Dubai Fitness Challenge: Enjoy your citywide gym starting tomorrow


Everyone is encouraged to embrace a happier and more active lifestyle.

Get your running shoes and yoga mats ready as Dubai will be turning into a ‘gym’ starting from October 18 – for the third edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC).

Spread out in community-based fitness hubs with over 40 different events and more than 5,000 classes and activities, the 30-day health challenge will run until November 16, offering a well-rounded fitness experience, catering to all ages and abilities.

Everyone is encouraged to embrace a happier and more active lifestyle. As Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, has said: “The DFC is our mission to unify the city in one truly inclusive fitness movement, with a common goal of achieving and maintaining active lifestyles.”

To get you ready for the fitness frenzy, here are the fitness hubs that offer various activities from running, cycling, sunset yoga, boxing, martial arts, obstacle courses, water-sports such and any other exercise you can think of.

Now all you have to do is to dedicate 30 minutes of each day in the next 30 days and adopt a more active lifestyle for the next month and beyond.

>For the beach lovers

With the calming sea as your backdrop, get into your 30-day workout along the shores of Kite Beach. You can also join in the fun as the fitness festival kick starts with a fireworks show over the water on October 18.

8 things you can do here

>Explore 10 zones of free outdoor activities, depending on your ability or interest

>Challenge your friends to a competitive game of beachside basketball

>Practise self-discipline at a dedicated martial arts gym

>Slip into all kinds of water fun at the Aqua Park

>If you’re a newbie, get inspired and join in mass fitness sessions

>Let kids enjoy at the play area

>Head out into the sea where a variety of water-based activities await, including canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and surf rescue classes for little ones

>Get messy at a purpose-build training obstacle course for adults and tough mudder and mini mudder challenge for children

Where: Kite Beach Fitness Village

When: Oct 18 – Nov 16

Weekday hours: 7am-9pm

Weekend hours: 7am-11pm

Free and open for everyone

>For the newbies and fitness fanatics

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or have never stepped into a gym, you will find something interesting at seven zones packed with activities for all ages and abilities to get you going.

The Festival City Mall’s promenade will be transformed into a large workout space to accommodate sessions with professional fitness trainers.

7 things to do here

>Get your groove on with group classes like HIIT, sunset yoga sessions (please bring your own mat) and Zumba

>There’s a bike rental on site so you can ride along a trail to catch a breathtaking sunset at Marsa Beach

>Join a match of VR Cricket

>Take part in intense expert-led CrossFit session

>Test yourself across nine different skills at DEWA’s 30×30 Skill Zone

>Enter two-hour fitness competitions after spending Dh100 at the mall to claim the number one spot on the leaderboard and win prizes. If you win during the first 29 days of the Fitness Challenge, you can put yourself in the running for Dh50,000 in mall gift cards.

> On Day 1, watch a spectacular display of fireworks at 7.45pm

Where: Festival City Mall

When: Oct 18 – Nov 16

Timings: Sun-Wed (12-10pm);

Thurs-Sat: (12pm-midnight)

Free and open for everyone

>For sports lovers of all ages

Whatever your age, fitness level or interest, Hamdan Sports Complex has something in its line-up perfect for you. Head over to the region’s largest indoor sports complex to explore all the free fitness fun packed into the Dubai Fitness Challenge and make every minute of your 30×30 count.

Where: Hamdan Sports Complex

When: Oct 18 – Oct 26

Free and open for everyone

4 things to do here

>Dive into one of the three Olympic pools during public swimming classes

>Practise deep breathing during yoga sessions

>Challenge your friends to a spitfire round of badminton

>Try your hand at a new sport each day


>For office buddies

After a busy work day, leave all the stress behind and hang out with your officemates at La Mer, where you can unwind and meditate in yoga sessions – for free.

From Sunset Hatha in the evening to Morning Soul Shine, here’s a line-up of yoga classes:

>17 Oct: Sunset Hatha (5-6pm)

>18 Oct: Morning Soul Shine Flow (10-11am); Sunset Hatha (5-6pm)

>23 Oct: Morning Soul Shine Flow (10-11am); Candle Light Flow (7-8pm)

>24 Oct: Morning Soul Shine Flow (10-11am); Sunset Hatha (5-6pm)

>27 Oct: Candle Light Flow (7-8pm)

>28 Oct: Sunset Hatha (5-6pm)


When you visit La Mer, drop by the breast cancer awareness workshop, too. A doctor will be conducting clinical examinations on-site, and if you are a woman over 40 with no medical insurance, you can receive a mammogram screening voucher.

Where: La Mer

When: Until Oct 31

Free and open for everyone

>For ladies

Zabeel Ladies Club is offering a multifaceted fitness hub, where women can pick and choose their workouts with a varied selection of group classes including yoga and outdoor cycling. They can also enjoy facilities with a terrace garden, cycling track, tennis courts and breathtaking views of Dubai’s skyline and the Burj Khalifa.

Where: Zabeel Ladies Fitness Hub

When: Oct 18 – Oct 26

>For the Downtown squad

Take you physical activities right in the heart of Downtown Dubai and choose between the idyllic Burj Plaza or the buzzing deck of Souk Al Bahar. Fun activities also take place across Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, including South Ridge, Downtown Eats, Dubai Opera Garden, Burj Plaza and Souk Al Bahar.

3 things to do here

>Meditate during an expert-led yoga session

>Join in a hip-hop cardio session

>Challenge yourself to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) circuit

Where: Downtown Dubai

When: Oct 18-Nov 16

> Dont forget the app!

If you can’t make it to any of these fitness hubs, make sure to download the updated Dubai Fitness App and become part of the Fitness Challenge wherever you are.

What to do:

>Track your workouts

>Sync with top fitness apps

>Explore classes and fitness sessions

>See where you stand on the leaderboard

>View events and activities

>Create social fitness groups

Abu Dhabi schoolkids to do 15 minutes of fitness a day

A new initiative to improve physical fitness and well-being of students is launched in 55 schools across Abu Dhabi.

The Daily Mile, in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and Abu Dhabi Sports Council and supported by the Ministry of Education, will see students walk, jog or run in fresh air with friends for 15 minutes.

Children at Abu Dhabi schools will join the Daily Mile network of two million other children from 10,000 schools around the world.

Aref Al Awani, general secretary, said a pilot programme conducted earlier this year across 15 ministry schools was a great success.

“This ground-breaking yet simple daily programme is not sport or physical education. It instead focuses on getting all children regularly active in the simplest way possible. Seventy-six per cent of students participating said they are more likely to get involved in additional physical activities as a result.”

Fitness tests and surveys were administered by Ministry of Education staff with support from the Daily Mile Foundation and local agency INTERACT to measure the benefits of The Daily Mile.

In other findings from the Abu Dhabi section of the pilot, physical fitness of children increased by an average of 14.6 per cent, with a larger improvement in girls than boys. Student life satisfaction improved by 9.8 per cent and overall well-being increased by 5.3 per cent.

As a testament to how well the initiative was received, 81 per cent of students and 100 per cent of principals and teachers in Abu Dhabi said they want to continue The Daily Mile every day.

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