• Historic participation of 1,108,890 residents and visitors across Dubai marked DFC’s biggest edition yet
• Spectacular line-up including the historic Dubai Run 30x30 and the region’s largest-ever HIIT class with Joe Wicks drew thousands across all ages and abilities
• The city endorsed its commitment to an active and healthy lifestyle, with mass engagement at over 13,000 all-inclusive events and sessions across Dubai throughout the month
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 19 November 2019: Dubai emphatically demonstrated its people’s commitment to an active lifestyle, as Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) officially drew curtains on its most successful and engaging edition this weekend. In an unprecedented validation of social solidarity, the citywide fitness movement that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council in 2017 broke all records as 1,108,890 residents and visitors joined the Challenge.
The 30-day festival of health for all got people of all ages and abilities to be ‘In It, Together’ to complete 30 minutes of physical activity daily for 30 days, transforming Dubai into the world’s first and only ‘City Gym’ with over 13,000 fitness and wellness activities and events.
With inclusive participation and holistic wellness at the heart of its offering, DFC 2019 delivered a comprehensive calendar of fitness options across a multitude of disciplines, easily accessible to the masses every day. The success of these efforts was evidenced in the enthusiastic engagement of Dubai’s community as over 285,000 people attended the free all-month Fitness Villages at Dubai Festival City Mall and Kite Beach, and more than thirty thousand visited the 11 Fitness Hubs across residential and business districts. The sheer range of activities on offer from beach and water sports, martial arts, skill-based challenges, to strength and endurance training, balance and meditation, ensured that all participants had the opportunity to experiment with and experience the best in the world of fitness.
Looking back at the 30 action-packed days, some highlights of Dubai Fitness Challenge 2019 include:
• Dubai’s iconic Sheikh Zayed Road turning into a giant running track for the city, marking a historic moment as 70,000 participants took over the highway for the inaugural Dubai Run 30x30 led by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. Featuring a 5km and 10km run, the event made history while showcasing an unprecedented display of unity to achieve a collective goal.
• Instagram fitness star Joe Wicks led the city in the region’s largest ever High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session, joining thousands of participants who took on the intense 30-minute workout. Globally known as ‘The Body Coach’, Wicks astonished the crowd as he made a high-octane entrance by skydiving into the venue moments before he took the stage to lead the workout.
• Dubai turned into the world’s only ‘City Gym’, which featured a virtual training buddy covering 30 locations with bespoke workouts at each for people to try at their convenience. Designed by the founder of Inner Fight, Marcus Smith with his peer coaches, participants had the unique opportunity to follow a step-by-step custom exercise guide for their daily dose of 30 minutes of activity by simply using a QR code.
• Global first IMAGINE Fitness Workout that combined choreography with the IMAGINE show’s iconic water and visual effects which took place twice a day at Festival City Mall promenade.
• Holistic fitness and wellness took centre stage with the ‘Find Your 30’ virtual content hub on the DFC website, providing participants with an array of health and wellness resources that fuel the mind, body and spirit. Participants all across the city also benefited from health check-ups as well as fitness assessments across gyms and other key facilities.
• Global celebrities including WWE® Superstar Becky Lynch®, Clarence Seedorf, Christian Karembeu, John Terry and Richard Whitehead among others also joined in the Challenge inspiring and motivating fans to make a commitment to their health, and take the first steps towards a more active lifestyle. From taking part in the inaugural day of DFC to running on the busiest highway in Dubai and conducting youth engagement sessions, these global personalities rallied the masses and played an ambassadorial role throughout the Challenge.
• Partnerships and activations with global brands including Nike, Under Armour, MonViso, Tough Mudder and Fitbit. Shoppers also had the chance to buy the latest active wear and fitness gear as part of the ‘Spend and Win’ competition across selected stores, with a winner driving away with a brand new 2020 Nissan Patrol.
• 100% of Dubai schools pledged their participation marking the most significant milestone of DFC 2019 as it emphasised the grass-roots effectiveness of the event impacting youth of the city, defining a sustainable and positive mind-set shift for the future.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) thanked His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai’s Executive Council, for his vision and ongoing commitment to Dubai Fitness Challenge as a movement that resonates with all members of the society and encourages them to adopt a more active lifestyle.
Commenting on the successful edition of DFC 2019, he said: “To witness such incredible participation from the city for this year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge is an immensely inspiring moment for us all, as it showcased the solidarity of our society and the unwavering commitment of our people to an active lifestyle. The aim for DFC has always been to create an inclusive movement for all, and it’s our belief that providing convenience and access can and will motivate habitual changes to lifestyle. The enthusiasm, engagement and resounding response that DFC 2019 has received is not just a validation of this approach, but equally an extremely gratifying one as it demonstrates the far-reaching impact we can have on our future if we truly come together as one community.
To all those who have taken part in DFC this year – whether as an individual, or as part of a school, company or a government organisation – it is your support and wholehearted endorsement to this fitness movement that has it possible. I thank you all and we look forward to seeing our city continue beyond the Challenge, to build a true legacy for this initiative.”
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Deputy Chairman of Dubai Sports Council said: “The Dubai Fitness Challenge, launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai’s Executive Council and the Dubai Sports Council, has been a huge success and its message has resonated around the world.
“Every year, to achieve the noble objectives of Dubai Fitness Challenge, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan keeps coming up with unique initiatives and events. This year, he has launched the historic Dubai Run, the first such event on the bustling Sheikh Zayed Road, a truly fascinating new addition to Dubai’s many splendorous sporting milestones, bringing together thousands of people of different age, abilities and cultural backgrounds. On the organisation side, the inaugural Dubai Run is a model of excellence given the number of different government entities who have worked together with clockwork precision to make the run a truly memorable and momentous one for everyone.”
With every edition, Dubai gets closer to achieving its mission of becoming the most active city in the world testament to DFC’s extensive offering, and inspiring participants to keep up the pace beyond the 30-day period to sustain a healthier and more fulfilled lifestyle. To that end, DFC has created always-on fitness companions such as the ‘Find Your 30’ hub and the Dubai Fitness App to motivate participants.
‘Find Your 30’ is a one-stop fitness platform on the DFC website which features a library of free resources including workout videos, 30-day exercise programmes, discipline challenges, podcasts, healthy recipes, health and wellness articles and vlogs, workout graphics, educational videos for children, and more. The Dubai Fitness App acts as fitness journal that helps keep track of participant progress, measure success and connect with others.
Organised by Dubai Tourism and Dubai Sports Council, the success of the third edition of DFC has been made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors and partners including Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Emirates NBD, ENOC, Al-Futtaim, Etisalat, Fitbit, MERAAS, Arabian Radio Network, Daman, Dubai Chamber, Emirates Airline, MonViso, Noon.com, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Dubai Police, Events Security Committee (ESC), Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), UAE Ministry of Education and Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).