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Fitness and Sport for Expats in the United Arab Emirates

Submitted: January 2014


The UAE is home to a multicultural society with influences from all over the globe. As with most things in the UAE, you will find a blend of the traditional and modern activities. With a variety of sports ranging from football (soccer) to cricket to motorsports and even camel racing and falconry, sport lovers are sure to enjoy the sporting scene in the UAE.

Sport on a whole is overseen by the various Sporting Councils of the different emirates. You can participate in a number of sporting activities such as golf and sailing amongst others. For a list of sports clubs in Dubai, please refer to the following link below:

You can also use the resources below to find a wide range of sporting activities in an area near you:

Football is one of the most widely played sports in the UAE. While your love for your home teams like Manchester United or Barcelona may never diminish, you may want to throw your support behind a local team. For a list of professional football teams in the UAE, please refer to the link below:

If you would like to visit a football match while in the UAE, please refer to the link below:

You can also refer to the main site from the links above in order to get the schedule of games.

If you love motorsports, the UAE is home to some of the world renowned races such as the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Grand Prix and Dubai International Rally. For more information on these events, please see the link below:

Watching other persons drive will no doubt be interesting, but if you ever imagined yourself behind the wheel of an Aston Martin or Camaro, you may consider participating in one of the many driving or passenger experiences the UAE has to offer:

Please see the list below for more information on sporting events in the UAE:

To keep abreast on the latest sport news, please see the link below:



There is a variety of fitness clubs in the UAE from chain fitness clubs to pilates studios to personal training. For a list of gyms and fitness centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, please see the links below:

In the UAE, there is a growing trend of female only gyms. For female expatriates who are interested in this concept, please visit the website below for a selection of gyms which offer this option:

If you are unsure about the right gym for you, you may find it helpful to consider the reviews of others about the gym scene in the UAE. The article below gives its opinion on the best fitness clubs in Dubai:

Please remember that these lists are entirely subjective and while you can take them into account, only you can truly determine the right fitness club for you. In this regard, you may find it helpful to contact potential gyms to enquire about the number of members, peak and low times and whether insurance is available. You can also enquire as to whether your prospective gym offers a one day guest pass which would enable you to visit the gym in order to make a sound assessment.

The cost of a gym membership can range from 300 AED per month and annual costs ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 AED.

As mentioned above, there are a variety of gym types including gyms which are part of a larger chain. Fitness First is one of the largest fitness chains in the UAE. The advantage of selecting a fitness club that is part of a chain is that you may have access to other clubs in the chain. For more information on this option, please refer to the following links below:

If you prefer to work out at home, you can consider purchasing equipment such as a treadmill or an elliptical for your personal use from stores like the ones listed below:



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