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Come explore the magic of the dunes… it’s never the same!
What we fancy most about the cooler days in Abu Dhabi is spending time outdoors, walking in the parks, or along the corniche. We have just found out another way to exercise outdoors while discovering the natural beauty of the UAE : walking in the dunes.
It has now been three years since a group of ladies launched a Facebook page called Out of the gym – Sand Dune Training and invite all those interested to come and join their morning walks in the desert dunes.
Twice a week, they set up a new event with different areas to discover (walk close to the Endurance Race, Al Khatim) for people to register.
Walks are usually scheduled during the cooler months – usually between November and March – and all events are listed on their Facebook page. The walks usually occur on Tuesday and Saturday mornings:
– 2 hours walk in the dunes every Tuesday morning: departure at 8 am from the parking in front of Sea Shore and back between 12 noon and 1 pm at Sea Shore Abu Dhabi.
– Saturday morning walk: departure at 7 am from the parking in front of Sea Shore and back between 11 noon and 12 noon at Sea Shore Abu Dhabi.
These walks are supervised by two desert training guides who accompany the group of participants. This group activity is open to all levels of fitness. After every walk, tea and coffee are provided with some snacks.
Our personal experience about our first walk with Out of The Gym
First of all, the registration process was very smooth over email, whatspapp and Facebook. On the D-day, we were a group of 5 ladies from three different countries plus 2 female training guides. We all left Sea Shore at 8 am sharp, carpooling in the cars of the 2 desert training guides.
At 9 am, we were parking close to the dunes, in the Al Khatim area. The guides provided us all with poles and we absolutely enjoyed our two-hours long morning walk. The weather was ideal with no wind and temperatures between 15 Celsius degrees when we arrived and 25 Celsius degrees when we stopped around 11 am.
We appreciated that the guides would regularly check in on everyone in the group, would often stop to show us some desert plants, animals footprints, and share with us some stories about bedouin culture.
Whatever your fitness level is, no worries as the training guides always gave us options to either try steep dunes or go for easier paths. Landscapes are gorgeous and within two hours only, you feel like you have left all your stress and concern in the desert and come back to the urban life with your mind totally reset!
It is an excursion we highly recommend you to join, especially if you have visitors coming and eager to see the UAE desert. It really gives you a very different perspective from the usual 4×4 desert bashing in the dunes and will surely leave lifetime memories for visitors.
Before heading back to Abu Dhabi, we thoroughly enjoyed sharing a warm cup of coffee, tea, along with orange slices and homemade cookies, chatting over our experience.
An excursion we will surely return to with the entire family on a Saturday morning later this winter season!
HOW TO REGISTER :
– Sign up on the Facebook page or with any of the provided e-mail addresses on their page.
– Places are limited so first come first serve.
– When you sign up please provide them with your e-mail address and mobile no. To save time at starting point, also provide them with an emergency no.
MEETING POINT :
– in front of Sea Shore Villas Compound
– outside the compound gate is a large parking where participants can car pool and organize the convoy out to the desert.
WHAT TO WEAR AND BRING ALONG :
(mentioned on their Facebook page):
– Whatever you wear in the gym will be suitable for the desert.
– Pay respect to local culture regarding the length of shorts and bare shoulders.
– Remember that fabric protects you best from the sun.
– Trainers or hiking boots.
– A hat
– A small scarf might come in handy if there is some wind.
– WATER! No need to go and buy a camel-back but bring a small backpack and at least 2 litres of water.
– A rehydration drink of some sort – Isotonic, Gatorade or Gu might be a good idea as will some dates and nuts.
– info given via email when registering to a session
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