Swimming Pools

Although by no means the most practised sport in the UAE, swimming is increasing in popularity thanks in part to the work done by the UAE Swimming Federation, which has attracted some big, international swimming and diving meets to the state-of-the-art new 50m pool in Dubai Sports City. Open 8am to 8pm, Saturday to Thursday, entry to Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Sports Complex costs Dhs.20 per swim (find a map on Facebook). There is also a 50m pool in The Officer’s Club, Abu Dhabi (open 7.30am to 10pm with monthly and annual memberships available).

There are plenty of places where you can learn to swim, improve your technique or train with other wannabe water babies. Most health clubs and hotels provide coaching for all ages, while Speedo Swim Squads and Super Sports Dubai have dedicated training squads for kids. Older children who are already strong swimmers may like to attend Hamilton Aquatics' or Aquaswim’s competitive squads.
For adults in Abu Dhabi, check out training sessions organised by Abu Dhabi Tri Club, while Dubai residents are lucky enough to have an excellent masters programme in the form of Dubai Masters Swim Club, which welcomes swimmers and triathletes of all levels.

The competitive swimming calendar isn’t packed with events, but there are few races worth attending. Super Sports runs a series of aquathlons (run-swim) as well as a series of the popular Mina Mile open water swim meet, while, several times a year, Aquaswim holds its difficult Lazy River Challenge – a race against the current in the rapids at Wild Wadi. Finally, there’s November’s Swim Around The Burj, an annual event held to raise money for Medecins Sans Frontieres.

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