Your Ultimate Guide To Getting The Kids a Movin’ And a Groovin’ With Some Of Dubai’s Best Sporting & Fitness Activities.
The school bell has rung and there’s all that free time in the afternoons to fill (plus weekends to plan of course!) so switch off the tv and get your kids leaping (or sailing, kicking, swimming) about! Most children’s activities in Dubai offer a free intro class so you can try before you buy and there’s something out there for everyone – whether they’re aspiring little rugby stars or wannabe synchronised swimmers, team players or competitive individuals – help them go for gold and make them earn that next ice cream mamas!
Get your child’s heart rate pumping (safely) with one of My Gym’s fantastic cardio classes, designed to combat childhood obesity! With a focus on keeping your children fit and healthy through cardiovascular conditioning, circuit training and strength and flexibility exercises, they’ll hardly realise they’re breaking a sweat with the amount of fun they’re having.
Children’s classes are aimed at 8-10 year olds
One of the best workouts available in the city is now offering a mini version of their fab health and exercise programme for kids aged 7 – 14, combining a positive awareness of food and eating well (without any of the boring ‘eat only broccoli type stuff) plus fitness activities and circuit training. Little Heroes will allow your kids to have plenty of fun but will also educate them in how to eat well for life but in a totally friendly way. Sound good? We think so. Next step is to get them to make some of that healthy food for the fam at home…
Little Heroes is at Sunmarke School, JVT and 24 Fitness, Al Quoz.
Various times available including a Friday 9am and Saturday 10am slot for parents to be able to drop off and go exercise themselves!
Classes are aimed at 6 + year olds
Ahh cricket – a game for little gents (and little ladies too!), we love the glorious sound of leather on willow. If your little ones are keen then there’s only one place to go in Dubai and that’s the ICC Academy at Dubai Sports City where they’re likely to rub shoulders with some of the world’s best while picking up a few nifty skills. Whether they’re ‘cricket cubs’ between the ages of 3 and 6, ‘Junior Warriors’ between the ages of 6 and 12 or even older, they’ll be learning all aspects of the game in the most amazing surroundings.
Children’s classes are aimed at 3 – 18 year olds.
On your bike kiddos! While navigating the streets of Dubai on 2 wheels may be a little terrifying, there are plenty of places to get in the saddle safely – all you need is a bike, a helmet (safety first, mamas) and a sense of adventure! Our current fave? Getting out on the canal where there are designated cycle tracks snaking alongside the sparkly water and even across some of the bridges. While most of the parks in Dubai don’t allow bikes, Barsha Pond Park has separate jogging/cycling tracks (plus plenty of opportunities to stop and play at the awesome play facilities) and Al Mushrif Park near Mirdif has a 5km cycle track that loops in and out of the grounds. Or how about biking around a race-track? Every Wednesday night from 6pm – 9pm Dubai autodrome in Motor City opens its track for non-motorised fun –meaning runners, roller bladers and cyclists can get out there under the floodlights – the perfect way to tire out your people before bed?! And then of course there’s the bike track near Meydan – a cycle park including an 850 metre children’s proficiency course and track for kids aged 4 – 14 complete with street signs, speed bumps and roundabouts to teach your littles all about road safety. The children’s playground and views across Downtown Dubai and the Burj Khalifa are the icing on the cake.
Ever wanted to learn how to dive off one of those really REALLY high Olympic style boards?! So have we, mamas, and we bet the kids would love it too! Du Dive is the only springboard and high-born diving club in the whole of the UAE and is all about helping build children’s self-confidence and water confidence whilst improving coordination, flexibility and spatial awareness (and diving of course), there are all sorts of courses and ‘pay & play’ options available and it’s open to all ages, they just need to be comfortable hanging about in deep water. We’d secretly love to leap off that really high board…so we might just do that.
On guard mamas! Channel any fighting spirit with lessons in fencing at the MK Fencing Academy where little fencers can develop their skills, physical prowess and sense of fair play! And which kid isn’t going to feel pretty special being in control of a sword?.
Children’s classes are aimed at age 6+.
Got a kiddo who loves watching the Premier Leagues? Elite FC is the place to go for footie fans, where their skilled coaches (a couple of whom are UEFA qualified) will whip them into shape in no time. They’re all about helping your children become all-rounded young athletes and have a range of locations in Dubai, making it easy for you to find one closest to your home or school.
Children’s classes are aimed at 4-16 year olds.
Or get your little kickers signed up to Socatots football classes, suitable as soon as they are walking and held at locations in Dubai. This is a fun, colourful, musical soccer specific play program that covers more than just football and physical exercise – and that depends on active parent participation (one for the dads perhaps?!). Maybe it’ll shape your tot (and your hubby) into the next Ronaldo!
Children’s classes are for new walkers up to age 5
If your kiddos prefer to bend it like Beckham in an air-conditioned environment then the Football Center in Al Quoz is a fab indoor centre complete with astro-turfed pitches and a great kids academy that will teach them strategy, rules, sportsmanship and a love of the beautiful game. Maybe then they can explain what ‘offside’ actually means mamas?!
