Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Dubai residents have virtually no excuse not to participate in the 30-day Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) beginning on Friday, or be active for at least 30 minutes a day wherever they are, an official said.

The city-wide fitness challenge will start with a two-day carnival at Dubai Festival City which promises fun activities, team and individual sports, stage acts and a host of events to keep all of Dubai fully energised and entertained.

A flagship initiative of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, DFC will give residents and tourists the platform and thousands of opportunities to kickstart their journey into health and fitness and embrace it for good.

DFC this year is much more spread out across the city, and offers five themed fitness villages, to enable residents to participate in fitness activities of their liking and choose the ones closest to them.

“Basically, we introduced the themed fitness villages to make sure that the kind of content that is available is appealing to specific activities, lifestyle or experiences that people want to have,” Suhaila Gobash, director of Festivals and Events at the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) under Dubai Tourism, and DFC spokesperson, told Gulf News.

“We’ve thought of everything. There’s no excuse for anyone, even if they are sitting at home or in the office, they still can exercise. We have manuals even for that,” she added.

Gobash said the festival remains focused on ensuring the most inclusive activities for everybody — young and old, fit and unfit.

“This time, we have activities happening for 30 days straight within the different locations, which are better and more engaging,” she said.

“Last year, our target was 100,000 participants and we got 700,000 plus, which is a great achievement. We’re aiming for 1 million this year. I hope we will get more than that.”

When it comes to building the habit of exercising and staying motivated, Gobash said the programme this year will take care of that.

For the opening carnival, for example, more than 30 sports sessions and 80 group classes are on offer.

Personalities like Swedish professional boxer Badou Jack, former English footballer Michael Owen, health coach and nutritionist Dr. Nourhan Kandil, and fitness guru and role model Emily Skye will be on hand to inspire and perspire with them through a vast array of fitness sessions.

An entertaining multimedia show and spectacular fireworks display over the water at 10.50pm will highlight the first night and mark the beginning of the month-long challenge.