Get your kit on
With the festive season behind us, there’s no time like the present to put pen to paper and get cracking on this year’s list of New Year’s resolutions.
Did you sit in front of the TV for so long during 2005 that an indelible print of your backside is permanently sunk into the sofa? Have you munched your way through a mound of mince pies and 10 tonnes of turkey or are you just feeling the strain of burning the candles at both ends? With the New Year come the ubiquitous resolutions, but this year it’s time to stick to your guns and ditch the January 2 excuses.
Smells like team spirit
Joining a club or a team is not just a way to get more exercise and increase your fitness levels, it’s also a perfect way to meet new people – and you don’t have to be a first class athlete to join in and give it a go. Don’t hang around for the World Cup to kick off in June before getting the motivation to don a football shirt: E-Sports (050 698 0048) are currently scouting for handy male players, while the Dubai Women’s Football League (050 784 5758) welcome all female ball-chasers aged 16 or over, including beginners, to join the beautiful game. Dubai Hockey Club (050 624 8185) also wants both women and men of all standards to take part in their training and weekly matches. If round balls just don’t do it for you Dubai Exiles’ (050 659 2815) rugby club doors are always open and Dubai Rowing and Sculling Club (firstname.lastname@example.org) are keen to get you onboard their boats, with regular beginners courses for inexperienced oarspeople.
Fitness comes first
If you prefer some one-on-one action (or doubles for that matter) get in some playtime with a game, set and match at the Club Olympus (04 209 6802) tennis courts in Deira – day membership costs from Dhs50-60 and includes use of the courts and all other facilities. The squash courts at Al Nasr Leisureland (04 337 1234) cost Dhs20 an hour. Set the pace to improve on over the next 365 days around Safa Park when you join Dubai Road Runners (04 340 3777) or start off a bit slower with Stride For Life (050 657 7057) who organise walks, jogs and runs for people of all abilities. And while pedal power might not get you up the Sheikh Zayed Road (unless you have a death wish) you can always join The Dubai Roadsters (050 424 8845) cycle club for one – or all – of their regular rides taking place every week – for a sure way to get your heart pumping.
Old dogs, new tricks
If you want to learn a new skill in 2006, Dubai is full of opportunities. Take the plunge with a PADI Open Water Diving course with Al Boom Diving (04 342 2993). The full programme costs Dhs1,700 and includes all the training needed to gain a licence to dive anywhere in the world. If you’re looking for something a little cooler then you can now learn how to ski or snowboard (for Dhs90 for your first hour) in the third largest indoor ski slope in the world, courtesy of Ski Dubai (04 409 4000). Alternatively, take advantage of Dubai’s beautiful Gulf-side location with a two-day Introduction to Yachting course for ship-shaped beginners with Bluesail Charters (04 397 9730) for Dhs1,900. If you’ve got a head for heights, you can take to the skies and gain your own Private Pilot’s Licence with Emirates Flying School (04 299 5155): a one hour trial flight will cost you Dhs500, or get a PPL lesson for Dhs600.
Leave your fears behind you with 2005 and seize the day with some adrenaline-inducing action. What do you mean you haven’t tried dune buggying yet? Desert Rangers Tours And Adventure Sports (04 340 2408) will sort that out for Dhs385 per person, and they will also teach you how to sandboard for Dhs195. Fancy jumping out of an aeroplane from 12,000 feet – strapped to an expert of course? Then you’ll be want to book a tandem skydive with Emirates Parachute Sports Association (06 768 1447) for Dhs800. Nautica 1992 (050 426 2415) will also sort out all your watersports wishes including banana boating, jet skiing, deep sea diving, kayaking and canoeing.If you didn’t get a Christmas bonus, work out those workplace frustrations with a mean round or two of paintball with Pursuit Games Paintball (050 455 3511) preferably pitting your wits against the boss. Michelle Byrne.