SkyRun
The Dubai Holding SkyRun, which is annual stairclimbing affair, is in its 17th edition this year. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Dubai Holding SkyRun, the only official stairclimbing race in Dubai, is back.

In its 17th edition, Dubai Holding SkyRun 2022 in partnership with the International Skyrunning Federation, Dubai Sports Council, Al Jalila Foundation and Jumeirah Emirates Towers – where the event will be hosted – will take place on November 12, Dubai Holding has announced.

A run up the 52 floors comprising 1,334 steps of the office tower of the Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai Holding SkyRun will challenge amateur and professional runners from the UAE and the rest of the world to compete for a good cause. The total funds raised from the charitable race will be donated to Majlis Al Amal through Al Jalila Foundation, the official beneficiary of the various Dubai Holding wellness initiatives.

Dubai Holding SkyRun 2022 will be open to a total of 250 participants, including 20 to 30 professional athletes, across three categories: Elite, Open and Teams (of four). Dubai Holding will award the top three male and female runners from the Elite and Open categories as well as the top three teams from the Team category. The group will also recognise the participation of people of determination in the race. The top three female and male winners from the Elite category as well as the fastest team within the Teams’ category will receive cash prizes from Dubai Holding.

Huda Buhumaid, Chief Impact Officer, Dubai Holding, said: “We are extremely delighted to be bringing back the much-awaited Dubai Holding SkyRun, the only event of the year of the newly launched Stairclimbing World Championships. Taking place during the Dubai Fitness Challenge 2022, this race reiterates our dedication to supporting Dubai become one of the healthiest, happiest and most vibrant cities in the world. It forms an integral part of our Corporate Wellness Programme, which has successfully promoted health and wellbeing since its launch in 2007. This goes hand in hand with our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all.”

“We witnessed the most successful edition of this longstanding race in 2019, in which a great number of male and female participants showed exceptional sportsmanship and enthusiasm. We are confident that in this upcoming edition, we will see participants push boundaries, reach new heights and achieve greater successes. We look forward to welcoming participants to this year’s race,” Buhumaid added.

Since 2008, stairclimbing is a recognised discipline of the International Skyrunning Federation which governs, promotes and sanctions vertical running, whether at high altitude in the mountains or in city skyscrapers.

Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation, said: “We are thrilled to celebrate our first Stairclimbing World Championships at the Dubai Holding SkyRun 2022 after our highly successful collaboration since 2016 with the Vertical World Circuit.”

“It’s been an intensive year celebrating no less than three world championships of our various disciplines and now we are ready to invite the world’s elite skyscraper racers together with top international skyrunning athletes to test their vertical running skills – indoors rather than outdoors.”

An official race of the Dubai Sports Council’s annual sporting calendar, the Dubai Holding SkyRun is also a flagship event of the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC), an initiative launched in 2017 by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council. DFC encourages residents and visitors to adopt a healthier and active lifestyle by committing to exercise 30 minutes of activity, daily for 30 days.

Proceeds from Dubai Holding SkyRun 2022 will be donated to Al Jalila Foundation’s Majlis Al Amal, the UAE’s first cancer drop-in centre and the first of its kind community centre dedicated to female cancer patients and their wellbeing.

Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Together, sport and philanthropy are the perfect platform to raise awareness and funds for important causes. We are delighted to be the charity beneficiary once again of the Dubai Holding SkyRun. This year’s event will support female cancer patients as cancer is one of the most prevalent health challenges affecting women, and we are grateful that the Dubai Holding SkyRun is highlighting such an important cause. 100% of proceeds from this event will fuel our mission to fund cancer research and treatment to give hope to patients.”

Dr Abdulkareem added: “Last year Al Jalila Foundation opened Majlis Al Amal, the UAE’s first cancer drop-in centre, a home away from home for female cancer patients and survivors. All the services and activities (offered free of charge) are designed to inspire, nurture and support women as they navigate their cancer journey.”

Kirti Anchan, General Manager of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, said: “We are honoured to continue to host the Dubai Holding SkyRun for the 17th consecutive year. Every year, we are amazed by the number of runners and athletes who take on this charitable race up the 52 floors, 1334 steps, 265 meters of the landmark Jumeirah Emirates Towers office tower in aid of Al Jalila Foundation. Seeing their passion inspires us to support such a key initiative and take part in the emirate’s month of wellness and fitness – Dubai Fitness Challenge. We look forward to continue hosting the sporting competition for many years to come.”

Dubai Holding SkyRun 2019 witnessed record participation of over 500 runners, including 27 teams, 18 international elite runners and 100 female runners. The truly diverse participants represented 53 countries, people of different ages with the youngest runner aged 16 and the oldest aged 77, in addition to the enthusiastic participation by people of determination. A new course record was set by Piotr Lodzinski at six minutes and 55 seconds, while the fastest female runner, Suzanne Walsham, finished in 8.03 minutes.

Dubai Holding SkyRun 2022 is supported by Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD); JClub, Fitbit, and Monviso, Italian natural mineral water.