Successful event part of Dubai's bid to become the most active city in the world
Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC), which ran from October 20 to November 18, has been labelled a resounding success thanks to the 786,000 registered participants – with many more believed to have taken part who didn’t officially sign up.
The initiative, part of Dubai’s bid to become the most active city in the world, encouraged participants to do 30 minutes of daily activity for 30 days. Launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, it featured 1,500 free exercise classes at 85 locations, pop-up gym sessions at over 75 venues, and other community-driven activities.
DFC was endorsed by a host of high-profile sports personalities, including ex-Manchester United and England football star Rio Ferdinand and undefeated World Heavyweight Champion boxer Anthony Joshua.
A survey found that 44 percent of participants were from schools, and 45 percent were female, and 34 percent over the age of 40, reflecting the diverse reach of the event.
Meanwhile, the percentage of people doing routine day activity improved from 74 percent in the pre-DFC period up to 85% during DFC.
Mattar Al Tayer, Vice President of Dubai Sports Council, said: “The initiative has proven how people can dramatically change their lifestyles and habits in a short period of time, bringing regular exercise into their daily routines. Also of note has been the way in which it has helped to raise awareness of all the sports and fitness facilities in Dubai, ensuring its legacy lives on well beyond the 30 days of the challenge itself.”
The successful initiative is set against the continued attempts to reverse the trend of obesity in the region. Reports by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show 70 percent of men and 67 percent of women aged 15 years and older in the country are considered overweight.