Dubai: The fifth edition of Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) begins on Friday, October 29. It will run until Saturday, November, 27. This year, a packed calendar of activities and events await DFC across the city — including Dubai Run and Dubai Ride.
DFC is an initiative by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. The challenge was created to support Sheikh Hamdan’s vision of making Dubai one of the most active cities in the world. For 30 days, fitness enthusiasts of all ages and abilities will come together to stay active with 30 minutes of daily exercise.
An action-packed calendar of free and inclusive fitness events, activities and classes across the city has been planned to get one and all into the fitness mould.
Other highlights of DFC include three fitness villages at Kite Beach, Expo 2020 Dubai and Mushrif Park. Besides, there are 14 fitness hubs in communities across the city, major sporting events planned every weekend and thousands of free live and virtual classes with some of the top fitness professionals from across the region.
Sports and fitness zones
There are 16 sports and fitness zones offering everything from HIIT training and yoga to cycling and watersports. The pop-up football pitch, basketball and padel tennis courts are perfect for game time, while the water obstacle course in a giant pool on the beach is set to be a winner with children. The Etisalat main stage area will feature live classes and sessions from the region’s top fitness ambassadors and instructors. Ladies will have their own workout zone and parents can keep children energised and entertained at the fun spot kids’ zone.
DFC Expo 2020 Dubai Fitness Village offers 5,400 square metres of sports, fitness and wellbeing designed to promote physical activity as a way of life to all its visitors. Adjacent to the Mobility Gate, the sporting wonderland features a state-of-the-art gym, a five-a-side football pitch, multi-purpose court for basketball, netball, volleyball and tennis as well as a global fitness stage with daily classes.
A huge number of events will be hosted by participating countries at the fitness village throughout Expo 2020 Dubai, including the arrival of the Harlem Globetrotters to launch a 3-on-3 basketball tournament on every weekend of DFC. In addition, a ‘Run the World Family Run’ will take place every Saturday morning as well as the Expo Run on November 19, featuring 3km, 5km and 10km routes.
Mai Dubai Fitness Village Mushrif Park is the place for family fitness with a sports day-style kids’ zone packed with activities for little and bigger ones, individual men’s and ladies swimming pools, multi-functional gym and ladies only fitness space. The main stage will feature a stellar line-up of fitness classes, while the pool will play host to Aqua Zumba, HIIT and Aerobics as well as weekend swimming competitions. Light-based reflex training system, BlazePod, will also challenge participants to improve their agility, balance, coordination, reaction time, strength and more.
Dubai Ride, presented by DP World, is one of the highlights this year with tens of thousands of cycling enthusiasts expected to saddle up and pedal their way down the emirate’s main traffic artery against the backdrop of some of the city’s most famous landmarks. Taking place on November 5, Friday, Dubai Ride is open to participants of all abilities and experience with a 14km general route for cyclists aged ten-plus on Sheikh Zayed Road and a 4km scenic family route for children around Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard and Burj Khalifa.
The highly-anticipated Dubai Run, presented by Mai Dubai, returns on November 26, with runners of all ages and abilities expected to take to the city’s giant running track on Sheikh Zayed Road for a fitness event like no other. With the starting line near the spectacular Museum of Future, runners will pass some of Dubai’s instantly recognisable landmarks on a 5km or 10km route.
This year will see 14 fitness hubs popping up in communities across the city during the challenge, including Zabeel Ladies Clubs, Hatta, Uform Fitness Hub at D3, One Central, Dubai Media City, DIFC, Dubai Police Officers Club, DMCC, Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), Dubai Studio City, La Mer, Champs Sports & Fitness Club, Dubai Digital Park and Dubai Sports City. Each one will offer a different mix of fitness classes, sporting activities and entertainment to help everyone living and working in these areas get their 30 minutes of daily exercise. Dates for all the fitness hubs will be announced on the DFC website.
Dubai Padel Cup
The fifth edition of DFC features the inaugural Dubai Padel Cup. This new event on the DFC calendar includes three days of exhibition matches at Jumeirah Emirates Towers and will feature some of the world’s top-ranked professionals, as well as a dedicated championship for amateur players in various categories of ability. The buzz around Padel will continue with citywide activations, learn-to-play sessions and clinics to improve your skills at locations across Dubai.
Swimming, Spartan and so much more
During DFC, there will be more than 30 partner events happening across the city, including Dubai Active Show at DWTC, Hero Dubai 2021 at Hatta, Expo 2020 Dubai Run the World Family Run, La Mer Open Water Swim, the Beach Swim at JBR, Spartan Races, climbing adventures in Hatta, World Karate Championships, Tough Mudder Dubai, Under Armour Turf Games, IGNITE Pink Paddle and lots more. All events are listed on the DFC website for participants who want to sign up.
Track your progress
This year, DFC has partnered with UAE-based health and fitness app, STEPPI, to help participants track their progress and stay motivated with a series of fun challenges. Individuals, friends and family, government organisations, corporates, schools and universities can go head-to-head to complete daily activity targets, move their way up the leader onboard and win experiences from some of Dubai’s biggest brands.
Participants can also take advantage of deals on other great apps, including a 90-day free trial of Fitbit Premium that helps turn insights into impact with access to hundreds of workouts from fitness icons; 30 per cent off freshly cooked, healthy meals delivered daily to your doorstep with COUNT’D and 30-day free access to Anghami Plus — the leading music platform in the Middle East — to create the perfect playlists to exercise to this DFC.
DFC running shoes
For the first time ever, DFC will have its own limited-edition running shoes, in partnership with ASICS. The Dubai edition of the iconic ASICS GEL-KAYANO 28 running shoe is inspired by the city’s coordinates, skyline and colours and will be on sale online and through sports retailers across Dubai for the duration of the challenge.
- Hospital in Abu Dhabi saves leg of Sri Lankan expat who developed massive arterial blood clot
- Prime Hospital offers special mammogram screening packages for early detection
- Pink It Now campaign to generate more awareness about breast cancer
- American Hospital Dubai offers comprehensive care for breast cancer
Virtual fitness for adults and children
For those looking for premium fitness content and trusted information to craft their individualised fitness programmes, the return of DFC’s ‘Find Your 30’ virtual content hub means anyone, anytime, anywhere can stay motivated throughout the month. There’s plenty in store for children, too, with custom workout content from PJ Masks and Dubai Parks and Resorts. The free-to-access, one-stop destination can be accessed on the DFC website.
Registrations are open at www.dubaifitnesschallenge.com.