Mushrif Park bike
Residents and visitors can participate in a range of outdoor activities during the last weekend of the Dubai Fitness Challenge. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Embrace the outdoor workout with host of activities offered during the last weekend of Dubai Fitness Challenge.

Improved mood, a boost of vitamin D, lower blood pressure and better sleep are just some of the benefits you can look forward to after exercising outdoors. Fresh air and natural light work will add some extra magic to your workout, and with plenty on offer outside this Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC), it’s time to step into the sunshine.

Dubai Fitness Challenge, which runs from October 28 to November 26, is organised by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) and Dubai Sports Council


Sunlight improves our energy by enhancing muscle performance and improving oxidation of the tissues, along with giving us a vitamin D boost. Choose a morning swim to catch some recharging rays, or head to the DP World Kite Beach Fitness Village to soak up some seafront sunshine for a dose of serotonin — the hormone that affects our mood. Studies show our brains change how they perceive situations after just five minutes of being outside, so, in more ways than one your day will feel brighter once you step out.

Outdoor running

Studies show that outdoor running can burn up to 10% more calories versus a static treadmill run, thanks to wind resistance and navigating changing terrains and routes, even if that is simply an outdoor running track. Not to mention it is usually a lot more interesting, so switching up your surroundings should also make your workout fly by a little faster.

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Regulate blood pressure

Just seeing a hint of green is enough to start to settle our heart rate and blood pressure, studies show, and research has also found that any scenic view, whether that be cool urban landscapes, a serene beach, or golden desert, will have a positive effect on our self-esteem.

Boosts productivity

Think you don’t have time for a workout? In fact, getting in a pre-office class or run might mean you can clock off a little early, because exercising outside is proven to increase productivity. Improved cognitive function thanks to better oxygen flow can help us stay sharper, and maintain concentration. So, a brisk morning walk may help you whizz through that PowerPoint twice as quickly. So, no excuses!

DFC Yoga
DFC Yoga Image Credit: Supplied

Switch off

If you have pounded the treadmill and watched the seconds slip by what feels like far too slowly, you might not have felt recharged after your workout. Research has shown that outdoor exercise is beneficial to our brains because it provides an environment that does not require our direct attention (unlike a screen on a cross trainer, for example), meaning our minds have an opportunity to recuperate from mental fatigue. So, while you might feel too tired to exercise, a workout might actually give you the restoration you require.

Here are just some of the DFC options across the city

Dubai Run

The ultimate community run is taking place on Sheikh Zayed Road on November 26. Whether you choose to run solo, with friends, or with your family, it promises to be the biggest and most unforgettable event yet.

City Centre Mirdif Run

Lace up your running shoes and join for an exciting adventure through the City Centre Mirdif Mall on November 25 starting from 7am. This is not just a race, it’s a celebration of unity, health, and community spirit during the last week of DFC.

Tomorrow Ride 2023

Ggear up for the second edition of the Tomorrow Ride — a thrilling cycling event — taking place on November 25 from 6:15am to 10:30am. The ride starts at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University campus, with two courses — 4km and 26km, with the option of 52km.

Mushraif Park Cycling

RTA Mushrif Park Cycle Centre is perfect for those seeking outdoor adventures, offering a range of cycling activities suitable for riders of all ages.

Community hubs

Community hubs across the city are designed to bring daily free activities and workout sessions to your doorstep, these community fitness hubs make it incredibly convenient for the entire family to achieve a healthier and more active lifestyle. Wherever you are in the city, there’s a community fitness hub nearby waiting to inspire you on your fitness adventure. Some examples include:

The Ultimate Dance Party

Get ready to dance your way to fitness at The Beach, JBR with Zumba, trampoline fitness, boxing, kick-boxing, yoga, and meditation classes. Revel in six hours of fitness fun every Friday and Saturday on the lawn area opposite the Pavilion. What’s more, a DJ will be on hand to keep the crowd entertained and energised between classes

The Ripe Market Fitness Hub

Start your mornings the right way with a timetable of free events and classes that cater to all levels, held in partnership with F45, Karma Yoga, 8D Yoga, My Core Studio, Yoga House, Padel Park, Fetid and Earth Goods.