October 26, 2023

Five Fabulous Free Fitness Parks in Doha

Fitness has become an increasingly important aspect of modern life for maintaining and improving our overall physical and mental health and reducing our risk of developing numerous illnesses and diseases. In Qatar, there is a huge drive to promote and encourage health and fitness across the population, so much so that it is written into the country's national development plans, and there is an annual public holiday, National Sports Day, each February, dedicated to inspiring and motivating an entire nation to get up and out to participate in sports activities!

It is no surprise then to find that Qatar has a plethora of gyms, sports courts, fitness centres, competitive and recreational teams and clubs that offer a never-ending array of sports and fitness activities. However, the majority of these activities are bound by costs and specific timelines. For those of us who may need to keep an eye on the purse strings or are restricted by time commitments, or for those who are just allergic to gyms or maybe prefer the great outdoors, Qatar has the answer…free fitness parks.

Free Fitness Parks

Qatar, for a desert country, has an astonishing amount of green spaces and parks, giving the nation's residents ample opportunity to indulge in leisure and recreation activities. However, to inspire its people to make the most of its facilities, the vast majority of the nation's parks incorporate areas and amenities for sports and fitness. You can find running, jogging and cycling tracks, pitches and courts for various ball sports, including football, cricket, tennis, padel, basketball, volleyball, etc., and gym and callisthenics equipment, to name but a few.

So if you want to get fitter and improve your well-being but don't want to be restricted by costs, time or a dislike of gyms, try one of Qatar's many fantastic free fitness parks? We've put together a list of our five favourites in Doha to get you started:

Al Bidda Park

Image: Shutterstock/PradeepGuars

Al Bidda Park opened in 2018 and is Qatar's largest public green space. The park's 188 hectares flow alongside Doha's city centre, picture-perfect Corniche, providing visitors with delightful views across the ocean and the city to West Bay's sky-scraping towers beyond. As a place for recreation and leisure underneath the city skies, it is one of the best places to go - the park has three main zones connected via garden bridges. It incorporates a host of lawned areas and pathways for walking, flower gardens, a green maze, heritage sites, water gardens, an amphitheatre, plazas and squares, picnic and bbq areas, and eight playgrounds for kids.

However, if you're after something more active, the site also hosts an extensive network of cycle lanes that can also be used for rollerblading, three jogging tracks and seven free open-air gyms. There are also three sports areas containing floodlit courts and pitches for basketball, tennis, volleyball and football, and padel courts (available for a fee). The open-air gyms, one for ladies only, provide equipment to work out all the various muscle groups, including exercise bikes, cross trainers, air walkers, steppers, leg presses, chest presses, shoulder flexes wheels and upper body trainers.

If you are hungry or thirsty after your workout, the park also offers a host of cafes, food kiosks and restaurants to sate your needs.

Location: Al Corniche Street, Doha

Location Map: Al Bidda Park - Rumaila Area

Nearest Metro: Al Bidda Metro Station on the Red or Green Lines for access to the park's southern end, or Al Corniche Metro Station on the Red Line for access to the park's northern section..

Parking: Al Bidda offers six underground parking zones, two car parks accessible from Al Corniche Street, two from Al Istiqlal Street, one from Al Rayyan Road and one from Mohammed bin Thani Street.

Timings: Sunday - Monday, 4 am - 12 am

Contact: +974 4428 7777

[email protected]

Website: https://albiddapark.com/

Aspire Park

Image: QatarLiving

Aspire Park is one of Qatar's oldest parks, and was, until Al Bidda Park was created, the country's largest. Like a green oasis, the park's 88 hectares is a welcome sight amongst the outer city streets. Hidden behind the Villaggio and Hyatt Malls to the west of the city, the park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy a slice of nature, especially as this green space boasts the nation's largest man-made lake surrounded by green lawns and an array of hills and trees and bushes, including the beautiful, bottle-shaped Baobab trees.

Visitors to the park can enjoy various activities, including walking, boating, picnicking, and events - the park annually hosts kite and balloon festivals. While kids can enjoy several playgrounds dotted around the park and a skate park. But, for the more energetic, Aspire Park has a three-mile rubberised running trail, which can also be used for cycling, a sand trail, various grass sports pitches and courts (football and tennis), and two fitness areas. The free-to-use fitness equipment includes exercise bikes, bench presses, pull-up bars, leg presses and rotators. Exercise buffs can enjoy the views from both fitness areas, one located alongside the park's lake and the other on top of Aspire Hill, providing panoramic views across the greenery. For a fee, the park is also home to Padbol courts - a fusion sport combining elements of football, volleyball, squash and tennis. And just outside the park, you can also find Padel courts and a climbing wall, Esqalar.

Aspire Park hosts numerous cafes, food kiosks, juice bars and restaurants if you need to take a beat after all your exertions.

Location: Aspire Zone, Al Waab Street, Al Waab, Doha

Location Map: Aspire Park

Nearest Metro: Al Aziziyah Metro Station on the Gold Line.

Parking: The park offers a host of outdoor parking accessible from Al Waab Street, Furousiya Street and Lehwaila Street.

