In 2003, Forbes magazine rated squash the healthiest sport to play in the world, and with the average player burning around 750 calories per match, the benefits are obvious. This activity is perfectly suited to the fast pace of life in Dubai, and there are now over 1,000 squash courts around the emirate. With one week to go until the PSA Dubai World Series Finals, Sam Price picks out some of the best places to play
PSA World Series Finals
The top eight men’s and women’s players from across the globe roll into town in June for the 2017 PSA Dubai World Series Finals, and amateur players can take advantage of the “squash fever” that will grip the emirate by participating in a masterclass coaching camp with Elite Squash. Held on 9-10 June at the Aviation Club, a lucky few will get the opportunity to receive training and advice from Hadrian Stiff – coach to former world no. 1 Mohamed ElShorbagy – before watching the professional action unfold at Dubai Opera. The UAE-based Elite Squash also offers free assessments, bespoke coaching and video tutorials for players of all levels.
At the non-professional level, there is a growing community of squash players in Dubai, and many of the five-star hotels located on Jumeirah Beach have squash courts. For example, there are three courts at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, two at the luxurious Madinat Jumeirah resort, and one at Burj Al Arab – all of which are operated by health club Talise Fitness, and can be used as part of wider health and fitness packages. The courts tend to be open from 6am to 10.30pm, and you can also book individual or group lessons with internationally accredited coaches, including former world no. 2 Danielle Harte.
Fitness First UAE
Fitness First has at least eight squash courts located among its various clubs in Dubai, with the community fitness clubs at The Lakes, Meadows Village and Al Manzil Old Town each boasting a pair of courts. Leagues and tournaments for members are held regularly at these locations, while affordable day passes are available for non-members looking to work up a sweat.
Those looking to improve their game can take advantage of the training programme on offer at the Etisalat Academy, while a squash pass at the Fit Lab facility at the Emirates Golf Club includes use of two glass-backed stadium courts and access to a monthly league. Meanwhile, many of the residential buildings in Dubai, such as the Marina Quays on Dubai Marina and the Sky Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road, offer residents free use of in-built squash courts. With such a plethora of options, it’s time to find an opponent and start playing!