for children aged four to 14.
Hatta Mountain Bike Centre, Hatta, Dubai, 7am, Dhs301 to Dhs624. spartanarabia.com
Perfect for: Hard-core fitness enthusiasts (and the very brave).
One of the hardest races of the season returns for a third year, in the unforgiving desert terrain surrounding Hamdan Sports Complex. This year, it’s a 10k course that promises to pack in ‘more obstacles and more mud than ever before’, as well as brand-new, nail-biting obstacles. Expect infamous signature challenges, including Electroshock Therapy (dangling wires that deliver 10,000-volt shocks), Birth Canal (crawl and push your way through sloshing, weighted barriers to freedom on the other side) and Arctic Enema, a tank of ice and water that will freeze your, well, everything.
Dec 7 to 8
Exit 611, opposite Global Village, Emirates Road, Dubai, 8am to 2pm, Dhs360, Dhs45 spectators. toughmudder.ae
Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon
Perfect for: Elite runners
Think you have what it takes to run 270km over five days to compete for total prize money of USD $80,000? Dubai Sports Council is hosting the Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon this winter, with a route that’ll take in the magnificent scenery of the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. But it’s certainly not for day-trippers – the marathon comes with three gruelling distances to choose from: 50km, 100km and, for the very brave, the world’s longest desert run coming in at a staggering 270km. The marathon promises to test not only your physical endurance, but your mental stamina, too, as the terrain changes from hard sand tracks to soft moving dunes.
Dec 11 to 15
Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, Last Exit Al Qudra Meraas, Dubai, 6am, Dhs105. ultramarathon.ae
Hello Kitty Run Dubai 2018
Perfect for: Families
Celebrate the beloved cartoon cat by running in pink at this Hello Kitty 5km run in Zabeel Park. Make a day of it with your family – children as young as three can take part alongside their parents in this non-competitive race and there’s plenty of family-friendly entertainment. Christmas fans won’t be disappointed as this year’s run has a winter wonderland theme with Hello Kitty-themed events, live DJs, game stalls and food options. It’s worth signing up for the goody bag alone, which will contain a selection of exclusive Hello Kitty merchandise including a t-shirt and medal. You will, of course, also get the chance to meet, greet and snap a selfie with everyone’s favourite adorable anthropomorphic cat.
Zabeel Park, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9am to 1pm, Dhs95. Tel: (04) 4573212. hkrundubai.com
XDubai Spartan Women’s Race
Expect to run in mud and water, climb hills and mountains, and crawl under barbed wire, in the women-only edition of the popular race. There are three races to pick from: The 13 to 15 km Super Spartan race category packs 25 to 29 obstacles on tough, rugged terrain; The Spartan Sprint, a five to seven kilometre route, with more than 20 obstacles, for athletes of all levels to race at their own pace; and a kilometre-long children’s race, designed for girls and boys under 14 years of age.
Jebel Ali Racecourse, Dubai, 7am, Dhs290 to Dhs422. Tel: (04) 5143462. spartanarabia.com
Pink Ladies Games 2018
Teams will battle it out over six fun challenges including flipping over a giant cube, racing in kayaks and beach volleyball. You can join with a team of five women but if you want to go alone and meet new people, you can register as an individual. 20 per cent will be donated to The Pink Caravan breast cancer charity. There will also be an awards ceremony with prizes for Best Dressed Team and a ‘Pink Lady of the day’ award. There’s also an Abu Dhabi edition of the event, on November 3.
Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, Dubai, 7am to 11am, Dhs200 individual entry, Dhs1,000 team of five. uae.pinkladiesgames.com
Prefer to watch?
DP World Tour Championships 2018
Expect tense scenes as athletes vie for a prize fund of $8 million at this golfing tournament. Past winners have included Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.
Nov 15 to 18
Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, 9am to 6pm, free (registration required). Taxi: Jumeirah Golf Estates. europeantour.com
XDubai Spartan Race
Spectators will have access to a festival area with live music, local food and beverage vendors and hands-on obstacle challenges.
Hatta Mountain Bike Centre, Hatta, Dubai, Dhs20, kids under 12 free. Taxi: Hatta Bike Trail. spartanarabia.com
Dubai Rugby 7s
An institution on the Dubai calendar, the Dubai 7s is a weekend of sporting fun coupled with a party atmosphere. Expect to see a crowd of crazy costumes, and three days of knockout rugby action, as teams from around the world battle it out to scoop the coveted 7s trophy.
Nov 29 to Dec 31
The Sevens Stadium Dubai, Al Ain Road, Dubai, 7.30am to 10pm, Dhs315. Tel: (04) 3210008. dubairugby7s.com