Running in Dubai

I went to Dubai to speak at a conference and it was a really quick trip. When I arrived it was already dark. The taxi driver who drove me to the hotel pointed out a few of the sights but I mostly remember construction sites. It was late, but the temperature was nice and there were still a lot of people in the streets.

I stayed at the Taj Dubai hotel, which is right across from the Burj Khalifa and I had the best view from my room:


Also, I don’t think I’ve ever stayed at a hotel which such a grand breakfast selection. And if it wasn’t available, the chefs were standing by to cook a special order for you.

My speech was scheduled around noon and since my plane did not leave until very late that evening, I had asked the hotel staff if I would be able to use the gym in the afternoon. Of course I could! By the time I was done and got changed, I did not feel like running indoors. After all, I was in Dubai for the first time and needed to see at least some of the sights.

As you can see in the picture, there is a Dubai Fountain Lake next to the Burj and I wanted to see if I could run around it. I had looked at the map but it wasn’t very clear. Turns out you can! It includes some steps, and you have to take a few small detours but for the most part of the run it works really well. As you can see from the route, I was unable to run around one arm of the fountain because there was some construction going on. The crew had constructed a bridge so you could cross to the there side of the lake. The fountain itself is not active until it gets dark (also recommended!).

I ran in the afternoon, it was quite warm and so I limited myself to a 5k. I also did not want to steer off course or risk the chance of getting lost. It was lovely to see at least a bit of Dubai Center and run through the city. Even though I ran in a shirt and short, I did not attract any attention at all – Dubai receives visitors in many shapes and outfits. However, if you run outside of the city center I recommend that you check first if shorts and no sleeves are acceptable.

The people at the gym couldn’t have been nicer. The hotel gym has lockers where you can safely store a small suitcase. There is a small swimming pool next to it where I sat half an hour to cool down and drink water, which is supplied for free in the gym. There are showers and towels so once you are done, you can freshen up and change into your travel clothes.

All in all, it was a great run. If you ever stay in Dubai, this run comes highly recommended!

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