Timings: Sunday - Monday, 24 hours

Contact: +974 4413 8188

5/6 Park

Image: QatarLiving

5/6 Park's almost 13 hectares of green space were opened in 2020. Sandwiched between the Lusail Highway and the city coastline, with Doha city centre to the south and Lusail city to the north, the park provides a grassy delineation between the concrete metropolises. And overlooked by Qatar's tallest monument, the 5/6 Arches at the Lusail/Doha interchange, the park has plenty to offer its visitors. Green lawns and an array of pathways (including a barefoot trail of stone, sand and soil), dotted with trees, flower gardens and bushes, are intercepted by a vast bowl-shaped, grass-covered amphitheatre, a green maze (created in the shape of Qatar's map and designed to resemble a fingerprint), a 5 m tall Observatory hill (with beautiful views across the cities), a kids playground and a host of art installations to admire.

But it's not all relaxation and play at 5/6; the park also offers numerous facilities for getting active. The park has a 1.4 km jogging/running track, a 1.1 km cycling track (also good for rollerblading), and a free-to-use fitness park with plenty of modern cardio and weight training equipment, including exercise bikes, cross trainers, pull-down machines, leg presses, sit-up benches, steppers and air walkers, pushup/dip station, parallel bars and upper body trainers.

When you’re finished working up a sweat, you could always cool down with a dip in the sea (and a power nap) on one of the nearby public beaches in West Bay - West Bay Beach, B12 Beach or Doha Sands.

Location: Hayr Al Harba Street/Lusail Expressway, Onaiza, Doha

Location Map: 5/6 Park

Nearest Metro: Al Qassar Metro Station on the Red Line.

Parking: Open-air and covered parking is available at both the northern and southern ends of the park, accessible from Hayr Al Harba Street.

Timings: Sunday - Monday, 6 am - 10 pm

Rawdat Al Khail Park

Image: QatarLiving

Rawdat Al Khail Park is a city centre park boasting 14 hectares of open space for relaxation and leisure. Previously known as Al Muntazah Park, the park had been closed for decades. However, in 2022 in response to a drive to create more inner-city parkland, the green space was renovated. Today, Rawdat Al Khail Park is a haven for outdoor lovers, families and fitness fanatics living and working in the surrounding urban sprawl.

The park offers many features that make it an aesthetically pleasing and fun place to spend time. Grass lawns dotted with hundreds of trees, intercepted by kilometres of pathways, squares and plazas, rolling hills, an amphitheatre, two large and well-equipped kid's playgrounds, and eight BBQ stations make the park a perfect location for walking, relaxing, playing and picnics. Three free outdoor gyms, a 1.2 km jogging track and a 1.1 km cycle path also mean the park is ideal for getting active. The gyms have various exercise equipment, including lat pull-downs, shoulder flexors, sit-up benches, skiers, steppers and cross walkers.

Eight food kiosks, located adjacent to the BBQ stations, serve hot and cold beverages and a plethora of snacks should you need sustenance after a workout.

Location: C Ring Road, Al Muntazah, Doha

Location Map: Rawdat Al Khail Park

Nearest Metro: Al Mansoura Metro Station on the Green Line.

Parking: The park offers almost 400 open-air parking spaces on either side of the central green space. Parking is accessible via Wadi Rasheeda Street to the north or the park and Abu Al Qasim Al Shabi Street to the west. Bike parking is also available for up to 40 bicycles.

Timings: Sunday - Monday, 5 am - 12 am

Umm Al Seneem Park

Image: QatarLiving

Umm Al Seneem Park is a delightful 13-hectare park in Umm Al Seneem, located southwest of the city between Ain Khaled and Mesaimeer. Aside from the vast green space, complete with mini grassy knolls, paths, plazas, picnic areas and a huge kid's play area, this park has another distinct and famous attraction, the world's longest air-conditioned outdoor track. The 1.143 km foliage-covered walkway, circling the entire park, won its place in the Guinness World Record in October 2022; and provides walkers, joggers and runners with a cool, shaded track for leisure and exercise, year-round.

If fitness is on your mind, the park also offers a 1.1 km cycle track - bikes can be hired for 30 minutes to one hour, from 6am - 12 am for QAR 20/35 per adult, and three free outdoor fitness parks. The parks include various exercise equipment, such as monkey bars, dip and push-up bars, pull-up bars, lat pull-downs, skiers, air walkers, exercise bikes, sit-up benches and shoulder flexors. Also, look out for the park's Fitness Box - an upcycled shipping container with a giant screen that broadcasts free tailor-made fitness classes led by professional fitness instructors. Umm Al Seneen Park is one of several across the city that has a Fitness Box installed as part of state initiatives to motivate the local community to get fit and active.

If you have been for a walk, run, bike ride or used exercise equipment, you can always quench your thirst at any free water fountain or grab something from one of six food kiosks around the park.

Location: Wadi Al Theebiya Street, Umm Al Seneem, Doha

Location Map: Umm Al Seneem Park

Nearest Metro: N/A

Parking: Parking space is provided in two locations at the park's southern end. One is accessible via Waab Lebareg Street, and the other is from Wadi Al Theebiya Street.

Timings: Sunday - Monday, 5 am - 12 am

After all your efforts, blood, sweat and tears, why not try some relaxing activities? Don’t worry, these gems don’t cost a thing either, check them out in our Six Terrific Tried and Tested, Free Ways to Relax in Qatar article.

Main image: Shutterstock/PhotoSmoothies

Published: October 26, 2023
Last updated: October 26, 2023
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