5 of the best UAE running routes
Words by Nathan Irvine and Fuad Nasser
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The secret to maintaining your motivation when it comes to running is to mix things up a little. That and not wheezing after every stride. But if you have new scenery to jog around, well, that helps distract you from all the aching.
If you're based around the UAE then you're in luck. We spoke ASICS Front Runner, and Founder of 5:30 Run Club, Fuad Nasser to find out his favourite spots to run and where you should be taking your strides next time out.
Those looking for a tranquil route away from the urban chaos, will find it at the Qudra Love Lakes. An ideal destination to disconnect and immerse yourself in the beauty of the desert oasis. The entire running loop is 2km, shaped of two connected hearts with lakes, greenery and wildlife. Great for couples due to the romantic scenery especially at sunset, while also offering an easy and smooth run. This venue is best for morning and daylight runs, as the track has low lighting at night.
The canal is one of the fairly new running tracks in Dubai. It’s 6.4km strip of stunning waterfront, Sheikh Zayed road, and city skyline views intertwined with by five pedestrian bridges. Featuring bright lights, and waterfalls, it makes for a glorious sightseeing run with views of the Burj Khalifa, occasional boats gliding by and more. Personally, the canal is my favorite night running spot due to the magnificent views. It’s also a great option for a good strength workout, where you can use the bridges for uphill running while enjoying the cityscape.
The Kite Beach strip paving the way through Jumeirah is the classic route, and remains one of UAE’s best running tracks. Ideal for enjoying some sea breeze and a lovely view. As one of the most popular beaches in Dubai with a 7 km track, it starts from the spectacular Burj Al Arab and goes through a sailing club, heritage fish market buildings, restaurants, and runs parallel to the entire beach path. It’s a lively ambience with swimmers, runners, football and volleyball players, and beach goers all around. Runners can make use of water coolers on the side of the track as well. Best timings are sunrise and sunset as nothing beats the view of a setting sun at the beach.
Originally a hiking route, it has been transformed into a mental and physical challenge by runners who are looking to take the extra mile in their training. It’s an uphill run in the mountains, surrounded by lush greenery and offering an amazing view of the Khor Fakkan beach. A total of 300 meters elevation with a distance of 5.3 km, the top of Al Rabe tower is stunning place to enjoy a break and relish the scenery. Best feature? Going downhill, feeling very light thanks to the force of gravity.
One of the most popular trails at the moment due to its accessibility, beautiful scenery and somewhat a challenging route. It’s also my personal favorite spot for an off-road weekend trip. Easily accessible without a 4X4, the RAK water spring pools of stunning Wadi Shawka make up for one of the largest dams in the emirates. The route is the perfect stress relieve run in the nature, between the mountains.
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