Dubai fitness challenge 2019 rallies citywide partner support

As part of its commitment to inclusivity, DFC has joined forces with key partners in the public and private sectors to transform the city into a gym with two themed Fitness Villages, 11 Fitness Hubs, 40+ events and more than 5,000 fitness classes.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) – the flagship fitness initiative championed by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council – launched its largest and most exciting edition yet on 18 October 2019. The Challenge is designed to encourage citywide and GCC participation with 30 minutes of daily physical activity until 16 November 2019. As part of its commitment to inclusivity, DFC has joined forces with key partners in the public and private sectors to transform the city into a gym with two themed Fitness Villages, 11 Fitness Hubs, 40+ events and more than 5,000 fitness classes.

The entities helping bring the Challenge to life this year are organisers Dubai Tourism and Dubai Sports Council (DSC), presenting partners Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Emirates NBD and ENOC, association partners Dubai Festival City Mall, Etisalat, Fitbit and Meraas, official partners ARN, Daman, Dubai Chamber, Emirates and Noon, and government partners Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Dubai Knowledge, Event Security Committee, Ministry of Education Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Dubai Police and Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). 

Powered to deliver fitness to everyone across all ages, locations and fitness abilities, DFC’s calendar of events offers everyone from residents, visitors, businesses and schools with a plethora of workout opportunities to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle. DFC has also partnered with renowned global brands including Nike, Fitbit, Under Armour, Tough Mudder and Monviso who have marked their support for various events and activations to strengthen the city’s vision to embrace a healthier lifestyle through DFC’s flagship Fitness Villages, located at Festival City Mall and Kite Beach, as well as the brand new additions such as the Fitness Hubs, ‘Find Your 30’ virtual content hub and the ‘City is a Gym’ activation.

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), commented: “We are excited to be driving forward DFC’s journey this year for its biggest and most inclusive edition yet. We have witnessed the growth of this initiative from an aspirational vision from His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to becoming the first and only city-wide fitness movement in the world that has engaged over one million participants – and we could not be prouder of this achievement.

“This year, we’re approaching health from a holistic angle and as such, have transformed our city into a gym to curate a well-rounded programme for the body, mind and spirit. With the support of our partners and sponsors who share our vision to create a more active and healthier Dubai, we are committed to amplify our reach to provide every single individual with the opportunity to get fit, take on new challenges and take conscious steps towards leading a healthier and happier lifestyle. We are confident that this edition will produce instrumental results and help us get closer to our goal of becoming the most active city in the world.”

Dubai Sports Council (DSC) is a Government organiser of DFC for the third year in a row and has helped devise the packed calendar of events and activities across the city. Underscoring its commitment to driving the growth and development of sports in Dubai forward, DSC continues to foster a comprehensive sports ecosystem that nurtures the growing talent of youth members across the city.  His Excellency Saeed Hareb, General Secretary of Dubai Sports Council, said: “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai Government and Dubai Sports Council, the Dubai Fitness Challenge has become a cornerstone of our city’s ever-growing dedication to physical and mental well-being.

“Dubai today is a model for cities around the world for its emphasis on health and wellbeing, with more than 400 sports events taking place across the year, and the DFC has certainly helped cement its reputation and its status as a city of sports and sports challenges. This pioneering initiative has made an impact at not just the local or regional level, but has also received enthusiastic support from around the globe. The first two editions of DFC have seen members from every section of our community, of every ability - young and old, men and women and people of determination - embrace the challenge and, consequently, a physically active lifestyle. We at Dubai Sports Council are proud to partner with DFC once again and, together, we hope to achieve the lofty goals of Dubai as a city of sport, happiness and physical activity.”

Supporting DFC for the third consecutive year, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is making a pledge once again to inspire everyone to take on a healthier and more active lifestyle. His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, said: “Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is pleased to continue its support of the Dubai Fitness Challenge as the main exclusive partner for the third year. Since its launch three years ago, Dubai Fitness Challenge has succeeded in changing the lifestyle of many of those in Dubai, by encouraging them to follow a healthy lifestyle by regularly exercising, and making sport an essential part of the culture of Emirati society. This also supports the Dubai Plan 2021 to make Dubai a home for educated, cultured and healthy individuals. With the support of our wise leadership and the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, Dubai Fitness Challenge has contributed to motivating community members to improve their quality of life by taking care of their health and keeping fit and active throughout the year. This promotes a positive environment and enhances the health and happiness of the community in Dubai, as sports has a huge impact on self-discipline and positive thinking. It also fosters a spirit of tolerance, coherence and inclusiveness among different segments of society.

