Dubai: One of the top officials at Dubai Sports Council (DSC) has said the emirate is well on track to achieving its set fitness target within the next few years.
“Our ambition is to reach a fitness rate of 45 per cent within the next couple of years and I think we are well on track,” DSC Secretary General Dr Ahmad Sa’ad Al Sharif said yesterday.
Dr Al Sharif last week received a certificate of appreciation from the Agita Mundo Organisation and the International Association for Physical Activity (IAPA) recognising the efforts put in by Dubai in encouraging its residents to adopt healthier lifestyles.
The certificate was received by Dr Al Sharif in the presence of Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Director of DSC’s Community and Private Sector Department at the 4th International Congress for Physical Activities held recently in Australia.
The Dubai Pulse programme caused much excitement on the sidelines of the congress and its several initiatives came in for a lot of praise from attendees from across the globe. “Each year we try to be creative and innovative in our schemes and plans to move residents [to] adopt a healthier lifestyle. And, as per our strategy, we want to reach a fitness rate of at least 45 per cent,” Dr Al Sharif said.
Studies in 2009 showed that a mere 34.6 per cent of Dubai residents were into physical exercise. But by 2011, this figure jumped by 2.15 per cent to 36.45 per cent. “Our Dubai Pulse programme has been getting a very positive response from a cross-section of the community and I can see Dubai reaching its target of 45 per cent within the next few years,” he added.
The DSC official further said the emirate is keen to bring in a change in thinking while also enhancing and improving facilities that will allow residents better access to a healthier lifestyle.
“We have more than 300 facilities like jogging and cycling tracks, parks and open beaches for residents to train and exercise all over Dubai and that is a huge advantage to us in pursuing a programme like the Dubai Pulse,” Dr Al Sharif said.
“Obesity and diabetes is a huge concern in all fast-growing cities internationally, but we believe that we can contain this menace in Dubai through our programme. “Our vision is creating a unique sports community and this recognition will go a long way in pushing us forward towards our goal,” he added.