Whether you want to get your sweat on with an intense HIIT session or if a downward-dog position is more your thing, you’ll find a workout class in Dubai that suits your preference. Goodness did the hard work for you (literally) by trying and testing the city’s top exercises classes to find out which ones actually are the crème de la crème (dairy free, of course). From the ultimate yoga classes to the best barre workouts and everything in between, read on to discover the best of what Dubai has to offer.
Hailing from the land of the super-fit (a.k.a. Australia), F45 is functional training at its best. Each day of the week offers a different class “type” – one day it’s the resistance-based ‘Romans’ (lots of dumbbells, weighted moves, and body-strength exercises), the next day it’s all about HIIT cardio with ‘Athletica’ (think: burpees, bike sprints, and rowing), then it’s back to strength with ‘Moon Hopper’ – you get the gist. With over 3,000 different exercises on the F45 database, you’ll never do the same class twice, and each session is only 45 minutes long, which is perfect for those struggling to squeeze in a workout before or after work. It may sound short, but don’t be fooled – classes have been designed to give you the most dynamic and effective workout without spending hours in the gym.
There’s a live DJ on Fridays, and you can also join the beach sessions and team brunches that really help grow and support the F45 community. There’s even a two-week free trial for newcomers after which, trust us, you’ll be hooked.
Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach, and Motor City
(+971) 50 180 0354
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Barry’s Bootcamp needs no introduction. With studios all around the world, from L.A. to Stockholm and Sydney to Dubai, it’s one of the most successful fitness classes ever created – and it’s not hard to see why. Step inside the dark treadmill-lined room, and get ready to push your body to the max. You’ll run, sprint, and lift your way through 50 minutes of intense moves to a booming playlist, switching it up between stints on the treadmill and sections on the floor. If the thought of a treadmill makes you want to cry, don’t panic; there’s the option to spend the whole class on the floor.
The beauty of Barry’s is that the weekly schedule has been designed so that you work out a different muscle group every day of the week. For instance, Monday is all about arms and abs, Tuesday is legs and booty, while Wednesday is chest, back, and abs. It’s high-intensity exercise at its best, but the post-workout high is hard to beat. If you need an extra incentive, the delicious shakes served up at the Fuel Bar will do the trick.
Central Park Towers, DIFC
(+971) 4 254 4775
If barre brings to mind ballerinas prancing around delicately, Define will have you reconsidering that; it is the place for a seriously ramped-up barre session. With loud and pumping music, a cardio warm-up that will leave you sweating after a few minutes (planks and knee lifts aplenty), and energetic instructors who won’t let you give up, it’s guaranteed to get your heart racing and your muscles burning. Each 60-minute class works your entire body, covering arms, thighs, core, and booty. You’ll work muscles you never knew you even had, and you’ll leave sweaty and sore but feeling seriously good.
With indoor spinning and aerial yoga on offer as well, Define is your definitive one-stop-shop to get into shape.
Silverene Tower, Dubai Marina
(+971) 4 421 6377
Inside this sleek new Jumeirah studio, you’ll find the best reformer Pilates class in town. You’ll work out on the latest Lagree ‘Megaformer’ machine (a huge hit with Hollywood A-listers), which strengthens, lengthens, and tones muscles for that long, lean look. It may resemble a torture device, but we promise it’s not. In fact, it allows for a low-impact full-body workout, minimizing stress on joints and bones and increasing your flexibility. Motivating music, high-energy trainers, and small classes ensure that you get the most out of each 50-minute session, by the end of which you’ll be shaking and your core will be crying. Hey, we didn’t say it would be easy…
Reform Athletica also supports local homegrown brands and makes a conscious effort to protect the planet. Filtered water is available to all clients to fill up their branded S’well bottles, sweat bags are biodegradable, and artwork on display by the likes of Mandy Barker raises awareness about plastic pollution affecting our oceans. We’ll raise our green juice to that.
(+971) 4 323 3670
Originally from New York, FlyWheel has dominated the fitness scene all over the world, becoming somewhat of an institution here in Dubai. If the bright-red, sweaty faces of the people crawling out of FlyWheel aren’t enough to convince you of how hard you’ll work, we don’t know what will.
In-house DJs create the playlists (which range from house and hiphop to old-school tunes) and instructors choreograph each class to the booming beats. Your inner competitive side will love that you can track your progress on the giant ‘Torqboard’ screen and “race” against your neighbors, and your stats are added to your online account after each class so that you can monitor your progress. As they say, the proof is in the pudding – and you’ll deserve a very big one after this.
Burj Views, Downtown and Gold & Diamond Park
(+971) 4 423 2544
Dryp will leave you – you guessed it – dripping in sweat. Turning up the heat (literally) on a classic yoga practice, every sweaty session takes place in a heated room that uses the latest infrared heat technology to gently warm up your body. The benefits of this type of class are endless, including improved flexibility, detoxifying effects, and improved heart health.
From Bikram to Vinyasa and classic to combat, there’s an option for all yogis out there. There’s even ‘Hot Yoga Sculpt’, which incorporates free weights and cardio bursts to sculpt you from top to toe. The wide range of class types, times, and packages make DRYP the perfect pick for all things ‘omm’.
Orra Marina Tower, Dubai Marina
(+971) 4 220 5330
BARE’s ‘Black’ workout has a huge cult following in Dubai, with fans swearing by the fast-paced, intense sessions that raise your metabolism through the roof. Thanks to a revolutionary method that incorporates sculpting, weight lifting, and HIIT, one minute you’ll be running on the custom ‘SkillMill’ treadmills and the next you’ll be squatting with a weighted barbell or tricep dipping to the beat – which is provided by nightclub sound system, FYI.
In fact, ‘Black’ feels more like a party than a workout thanks to the amazing energy, the dark lighting (everyone will be just as red as you, guaranteed), and the flashes of bright neon that are painted onto clothing and skin wherever you look.
You don’t need to be a pro hoathlete to complete this workout, as you’re in control of how much you lift and how many moves you do. Sign us up!
Clover Bay Tower, Business Bay
(+971) 54 455 0597
This cool yoga hangout is one of the hottest spots to get your practice on. The bright and spacious studio feels like it’s straight out of New York, boasting an intimate loft space for smaller sessions and workshops as well as a beautiful warehouse room with huge windows that provide a perfect view of the Downtown area, Jumeirah, and the shimmering sea as you practice.
Catering to all yogi levels and needs, there’s an amazing array of classes on offer depending on what you’re after. Yin is great if you’re in dire need of a good stretch, and Strala Strong does just what its name suggests. Try the candlelit classes for the perfect way to end your day or watch the sun rise over the city during the morning sessions – whatever class you prefer, Urban Yoga has it all.
Aspect Tower, Business Bay
(+971) 4 369 7882
Dubai’s newest workout may not have been on the scene for long, but it’s already made its way onto our best-workout list because it’s that good. With legitimate science backing its practices, Orangetheory Fitness has developed one of the most effective and rigorous workouts in the world. It’s all based on individual heart rates and a 60-minute interval-training program that keeps your body burning fat for up to 36 hours after the class (yes, please). One group starts in the cardio area (pick from a treadmill, bike, or the elliptical), whilst the other works through a series of strength-training exercises with weights and a TRX before switching over halfway through. You’ll be given a monitor that allows you to track your heart rate on a big screen, and you’ll often be asked to work harder to enter the “orange” zone (or fat-burning zone) to ensure you’re getting maximum results for your body.
Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Road
(+971) 4 324 4424