DUBAI, 3rd December 2022 (WAM) — The sixth annual Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) has concluded 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, with the aim of making Dubai a happier and healthier city, saw 2,212,246 participants they committed to 30 minutes of exercise every day, for 30 days.
Held from 29 October to 27 November 2022, the annual fitness movement included a wide range of free fitness events and activities across the city. The challenge offered an exciting month of inclusive and fun 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 host of events sports and thousands of free programs. classes throughout the city.
In addition, participants had the opportunity to take part in two major fitness events on Sheikh Zayed Road: Dubai Ride presented by DP World and Dubai Run presented by Mai Dubai, in addition to the inaugural Expo City Dubai Sports and Fitness Weekend , which offers more than 45 partner sporting events and more than 13,000 free fitness classes. More than 263,000 participants attended the Fitness Villages and Fitness Hubs alone, who had the opportunity to take part in various activities ranging from paddle and soccer training to rowing and spinning, as well as various fun group workouts and high energy, suitable for all levels of physical fitness. .
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said: “With the conclusion of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, I would like to reflect on the amazing achievements of the 2,212,246 participants who committed themselves to their health and well-being by participating in the inspiring fitness movement.
Participants have led by example in committing to improve their health and well-being and helped transform the fitness mindset of the entire community. I want to thank each and every person, government agency, business, and organization that contributed to or participated in this initiative. Together, we are well on our way to becoming the fittest city in the world. Although the challenge is over for another year, I encourage you all to stay active and continue your fitness journey by embracing all that our great city has to offer.”
Ahmed Al Khaja, Managing Director of Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment, said: “Since its inception six years ago, DFC has inspired numerous fitness and wellness travel success stories, from beginners to enthusiasts of fitness who have reached new milestones. DFC will continue to be a source of inspiration and encouragement for citizens, residents and visitors to Dubai, encouraging them to commit to a healthier and more active lifestyle. View a record 2.2 million participants this year is truly inspiring, including almost 35,000 cyclists for the Dubai Ride and more than 193,000 runners for the Dubai Run on Sheikh Zayed Road. When we look back over the last 30 days, it is truly amazing to see our city’s commitment to prioritizing the health and well-being. I would like to thank everyone who made it possible for the sixth edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge. It is a very special initiative and one that I am very proud to be a part of.”
Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council, said: “With 2.2 million people taking part in this year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge, we have once again demonstrated our continued dedication to maintaining our physical and mental health as a community working together to achieve one goal: a healthier and fitter future for all.DFC was designed to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the incredible range 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 DFC don’t have to end when the challenge does. I encourage everyone to continue prioritizing their physical and mental well-being throughout the year. The sixth edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge has been another resounding success and I would like to thank everyone involved for this incredible achievement.”
To help everyone stay motivated throughout the 30 days of the challenge, DFC 2022 partnered with a number of leading global health and fitness apps to promote positive behavior change among participants through public and private challenges funny App partners this year include 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 growing by more than 180 percent, from 786,000 at the inaugural event in 2017 to 2, 2 million in the 2022 edition. Dubai Run participants increased 176 percent from 70,000 runners in the inaugural edition in 2019 to 193,000 in 2022. Cyclists participating in Dubai Ride increased 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 whole month of free and inclusive fitness classes, activities and events, easily accessible across the emirate. Health and fitness awareness Over the past five years, the Dubai Fitness Challenge has had a significant impact on public awareness of the role of physical activity in improving health and reducing diseases such as life
Dr Ramadan Al Blooshi, Acting Director of the Public Health Protection Department at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said: “At a community level, the Dubai Fitness Challenge has helped to significantly increase health awareness public awareness and to instill a better fitness mindset in the community. The event has encouraged people to adopt simple yet effective lifestyle habits. These public health driven awareness activities play a crucial role in changing community members’ approach from post-diagnosis care to lifestyle disease prevention.This not only improves the community’s lifestyle, but also directly helps mitigate the impact of lifestyle diseases in the health system”.
Year after year, the annual city-wide fitness initiative has achieved its goal of positively impacting social well-being through a wide spectrum 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%) and enhanced mental well-being (25%). The DFC survey showed that 52 percent of total participants logged between 30 and 60 minutes of activity per day, while 24 percent went further and did more than 60 minutes per day. Overall, 88 percent of all DFC 2021 participants reported achieving their 30×30 goals. Community Fitness Infrastructure Alongside the growth of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, the emirate has also expanded its community sports infrastructure and free fitness and lifestyle facilities across the city.
The Roads and Transport Authority announced earlier this month that it will increase its cycle track network from the 542km achieved in the first quarter of 2022 to 819km by the end of 2026 as part of the Dubai Urban Master Plan 2040. The public also has access to running and cycling tracks and exercise equipment in both parks and beaches. Dubai Municipality has developed running tracks in several parks that currently stretch for a total of 37.7 km, while bike tracks in the parks stretch for 15.7 km. Dubai Municipality has also developed a total of 12 km of public beach trails.
Cycling and running tracks have proven extremely popular with an estimated 1.86 million people using them by 2022. The growing fitness awareness of the Dubai community is also reflected in the increased trade in sporting goods of the emirate The value of Dubai’s foreign trade in sports equipment in 2021 reached AED 1.22 billion, while in the first ten months of 2022 (January to October), foreign trade in sports equipment reached AED 1.1 billion of AED.
Fitness partners Designed to get people moving and enjoying the outdoors and helping Dubai become one of the most active cities in the world, some of the many other highlights of the Dubai Fitness Challenge 2022 included more from 285 key global fitness and sports brand partners including adidas, Nike, Asics, Under Armour, Puma, Reebok and PepsiCo, hotels and shopping centers showing their support with bespoke events and exclusive promotions; free health and wellness provider reviews, and 82 city schools getting involved with 30 x 30 sessions built into the curriculum along with visits to Fitness Villages.
Entities helping DFC strengthen community spirit this year include organizers Dubai’s Department of Economic Tourism (DET) and the Dubai Sports Council; Introducing Partners DP World, Mai Dubai and Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai; Partner associations 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 Partner Arabian Radio Network (ARN); and Government Partners Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Event Safety 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 between October 28 and November 26, 2023.