In an exclusive column for Sport Industry Insider, SMG Insight managing director and founder Frank Saez reveals the data behind the summer sporting habits of people in the UAE.

Recognised by his peers as one of the foremost practitioners in global sports business analysis and research, Frank has over 18 years international experience, working with some of the world’s leading sports rights holders and sponsors including Rolex, Visa, Peugeot and Goldman Sachs.

Polling conducted exclusively for Sports Industry Insider and published today by YouGov Sport SMG Insight has revealed the sporting habits of UAE residents – and whether they are influenced by the country’s famously hot summers.

First, let’s look at a wish-list of activities – if weather and temperature were not a factor, what sports activities would UAE residents choose to undertake?

As you can see from the chart, running and jogging come out the winner, with swimming, gym exercise and football all close by.

In fact, although the figures change according to the seasons, the top ten all-weather wish-list activities match the top ten sporting activities that UAE residents actually undertake. So whilst the weather may alter the amount of each activity undertaken in each sport, the heat doesn’t greatly affect the overall ranking of UAE’s favoured activities.

But which sports are most influenced by the weather? Here is a graph showing us the five sports which have the biggest difference in participation between the winter and summer months.

This data suggests that active UAE residents are a resilient bunch when it comes the heat – only a small percentage are put off some sports by summer extremes in temperature. And our polling suggests that one reason for this is that a good many simply take their activity indoors during the summer months. Here are the sports which see the biggest increases in indoor activity during the months of June to September.

So whilst activities like cycling and hiking suffer from a combination of high temperatures and being difficult to re-create indoors, it seems that most UAE residents have found a way to beat the heat, whatever their favoured activity.