People from all walks of life participated in jump squatting during the Dubai Fitness Challenge closing ceremony at Dubai Festival City, on Friday. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: From gardeners to top company executives, nearly 500 Dubai residents leapt their way into the Guinness Book of World Records on Friday.

As many as 497 residents broke the Guinness World Record for the most people simultaneously jump squatting for a minute at Dubai Festival City.

The participants including men and women took part in the record breaking attempt held as part of the two-day carnival to mark the closing ceremony of Dubai Fitness Challenge.

They broke the record set by 471 UK residents, the official adjudicator from the Guinness World Records said. Ahmad Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment received the Guinness citation from the adjudicator.

The participants who registered before and on-site were given T-shirts with the Guinness logo for the official attempt.

Clad in the fluorescent green T-shirts, they first did a few rounds of practice and warming up sessions.

All of them had to stand up straight first holding their hands behind their heads as a requirement while jump squatting. They had to crouch with knees bending to a 90 degree while squatting and then jump without taking their hands off their position. The participants had to jump for a minimum of one minute.

Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), attended the final carnival of Dubai Fitness Challenge at Dubai Festival City. WAM

Several supervisors were present to monitor the attempt. A total of 26 participants were disqualified for not following the instructions.

From gardeners to fitness ambassadors

Around 200 gardeners from the Parks and Horticulture Department of Dubai Municipality were among the participants.

“We came in three buses. We are very excited to do this record-breaking challenge,” Saddia Ahmad, a gardener from Pakistan, told Gulf News.

Shah Nawaz, another gardener, said they were proud to represent Dubai in a Guinness World Record.

“Our job is to make Dubai look beautiful. Today we are helping to make it healthy and fit also. We are very happy to participate with these people from many nationalities,” he said.

Andrew Knappett, vice-president of Apparel Group, said he was excited to participate in the attempt. “This is my second experience of taking part in a Guinness World Records event. The first one was in the UK when I was very young. I am excited about this now.”

More than 100 employees of the group were among the participants, said Neeraj Teckchandani, Group CFO.

Being one of the sponsors of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, he said, the company invited employees of various levels to take part in the Guinness attempt.

Reena Bedi, group marketing manager, said the employees at the headquarters in Jebel Ali did their 30 minutes of exercise every day on the office premises. The fitness programme included CrossFit exercises, kick boxing and Pilates workouts.

Burning millions of calories

Ranking 14 among the corporate companies registered on the Dubai Fitness Challenge App, 498 employees of the group have so far recorded 1.25 million moves, said Knappett.

Being a frequent record setter, the city of Dubai set its latest Guinness Record in squat jumps as part of its efforts to become one of the fittest cities in the world during the 30-day challenge.

Squat jumps are a powerful, plyometric exercise that strengthens the jumper’s entire lower body and increases the heart rate for a significant calorie burn.

The participants of the Dubai Fitness Challenge together have been burning millions of calories together.

Details about the total calories burnt and total moves recorded on the challenge’s mobile app by registered participants will be announced after the 30-day event concludes on Saturday, said Al Khaja.

He praised the participation of people from various nationalities and different backgrounds, making the Guinness attempt truly representative of Dubai.