Sport and fitness in Qatar
Because of Qatar's high level of involvement in international sport, staying in shape plays an important part in both local and foreign lives. Residents are encouraged to adopt a fitter lifestyle through media fitness promotion and easily accessible, top-class sporting facilities.
Additionally, fitness clubs and personal trainers abound in Qatar, but exercise is also doable in various fun ways.
During summer months, between June and September, extreme weather conditions might hamper plans to be outdoors, thus sunrise or after-dark walks are advisable.
Walking in Qatar
The Corniche, a paved and landscaped pathway on the edge of the water surrounding the Bay, is a popular site for both picnickers and those looking to get in shape. The outdoor pedestrian area affords exercise enthusiasts a broad, flat area, perfect for running and walking. The Corniche features views of the city and an island, and distance measurements are displayed on the pavement for those interested in keeping track of their mileage (or kilometres travelled). Early morning and late afternoon seems to be peak hour for foot traffic, but the walkway never gets too crowded for free exercise; however, parking may become difficult after dark.
Parks in Qatar
Manicured lawns, small trees and cement walkways characterise the many exercise parks dotted around Doha. Apart from individual walking and running, various Boot Camp groups utilise these public facilities to work out in. All of the parks sport a similar design and are conveniently spaced to enable easy access from all areas. Like the Corniche, parks can only be taken advantage of outside of summer months, due to the extreme heat.
Cycling in Qatar
Cycling is a hugely popular sport in Qatar; during summer months cyclists are out by sunrise to capitalise on the cooler air, and during winter roads are busy all the time.
Qatar Cycling Federation
Tel: 4447 5522
Fencing in Qatar
Qatar Fencing Federation promotes fencing at national and international levels. Classes are available for beginners, as well as advanced participants. Training sessions are held separately for men and women.
Qatar Fencing Federation
Tel: 4470 8555/56
Bowling in Qatar
A 10-lane bowling alley on the ground floor of City Centre Mall provides a friendly venue for those who feel more comfortable with their bowling boots on.
City Centre Mall
Tel: 4483 9990
Golf in Qatar
Though Doha is in the desert, a gorgeous golf green still awaits those who simply can’t imagine leaving home without their clubs. Doha Golf Club has an 18-hole championship course, including putting and chipping greens and world-class practice facilities. Professional coaching by qualified coaches is available for adults and juniors. The club is open daily from 6am to 11pm throughout the year.
Doha Golf Club
Tel: 4496 0777
Yoga in Qatar
Yoga is presented at various hotels and private clubs throughout Doha, with the most popular studio being Yama Yoga Studios. They offer over 30 classes a week at two locations, Garvey’s and the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
Yama Yoga Studios
Tel: 6617 5802
Fitness centres and hotel clubs in Qatar
For a more structured fitness experience or group exercise, health clubs at hotels and government facilities are very popular. Membership fees vary from reasonable to exorbitant, and are available on request at all venues. Most hotel clubs offer daily rates, as well as monthly rates. All facilities are indoors and fully air conditioned to facilitate access throughout the year.
An impressive sports facility which incorporates Aspire Sports Hall, Hamad Aquatic Centre and the Women’s Sports Hall. Aspire runs fitness programmes for men and women separately. The Women’s Sports Hall offers various group aerobic and spinning classes daily.
Tel: 4447 6786
The Diplomatic Club
A recreation centre offering aerobic classes for members and non-members.
Tel: 4484 7444
The Ritz Carlton Doha Spa and Fitness Centre
The centre offers a variety of classes including step, stretch, low impact, strengthening & toning, power walking and aqua-fit. Other facilities include Personal Training, Yoga, Indoor tennis and squash courts.
Tel: 4484 8000
Red Phoenix Fitness
This club offer a number of services aimed at individuals, businesses, groups and clubs in Qatar, from personal training to team-building workshops. It aims to promote the benefits of living a healthy, active lifestyle in keeping with the Qatar National Vision 2030.