DUBAI: Dubai residents have burnt over 1.5 billion calories in the 28 days since the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) was launched on October 20, according to data compiled by the dedicated DFC app. Considering that Dubai has a population of 2.8 million, a simple math would reveal an average loss of 535 calories per person per day. But given that 5,446 participants registered themselves on the app, it would mean each of them burnt around 6,000 calories per day.
According to the app, a total of 215 corporates took part in the challenge. Of them, Nakheel, followed by Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel and Raffles World Academy were the toppers when it came to losing calories. Statistics reveal that 637 employees of the Nakheel group burnt close to 800,000 calories during the 28 days. Nakheel said its employees have cycled more than 250 kilometres, walked 86 kilometres, run 12 kilometres, kayaked five kilometres and spent more than 60 hours at bootcamp, training or aerobics sessions. “Apart from encouraging more social interaction at our communities and fostering a greater sense of teamwork among our staff, DFC is also unearthing some serious sporting talent among our employees. It’s great to see this side of our employees at the workplace,” said Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah.
Surge in fitness activities
Registered participants on the app apart, a look at gym memberships, sports apparel sales figures and Instagram stories shows Dubai has been very active these past few weeks.
According to Charlotte Bruce, instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp Dubai, the fitness centre had to deal with sizeable overbookings, something it hadn’t experienced since it began operations in March this year. “We have a capacity of 50 people in one class. Last Friday, all our four classes were fully booked, with about 15-20 people waiting out, hoping to get a spot,” said Bruce.
The fitness centre recently added a 6am class to accommodate the high numbers, with the early morning classes running at 70 per cent occupancy. “More and more people are waking up at 5am or earlier to make it for the 6am class. This is a Dubai we hadn’t seen before,” she added.
Yet another striking trend is the spike in sales of sportswear and running shoes.
A staff at a leading sports chain in Dubai said, “I am not sure of the exact numbers, but in a shift of 10 hours, I must have scanned about 40-45 pairs of shoes ranging from met cons (outdoor training shoes) to walking shoes. This has never happened in the last three years that I’ve been at the store.”
Apart from shoes, sports apparel too have made brisk sales.
A staff at an athletic apparel chain that operates two stores in Dubai said, “The number of people walking through our doors has gone up by 100 per cent or more. We’ve added at least 30-40 new customers on our loyalty programme in the last fortnight.”
Another indicator that the DFC got residents up and running is the rising number of people wanting to try a free fitness class listed on the DFC app.
Russian expat Natalia Rukavishnikov who has tried over 25 different activities via the official app, said it has been a very exciting month for her.
“If I were to put a monetary value to the free classes I’ve tried I am sure they would be worth Dh3,000. I didn’t renew my gym membership last month, but I’ve tried everything from swing yoga to horse racing and even scuba diving without paying a single dirham,” said Rukavishnikov.
A total of 32,034 posts were also uploaded on Instagram using the official hashtag #Dubai30X30, which just goes to reinforce that DFC was a mega success.