Dubai: The inaugural Dubai Fitness Challenge was off to a good start on Friday as hundreds of residents turned up in their workout gear, pumped up and ready for action.
The 30-day fitness challenge began with the Opening Weekend Carnival at Safa Park on Friday afternoon packed with an all-star line-up to inspire residents and visitors alike to start their fitness journey.
#Dubai Crown Prince #Hamdan_bin_Mohammed officially opens the @DXBFitChallenge and joins thousands of participants at Safa Park #Dubai30X30 pic.twitter.com/dR3UHUchvj— WAM News / English (@WAMNEWS_ENG) October 20, 2017
Great to see the Dubai Fitness Challenge's message reaching as far as the Nasdaq screen in Times Square, New York. #Dubai30X30 pic.twitter.com/qQCsVkMOmy— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) October 20, 2017
Participants started burning calories right away as soon as they stepped into the heat and walked to the venue.
Les Mills made sure everyone was warmed up for the afternoon exercise with their Body Combat group exercise.
Participants from all walks of life kicked, started shadow boxing and jumped to the beat.
WATCH: Calling all Dubai residents! We are live from the opening of Dubai Fitness Challenge at Safa Park. Entrance is free.
The month-long challenge was launched by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, on October 2 to motivate residents and visitors to commit to doing a physical activity for 30 minutes for 30 days. The aim is to make Dubai one of the most active cities in the world.
WATCH: Did you get Shaikh Hamdan's SMS to join the Dubai Fitness Challenge? Start here for free. Live from the official opening at Safa Park.
Ready to take the challenge was Anshu Panicker who came with her husband and child.
"I wanted to take part in the Fitness challenge because I want to be fit. I want to see the difference after 30 days," she told Gulf News.
Others came just to enjoy the group workout, like Kristina Elvira.
"I'm off today so I just came here to exercise. I’m really into physical fitness. And it's more fun and motivating if you do it with this big a crowd," Elvira, 27, electronics engineer, told Gulf News after the first workout.
Those who don't fancy group exercises have an array of free-to-try sports sessions throughout the day, including cricket, basketball, touch rugby, table tennis and more.
WATCH: What's that in the sky? Dubai Fitness Challenge officially opens with a skydive surprise!
More than 20 fun fitness activities are available to participate in, from rock climbing and table tennis to yoga classes and circuit training, there is a sport or fitness challenge to suit everyone, regardless of age and ability.
Celebrity fitness coach Rob ‘The Killer’ Edmond, the host of the UK’s ‘The Biggest Loser’ is expected to be on stage at 4pm to keep everyone moving. Former England pro football player Rio Ferdinand will share his fitness regime at 4.30pm.
A stunning acrobatic show by the team from Dubai’s resident theatre show, La Perle, near the Main Stage on Friday from 3 to 5pm.
Desert Warriors Challenge
Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of KHDA, along with 70 KHDA Gladiators took part in the Desert Warriors Challenge on Friday.
KHDA had the biggest team at the Desert Warrior Challenge, who between them ran over 500 kilometres and battled their way through 1,160 obstacles.
Schools in Dubai are showing huge support for the Dubai Fitness Challenge, with every private school in Dubai now officially registered.
In the coming month, Dr Abdulla will be visiting schools and universities every weekday morning to get #FitTogether with students and teachers and spread the spirit of the Dubai Fitness Challenge throughout the community.
WATCH: Skydivers from XDubai landing on Safa Park during Fitness Challenge Video: Janice de Leon/Gulf News
Day 1 Schedule:
1.30pm – Body Combat by Les Mills
2.20pm – Yoga Flex by Gold’s Gym
3pm – Kris Fade presents XDubai Stunt
4pm – Rob ‘The Killer’ Edmond, Star of TV’s Biggest Loser
4.30pm – Rio Ferdinand: former England Footballer
5pm – Football Freestylers Show
5.15pm – Sharmila Dance School presentation
6.10pm – Gold’s Gym Kids Fitness
6.40pm – NRG Xyloband Boxing
8.10pm – Bollywood Dance
8.40pm – Rob ‘The Killer’ Edmond, Star of TV’s Biggest Loser
Day 1: October 20
Timing: 1-9pm, Friday
Admission: Free (including park entry)
Level: All levels
Location: Safa Park in Al Wasl, just off the Sheikh Zayed Road
Note from organisers: Ample parking is available on site. However, it is recommended for participants to use public transport. The closes Metro station is Business Bay.