Dubai: How Deira Creek transforms into an open-air workout arena at night

The place comes alive with the sights and sounds of people engaging in various fitness activities


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Sat 16 Dec 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 16 Dec 2023, 10:47 PM

The Deira Creek area has become a bustling open-air workout arena, transforming parks, empty spaces, and parking lots into a vibrant fitness spot.

Residents who live in Deira are trading in their evening time for a healthier alternative. As the clock strikes 10pm, the Creek comes alive with the sights and sounds of people engaging in various fitness activities.

Skating enthusiasts gracefully glide along the paths, while badminton enthusiasts fiercely rally in open spaces. The echoes of high-energy workouts, including the popular trend of freestyle calisthenics, resonate in the night air.


For Kennedy Mwangi, a Kenyan national, skating is a must for at least three-four hours a day. Every day after his work, he is seen gliding from one corner to another at the empty spaces of Deira Creek, for nearly 21 kilometres.

“I start at 11pm and by the time I finish 21 kilometres, it is 2am,” said Mwangi, who is preparing for the world championship in Dubai.

“The weather now is so great these days making outdoors perfect for workouts,” said Mwangi.


Under the glow of the moon, many residents eagerly wait for their turn on the shared exercise machines. It's like a friendly queue where everyone is excited to get their chance.

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“The winters in Dubai are the best. And one can really get into shape in just a few months by doing rigorous exercises in fresh air,” said Abdul Karim.

There are many residents joining Abdul Karim in Freeletics. One among them is Iranian expat Amaan. “Working outdoors with beyond-perfect weather has been made us addicted to working out. We work for nearly two hours every day,” said Amaan.


Saud Akram, a Pakistani national working in IT has been a regular with his badminton throughout the year. However, when winter arrives, he forgets indoor games. “Every day I come here to play with my friends. We play for hours together,” said Saud.

“Who can resist not making the most of the weather by indulging in their favourite fitness activity,” added Saud.

Many groups hit the park at the Creek with their racquets. “Post our indoor games, we come to the Creek for freestyle training,” said Salut Ahmadova, an Azerbaijani businessman residing in Deira.

“The reason we come here for freestyle training is due to the pleasant and beautiful weather,” said Salut.


Dressed in sporting shorts and laced-up shoes, a few groups of residents create a captivating spectacle at Deira Creek Park. Against the scenic backdrop of the Creek's waters, these enthusiasts engage in a freestyle volleyball training session that looks like a dynamic dance.

As the players dive, spike, and leap with unbridled energy, it's as if they are choreographing a performance where each movement is an expression of passion for the game.

One group of Pakistani expats indulge in freestyle training for nearly four hours every day. “We start out training at 9pm and continue it until 1am depending on the number of players,” said Inzimam, volleyball player.

“But we do not miss out on anyone and everybody in our group is waiting for the evening to arrive every day so that we can hit the outdoor work out arena,” said Inzimam.


As the clock hits 6 in the evening, the walkways, parking, and alleys at the banks of Dubai Creek come alive with the rhythmic beats of footsteps as hundreds of people embrace the routine of jogging.

One among many joggers is Jordan, a Cameroonian national working in sales at a private firm in Dubai. “I jog for nearly 10km every day,” said Jordan.

“The weather is so perfect for jogging outside. Because of the cool breeze, I work out for extended hours. Along with jogging, I do exercises like squats and push-ups,” said Jordan.


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