Dubai Marathon always takes place in winter when temperatures are bearable, at least for the people living there. On races weekend there is a quite large 10 km race happening, but also the Marathon with less than 3000 participants. The course is quite flat, and it holds the 3rd fastest course record time worldwide.
I ran Dubai Marathon as my second Marathon for my 12 Marathons in 12 months project. If you are looking for a nice Half Marathon in the UAE you can check out my blog post on the Ras al Khaima Half Marathon.
Travel & Accessibility
Dubai is very well connected with a big international airport. You can take the metro from the airport to Downtown Dubai and other areas. There is also bus network, but buses don’t run very often. So the preferred way of getting around is still cars or taxis. I also found that Uber and Google Maps are not working very well in Dubai. So I took a taxi to the start line of the Marathon, as no public transport was running at that time.
Dubai Marathon Bib Pick up
Bib Pick-up took place in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel Conference Centre. If you expect to go on a big shopping spree at the Expo be warned. There is no real expo, only one small stall. But luckily the huge Mall of the Emirates is round the corner and you can spend all your money there.
The start line is located on Umm Suqeim Street between Mall of the Emirates and Jumeirah road. There is a separate area only for Marathon runners with a separate bag drop and toilets. And these were proper toilets, not porta potties. As there are not a lot of runners for the Marathon and the 10 km race starts 2 hours later you don’t have to be there that early. There are also no separate corrals for different running abilities. But with only 3000 runners it is probably also not necessary.
Dubai Marathon race course
The Dubai Marathon race course is probably the most boring one I’ve ever ran. You basically just run up and down Jumeirah road and past Burj Al Arab a few times. The advantage obviously is that it is really flat and straight, making it a very fast course. But only if you manage to finish in under 3 hours, because afterwards the sun and the heat will become unbearable. There are plenty of water stations on course, sometimes with sports drinks, and spectators are also handing out food and gels. Unfortunately there are no stations for vaseline, and only a few porta potties.
Dubai Marathon Finish Line area
After the finish line you are automatically directed into the same area where you dropped your bag. There is food and drinks, and also chairs and tables to sit down. Unfortunately there are no showers. But it is just a short walk to the next taxi station or a little bit longer walk to the Mall of the Emirates Metro Station.
Burj Al Arab
The famous 7 star hotel in the shape of a sail. You can get great sunset views from the public beach next to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Or if you fancy a treat go to the Talise Cafe in the JB Hotel. Burj KhalifaThe world’s highest building. You several options of enjoying the Burj Khalifa:
- Viewing Platform on the 148th floor
- Viewing Platform on the 125th floor
- Enjoying it from the ground at the Dubai Malls
- Mall of the Emirates is a huge mall with a skiing hall (Ski Dubai)
- Dubai Mall including a huge aquarium and ice rink, and the famous fountains in front of the Burj Khalifa
The newest attraction in Dubai. You can see spectacular sunset from the frame. If you don’t want to pay ore queue, go to the footbridge next to it and take pictures for free.
This is probably one of my favorite areas. The Marina Walk is perfect for running, cycling or just going for a walk. There are also a lot of restaurants where you can eat delicious food. Soon to come: the Dubai Eye.
This is an artificial town built in Jumeirah, with lots of canals, waterways, restaurants and even an artificial souk. Have sunset tea in the lounge of the Mina a’Salam hotel or from the Jolly’s rooftop terrace.