Children’s classes are aimed at 4 – 14 year olds.
Hubby on the golf course most weekends? Get the kids keen too – nothing like 18 holes of babysitting right mamas?! The Dubai Golf Little Champion Programme is designed specifically for littles and is an ideal introduction to the game – working on everything from basic rules to technique. Classes are limited to a maximum of 6 children per instructor – safety and fun are compulsory!
Lightweight junior clubs will be provided if required.
Children’s classes are aimed at 4-6 year olds.
For mamas up in the Ranches area – the Arabian Ranches Golf Club offer a Junior Development Programme geared at coordination, balance and solid basic skills – plus technique, rules and golf etiquette (including ‘keep your temper under control’ and ‘always look your best’. Sounds good to us!).
Children’s classes are aimed at 4 – 14 year olds.
Flexibility’s an important quality for the kiddos to have, particularly as their bodies start exponentially growing! Help your kiddos stay fit and bendy with FitRepublik’s gymnastics classes, taught by instructors who know a thing or two (most of them have competed internationally!). If your tot really takes a shine to it, you can even sign them up for their advanced and elite Olympic level classes to get your little athletes in shape.
Children’s classes are aimed at 2-16 year olds.
Jumeirah more convenient mamas? GymnastEx Sports Services is located in Jumeirah Sports Hall near Safa park and offer training for all ages. Following the American Curriculum and using only the very best equipment, these guys mean business and take safety very seriously (we like). Founded by Egyptian ex-national gymnast, Khaled Wagdy, classes aim to develop strength, balance, flexibility and motor skills. They recommend you attend the classes a few times a week but don’t make you commit to a specific day which is great for hectic mamas who need more flexible timetables…
If you’ve got an animal lover in the family, they’ll go gaga for horse riding. Not only will they be able to make a few fuzzy friends, they’ll also be able to learn a thing or two about discipline and balance. We’re big fans of horse riding here at Sassy Mama and we’ve checked out Al Dhabi Horses and Camel Rental in Jumeirah as well as the incredible Desert Palm Riding School, which have been big hits both with mamas and the kiddos.
Located in the desert, Al Sahra Equestrian Centre is actually part of the Al Sahra Desert Resort and offers a number of classes for kiddos and mamas of all skill sets. And the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club offers an introduction to horses and everything from little pony rides for anyone new in the saddle to pony club for keen little horsey people.
The ice rink at Dubai Mall offers the perfect (icy) playground for your tiddlers or teens to learn to skate and get to grips with moving about on ice. Even the pre-schoolers can have a go with special half hour sessions – and hockey skating is available for the over 6’s!
Children’s classes are aimed at children aged 3+.
If the kiddos want to kick some serious butt (in a non-violent kind of way) then the Dubai Karate Centre in Jumeirah is right up their street. From karate to aikido, judo to taekwondo, kudo daido-juku, you name it, they have it. Combat sports are a fab way for the littles to build confidence, co-ordination and concentration – sounds good right?!
Children’s classes are aimed at children aged 5 years+.
What is it? Well basically if they’re climbing the walls at home and insisting on using every piece of furniture to jump from then this is the activity to go for (basically, if your kid wants to be a superhero then he/she will love it). Parkour DXB, located at Hapi in Al Serkal Avenue (yes that means coffee for mama), offers classes for all levels (yes you can have a go too!) and aims to build a ‘strong body and focused mind’. They are busy building Dubai’s first community of young ninjas, teaching little ones a huge range of skills and a heap of confidence.
Children’s classes are aimed at children aged 3 years+.
Read More: The Mamas And Kids Try A Parkour Session
Cash in on Rugby excitement and book your little bundles of energy into rugby classes by the Dubai Hurricanes whose home is at the impressive Sevens Stadium. Mini players learn the grass roots of the game, focusing on hand and eye coordination, learning to work in a team and passing and running with the ball. And they get the cutest little kit to wear too.
Children’s classes are aimed at children aged 4 years+.
Got a tot who can’t keep still? Sign them up for Urban Energy’s Junior Run Club! which sets out to make running a healthy habit in the kiddos’ lives, setting up the foundation with fun educational tips. Not only will your littles be able to make loads of new friends, but they’ll learn about the importance of warming up as well as spend a good 40 minutes zipping round Al Barsha Park. Plus, the term fees also include a training shirt and entry into a race so they have something to shoot for.
Classes are aimed at kids aged 7-12 years old.
Ahoy there sailors! There’s nothing better than messing about on boats – but only if you know what you’re doing – safety first and all that. The Dubai Offshore Sailing Club offers courses for kids looking to get out on the water. Priority is given to members but there are spots available for all so push the boat out and give them a buzz.
Children’s classes are aimed at children aged 6 years+.
