DUBAI, 3rd December, 2022 (WAM) — The sixth annual Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) has come to a close after an action-packed month-long celebration of fitness and wellness. The Challenge, an initiative of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, aimed at making Dubai a happier and healthier city, saw 2,212,246 participants commit, every day Exercising for 30 minutes. for 30 days.
The annual fitness movement ran from October 29th to November 27th, 2022 and featured an extensive range of free fitness events and activities across the city. The Challenge offered an exciting month of fun and inclusive fitness activities at two fitness villages, DP World Kite Beach Fitness Village and RTA Last Exit Al Khawaneej Fitness Village, as well as 19 community fitness centers, a variety of sporting events and thousands of free classes throughout City.
In addition, attendees had the opportunity to take part in two mega fitness events on Sheikh Zayed Road – Dubai Ride presented by DP World and Dubai Run presented by Mai Dubai – in addition to the first sport and fitness weekend in Expo City Dubai , which is offered over 45 partner sport events and more than 13,000 free fitness classes. The Fitness Villages and Fitness Hubs alone were attended by more than 263,000 participants who had the opportunity to take part in various activities ranging from padel tennis and soccer training to rowing and spinning, apart from several fun, high-energy group training sessions designed for all fitness levels are suitable .
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said: “With the conclusion of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, I would like to look back on the amazing achievements of the 2,212,246 participants who have championed their health and well-being by participating in the inspirational fitness movement.
Participants set an example by committing to improving their health and well-being and helped transform the fitness mindset across the community. I would like to thank all individuals, government agencies, companies and organizations that have contributed to or participated in this initiative. Together we are well on the way to becoming the fittest city in the world. While the challenge is over for another year, I encourage you all to stay active and continue on your fitness journey by taking advantage of everything our great city has to offer.”
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment said: “Since its inception six years ago, DFC has inspired numerous success stories of fitness and wellness journeys, from those just starting out to fitness enthusiasts breaking new milestones have achieved. DFC will continue to be a source of inspiration and encouragement to the citizens, residents and visitors of Dubai, encouraging them to embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle. To see a record 2.2 million participants this year is truly inspiring – including almost 35,000 cyclists at the Dubai Ride and over 193,000 runners at the Dubai Run on Sheikh Zayed Road. As we look back over the past 30 days, it is truly remarkable to see our city’s commitment to prioritizing health and well-being. I would like to thank everyone who made this possible for the sixth edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge. It is a very special initiative and I am very proud to be a part of it.”
Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, said: “With 2.2 million participants in this year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge, we have once again demonstrated our enduring commitment to maintaining our physical and mental health as a community united towards one goal working towards – a fitter and healthier future for all. DFC was designed to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the incredible array of fitness facilities the city has to offer while challenging each other to achieve new goals and adopt a more active lifestyle. The small changes made and healthy habits started during the DTC don’t have to end when the challenge ends. I encourage everyone to continue taking care of their physical and mental well-being throughout the year. The sixth edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge was another great success and I would like to thank everyone involved for this incredible achievement.”
To help everyone stay motivated throughout the 30 Days of Challenge, DFC 2022 has partnered with a variety of the world’s leading health and fitness apps to encourage positive behavior change among participants through fun public and private challenges. This year’s app partners included Fitbit, Fitze, STEPPI, Count’d, Core Direction, Les Mills, McGregor FAST, Runkeeper, Technogym, ENHAPP and Hygear.
Since its inception, the Dubai Fitness Challenge has seen a steady increase in interest and engagement, with the number of registered participants increasing by over 180 per cent from 786,000 at the inaugural event in 2017 to 2.2 million at the 2022 edition. The number of participants in the Dubai Run increased by 176 percent from 70,000 runners at the inaugural edition in 2019 to 193,000 in 2022. The number of cyclists taking part in the Dubai Ride increased by 75 percent from 20,000 in 2020 to 34,897 in 2022.
The annual event makes Dubai the only city in the world to offer its citizens and visitors a full month of free and inclusive fitness classes, activities and events that are easily accessible across the emirate. Health and Fitness Awareness Over the past five years, the Dubai Fitness Challenge has had a significant impact in raising public awareness of the role of physical activity in improving health and reducing lifestyle diseases.
dr Ramadan Al Blooshi, Acting Director of the Department of Public Health Protection at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said: “At the community level, the Dubai Fitness Challenge has contributed significantly to raising public health awareness and better fitness Instill mentality in the community. The event has encouraged people to adopt simple but effective lifestyle habits. Such public health awareness activities play a crucial role in shifting the focus of community members from post-diagnosis care to the prevention of lifestyle diseases. This not only improves the lifestyle of the community, but also directly contributes to mitigating the impact of lifestyle diseases on the healthcare system.”
Year after year, the citywide annual fitness initiative has met its goal of positively impacting social wellbeing through a wide array of wellness, sports, and fitness activities.
According to a post-DFC survey conducted after the 2021 edition, participants reported immense psychological benefits, including positive self-esteem (28 percent) and increased mental well-being (25 percent). The DFC survey showed that 52 percent of overall participants logged between 30 and 60 minutes of activity per day, while 24 percent pushed further and planned more than 60 minutes per day. Overall, 88 percent of all DFC 2021 participants stated that they had achieved their 30×30 goals. Community Fitness Infrastructure In parallel with the growth of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, the emirate has also expanded its community sports infrastructure and complimentary fitness and lifestyle facilities across the city.
The Roads and Transport Authority announced earlier this month that it will expand the network of its cycle lanes from the 542km achieved in the first quarter of 2022 to 819km by the end of 2026 as part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. The public also has access to running and biking trails and exercise equipment at parks and beaches. The Dubai Municipality has developed running tracks in various parks, which currently total 37.7km, while bike lanes in parks total 15.7km. A total of 12 km of hiking trails have been laid out on public beaches by the Dubai Municipality.
The cycling and running routes are very popular, with around 1.86 million people using them in 2022. The growing fitness awareness of the Dubai community is also reflected in the emirate’s increasing trade in sporting goods. The value of Dubai’s sports equipment foreign trade in 2021 reached AED1.22 billion, while in the first ten months of 2022 (January to October), the sports equipment foreign trade reached AED1.1 billion.
The many other Dubai Fitness Challenge 2022 highlights include more than 285 fitness partners and key global sports brands, including some of the many other Dubai Fitness Challenge highlights designed to get people moving, enjoying the outdoors and Dubai at one of the world’s most active cities adidas, Nike, Asics, Under Armour, Puma, Reebok and PepsiCo, hotels and malls show their support with tailored events and exclusive promotions; free check-ups from health and wellness providers and 82 schools across the city participate in 30 x 30 sessions integrated into the curriculum, along with visits to the Fitness Villages.
Organizations helping the DFC this year to strengthen the community spirit include the Dubai Department for Economy Tourism (DET) and the Dubai Sports Council; Presenting Partners DP World, Mai Dubai and Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA); Association partners Sun and Sand Sports, AVIV Clinics, Emirates Airline, Emirates NBD, Etisalat by E&, Fitbit, Shamal – Kite Beach and Last Exit; Official Partners Aster Hospitals, Clinics and Pharmacy, Arabian Automobiles Co, Dubai Chamber, Lipton and Sports Society; Media partners Arabian Radio Network (ARN); and government partners Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Event Security Committee, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Dubai Police and Emirates Schools Establishment. The 7th edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge will take place from 28 October to 26 November 2023.