By Rafiq Vayani
DUBAI: The inaugural Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) kicked off with an action-packed weekend carnival in Safa Park on 20 October, with the city now looking forward to an additional four weekend carnivals at iconic locations across Dubai over the coming weeks until 18th November. Offering a huge variety of activities and experiences for all ages and fitness levels, the upcoming carnivals will continue to be entirely free and include celebrity appearances, come-and-try zones, expert advice on nutrition, fitness fun for children as well as input from leading fitness instructors.All in all, participants have the chance to try out more than 70 different sports and fitness classes,ranging from breakletics, boxercise and ballet, to Sharmila dance, yoga and Zumba. And in view of DFC’s goal of making Dubai the most active city in the world by encouraging residents and visitors to commit to 30 minutes of daily activity for 30 days, the weekend carnivals make it easier than everfor participants to join in, get motivated and achieve their individual targets, spurred on by family, friends and the wider community.
Following the success of the first Weekend Fitness Carnival in Safa Park, the additional four carnivals are scheduled for 27-28 October at Kite Beach, 3-4 November at Skydive Dubai,10-11 November in Burj Park and 17-18 November at Dubai Festival City (DFC’s official closing event).As with the first, each will feature dedicated zones where participants can try sports such as suspension training, volleyball and boxing with expert trainers, while kids will also be catered for with special ‘fun & fitness’ areas featuring climbing walls, football and cricket coaching, horse hoppers for toddlers, and much more.
The carnivals all have unique aspects that differentiate them from the rest, ensuring there’s every reason for DFC participants to attend the full series of weekend events throughout the month-long Challenge. The Kite Beach carnival will fittingly revolve around the beach and sea, with numerous activities played out on the sand itself, such as beach volleyball, beach cricket and capoeira. The following carnival, on the grounds of Skydive Dubai, willfocus on more adventurous sports such as parkour, climbing and BMX, will feature assault courses and ninja training, and include sports such as boccia, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby for people with determination. The gathering in Burj Park on the fourth weekend will see a concentrated presence of Dubai gyms and fitness studios, complete with mobile units and special gym sessions. Finally, the closing event at Dubai Festival City on the last weekend will unite participants in celebration, recognising both individual and collective achievements, complete with fireworks and special one-off events such as dragon boat racing.
Alongside the weekend carnivals, DFC is also staging a number of hero events that arenew to Dubai. For kids and the young at heart, the Superhero Walkathon, taking place from 2-4pmon Friday 3 November,will transform the city into a comic book scene as participants are invited to don their best superhero costume and make their way along a 3.2km route through Dubai Marina.The sight of Superman, Batman and hundreds of other superheroes battling it out for fitness superiority on the streets of Dubaipromises to be a sight to behold and an unmissable occasion. Meanwhile, mothers (and fathers)and their little ones can also get in on the action atthe Mums and Strollers Walkathon scheduled for 9.30-11.30am on Tuesday 7 November at Mamzar Park.
In addition to dedicated community activities in city neighbourhoods, pop-up gyms in 75 locations and over 1,500 free workout classes at more than 85 sports and fitness facilities across Dubai, DFC also features a host of existing and highly successful partner events.These include Dubai International Triathlon 2017, XDubai Spartan Race, Dubai Desert Warrior Challenge, The Color Run, Dubai City Swim, 2XU Triathlon, Dubai Women’s Run, Super Sports Mina Mile Swim Series, Pink Ladies Games, ADI Super Sprint Triathlon Series, Global Mala, Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge, Saucony Time Trial Run, Fitness Expo Dubai,and Dubai Schools Fitness Games.
Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), comments: “Dubai Fitness Challenge offers an unprecedented line-up of sports and fitness activities taking place throughout the city and appealing to all ages and levels of fitness. The weekend carnivals and hero events are some of the many highlights in the packed programme, and we encourage all citizens, residents and visitors to take part, get fit and make the most of the huge variety of activities on offer to ultimately make a positive change that lasts a lifetime. All you have to do is commit to 30 minutes of daily activity for 30 days,while encouraging friends, family and colleagues to join in, so we together make Dubai the most active city in the world.”
DFC has been created to motivate Dubai’s citizens, residents and visitors to boost their physical activity and commit to 30 minutes of daily activity for 30 days. Running from 20 October to 18 November 2017, the Challenge encompasses all forms of activity – from walking, team sports, paddle-boarding and yoga, to cycling, football, beach cricket, Zumba and everything in between.To take part,participants simply have to register and then track their performance on the Dubai Fitness Challenge app.