Dubai Fitness Challenge, day two at Safa Park, Dubai. Image Credit: A.K Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Fitness and fun continued on Saturday, the second day of the monthlong Dubai Fitness Challenge, for thousands of participants from all backgrounds during the Weekend Fitness Carnival at Safa Park.

The two-day carnival played host to an extensive line-up of celebrity training sessions, live shows and the opportunity to try over 40 exciting sports and activities, including American football, basketball, boxing, cricket, golf, plyo box vertical jump, strength training, suspension training, touch rugby and volleyball.

Also on Saturday, Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah kicked off the company’s programme of events for Dubai Fitness Challenge by leading hundreds of employees on a six-kilometre walk on Palm Jumeirah.

Some 450 employees and their families turned out for the event, with the winner completing the walk in just over 36 minutes.

Nakheel is backing the Dubai Fitness Challenge as part of its commitment to encouraging sports and fitness among the residents and employees. Saturday morning’s walk took place in Al Ittihad Park — Nakheel’s 1.1-million-square-foot garden at the heart of its flagship Palm Jumeirah community.

“The Dubai Fitness Challenge is inspiring the entire city to get fit, and Nakheel is proud to support the event with a host of activities across our communities and retail destinations. What better way to highlight our participation than by bringing together our staff and their families to walk their way to improved health and fitness?” said Lootah.

The walk covered two laps of Al Ittihad Park’s perimeter jogging track. While all employees, regardless of their fitness levels, were encouraged to join, awards were handed out to the three participants who crossed the finishing line first: Rashid Al Khateri, deputy director, Customer Service; Meharoofghan Mohammad Ali, office assistant; and Fathi Ali, customer service supervisor.

Lootah added: “Health, well-being and fitness are integral to Nakheel’s strategy and psyche, and I am delighted that so many staff joined in today. As someone who personally follows a strict daily exercise routine, I am proud to encourage my teams to ‘think fit’ during the Dubai Fitness Challenge — and beyond.”

Former England football captain and Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand joined the festivities, demonstrating his own fitness regime and joining the Football Freestylers show, while celebrity RJs Kris Fade, Big Rossi and James Everton took to the stage to motivate both adults and kids to embrace an active lifestyle. The event also inspired kids to get more active with a host of activities including bubble soccer, a climbing wall, trampolines, an inflatable assault course, Horse Hoppers in addition to football skills, drills, training and games on small pitches.

Everyone was asked to record their fitness activity at the carnival on the Dubai Fitness Challenge App that tracks overall citywide activity throughout the initiative.

The opening Weekend Fitness Carnival marked the start of the 30-day challenge aiming to make Dubai one of the most active cities in the world. It will be followed next weekend with a different kind of carnival at Kite Beach, featuring a host of sand and sea-based activities including beach soccer, volleyball and cricket, Frescobol, paddle boarding, kayaking, kite surfing, paragliding and beach boot camp classes.

About Dubai Fitness Challenge

The Dubai Fitness Challenge is encouraging everybody in the emirate to take up 30 minutes of daily physical activity throughout the 30-day event, and to make a long-term lifestyle change so that sports and fitness become part of their everyday routine.

Nakheel is backing the initiative with outdoor pop-up fitness centres at Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Islands, The Gardens, Jumeirah Village Triangle and Ibn Battuta Mall, with additional activities at Golden Mile Galleria on The Palm, including a specially created workout session with Kayla Itsines, a leading and influential fitness celebrity.

For more information, visit www.dubaifitnesschallenge.com.