Little dudes and dudettes (over the age of 4) are encouraged to hang out and have fun on wheels at this awesome little spot just off Kite Beach – and while there are designated hours for children (mornings usually), there’s no harm in going along to see if it’s quiet and then getting stuck in if it’s safe to do so. Built by skaters, for skaters, X Dubai is a shaded skate park with grassy areas and benches for non-participants to lounge on and watch (the kids love doing this too if they don’t fancy a go). Bring 2-wheeled scooters, skate boards or BMX bikes and navigate 29 obstacles including a mini bowl, crater, street elements and more (basically lots of ramps and hills and things to whizz up and down!). Helmets are available onsite and are obligatory – so if you don’t own then you can borrow/rent. Work up a sweat and then cross the road for a dip in the sea. Perfect.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Kids looking for something cool (literally)? Enrol them into ski school at Ski Dubai, MOE, where qualified instructors are on hand for private and group lessons whatever level. You’ll be booking holidays to the alps in no time.
Children’s classes are aimed at kids aged 3 years+.
One of our fave watersports centers, Fahrenheit Beach Sports love seeing kids having fun, getting ‘stoked’ and enjoying the ocean so they’ve made a division specifically for them called Grom Squad Arabia. A “grommet” or “Grom” is slang for small child in surf speak and in this division you’ll see the best range of kids & teens specific activities including surfing and Stand Up Paddleboarding too!
Ever been to Kite Beach and seen a group of kids having a complete blast on the sand and in the water? Pirates Surf Rescue is all about having fun, getting fit and learning about water safety too– we just wish we could get involved too! Available for kids aged 8-18 years, this watersports programme incorporates everything from fly boarding to surfing as well as first aid and ocean conservation – but mainly it’s about fun and teamwork and empowering children. We love. Taught by a dedicated team of lovely coaches all coordinated by the amazing Candy (one of our Sassiest Mamas 2016), Pirates Surf Rescue quite often has a waiting list so get in there quick if your little nippers are keen.
Aimed at children aged 8+
Read More: The Sassiest Mama: Candy Fanucci
Looking to start early mamas? Then Baby Splash could be your thing. Classes are open for babies from 3 months (provided they have had all the necessary immunizations!) You can only sign up for full terms but with the feedback we’ve had on Baby Splash you are likely to want to stay on. Instructors here are particularly good at getting naughty little boys to listen!
Children’s classes are aimed at kids aged 3 months+.
Whether they’re learning to swim or you just can’t keep them out of the water, FitRepublik’s incredible classes are definitely a good shout. They all take place in their gorgeous Olympic level swimming pool and they range from baby classes to competitive squads for your aspiring Michael or Michelle Phelps.
Children’s classes are aimed at kids aged 6 months+.
Mamas in the know tell us that Aquatix is one of the best companies for kids swimming. Classes take place in small groups as opposed to one-on-one to combine the benefits of teacher-led instruction with seeing what your peers are capable of. Whether they’re new to the water or perfecting their stroke, these guys do it all.
Children’s classes are aimed at kids aged 4 months+.
Got a little 5 year or older wannabe mermaid? Then synchronized swimming with Synquatics is THE thing to do. Kids will learn how to master specific hand and leg movements to control the water, complete with choreography and music! The teacher line up is impressive with a vast experience in synchronized swimming and all students are divided up according to skill level- safety first. Needless to say, this is for confident swimmers only. Think it sounds like fun? Well they offer classes for adults too. Get in that pool mamas!
Children’s classes are aimed at kids aged 5 years +.
Aim for the stars mama and get your tot prepped for Wimbledon! Dubai Tennis Academy’s been round for a while (in fact, they were the first tennis academy to open in Dubai) and they’ve got a series of fun classes for children of all ages. Held at both the Grand Hyatt and the American University, they’ll be gleefully swinging their rackets with skill in no time.
Children’s classes are aimed at 5-18 year olds.
Think your kiddo deserves to go straight to the top? How about classes by Elite Tennis Academy, set up by the former UAE team coach Luis Miguel Reis whose team of tennis tutors will have your little ones up to match standard in no time.
children’s classes are aimed at 5 years+.
With 3 huge trampoline parks dotted around Dubai now, there’s plenty of opportunity for the kids to jump off some of that excess energy! From Bounce in Al Quoz – complete with over 100 trampolines, a free-jumping area, dodgeball court, giant inflatable airbag and more to Flip Out Dubai where obstacles, mini-foam pits, double-decker trampolines and loads of other cool stuff awaits. And for Mirdif mamas, Jump Boxx’s playground of over 120 interconnected trampolines, dedicated toddler areas and soft play space will keep all your brood very happy! Each of the trampoline parks have designated times for kids or ‘free-jump’ sessions where the whole fam can get involved. For something a little smaller – give al fresco jumping on Kite Beach a go – there are trampolines set up just near the café area, simply pay-up and let loose!
If a little zen is called for after school then get your kids into GroovyKids yoga with Dani at The Surf Café – the perfect way to release any stress and energy in a fun way that also promotes healthy bodies and minds. Little yogis of all ages will be taken through movements and poses named after things in nature and developed to promote strength, flexibility and coordination with plenty of fun as part of the package! Dani will have her little students balancing, moving and focusing before ending the class with stillness (that we hope helps promote awesome sleep!). And while the kids are bending and flexing? Mama can enjoy a coffee at the Surf Café. Perfect.
See we told you – something for everyone! Time to get moving kiddos!