He continued, “As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, DEWA is committed to being an integral part of the success story of this world-class initiative by providing participants with all that is necessary for the diverse events and sports festivals over the course of one month. We are confident that the challenge will continue to motivate residents to ensure sports become part of their daily schedule, to contribute to making Dubai one of the most active cities in the world.”

His Excellency, Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO at ENOC said: “Supporting initiatives such as the Dubai Fitness Challenge that promote the health and wellbeing of our local community is in line with our efforts to encourage programmes and initiatives that promote social wellness and supporting Dubai’s ambition to transform into the most active city in the world. Last year, the Dubai Fitness Challenge has celebrated a phenomenal success and by sponsoring the initiative this year, we hope to encourage individuals form all the walks of life to embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle.”

Serving as one of the prime venues for the Fitness Villages, Dubai Festival City Mall is an official sponsor for DFC 2019. Steven Cleaver, Director, Shopping Centres Dubai, Al-Futtaim Malls, commented: “This year, together with DTCM, we have transformed Dubai Festival City Mall into a major fitness hub to encourage our shoppers to take part in the Dubai Fitness Challenge. We have a strong line-up of fitness activities and games running throughout the 30 days throughout the mall – indoors and outdoors, with prize incentives daily to encourage more activity! In addition to the in-mall activities, we are most excited about the all-new ‘IMAGINE Fitness Workout’ to encourage shoppers to get more active. The show is choreographed by instructors from Fitness First and set to run twice daily at Festival Bay.”

Commenting on Fitbit’s participation at the third edition of DFC, Vincent Lamoureux, Director New Markets at Fitbit, said: “We’re excited to partner with the Dubai Fitness Challenge as the event’s health and wellness partner for the next three years to create fun and engaging ways for everyone to get more active, including a city-wide step initiative and dance experience that will help residents reach the goal of 30 minutes of exercise over 30 days. Fitbit helps consumers of all levels improve their health and fitness with innovative devices, engaging software and a global social community, empowering users make small changes in their behaviour that can help them reach their goals in the long-term.”

Dubai Chamber’s President and CEO, His Excellency Hamad Buamim noted that interest and participation in the Dubai Fitness Challenge continues to grow year after year, and the city-wide event has put Dubai on the map as a global destination for sports events and activities. He said: “Dubai Chamber is proud to support the third edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge as the inclusive initiative has proven to be not only popular but effective in encouraging people to adopt a healthy lifestyle. There has been a tremendous response to the initiative within the business community and we hope to see more companies join this movement by making fitness a priority within their organisations.”

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is another Government endorsee who has also joined forces with DFC to empower people across the city to incorporate health and wellness activities as part of a holistic approach to fitness. Dr. Manal Taryam, CEO of the Primary Healthcare Sector at the DHA said: “Dubai Fitness Challenge, launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council, has become a model for establishing a modern, vibrant, healthy and happy life. The initiative is in line with the World Health Organization, which calls for communities to implement programmes and events related to physical activity and health fitness to preserve the health of community, reduce health problems, especially overweight and obesity, to name a few.”

She added: “Dubai Fitness Challenge supports the goals of the DHA of achieving a healthier and happier society, which is why the authority will be participating this year with its Lifestyle Clinic to motivate participants to lead a healthy lifestyle. Our employees will also be participating in a number of challenges, and we will promote the initiative to encourage more people to participate in its activities.”

Commenting on the UAE Ministry of Education’s participation in the Challenge, Her Excellency Dr. Amna Al Dahak, Assistant Undersecretary for Welfare and Activities Sector said: “Dubai Fitness Challenge is a highly anticipated event and a social fitness initiative that has been engaging members all across the city and fostering an environment fuelled by fitness activations and kindled with a positive spirit, for the purpose of transforming these daily habits into a healthier lifestyle. The Challenge’s success in garnering the participation of hundreds of thousands of people across the country can be attributed to DFC’s inclusivity, accessibility and ease of participation.”

Her Excellency added:” The Ministry of Education has been participating in DFC since its launch and has been creating teams composed of staff members and students and tracking their progress across the 30-day challenge in an effort to foster a culture of fitness and health and to support the overall quality of life in Dubai. The Ministry of Education strives to continue to underscore the importance of fitness to students through dedicated programmes that will be organised with the support of key governmental authorities. Through this model fitness initiative, the ministry aims to motivate students to make fitness a daily part of their routine and to highlight its positive impact on their academic level.”  

Commenting on Knowledge and Human Development Authority’s (KHDA) partnership with DFC, Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Director General, Knowledge and Human Development Authority said: “Every year, the Dubai Fitness Challenge gives us an opportunity to grow closer to our community of students, teachers, principals and parents while having fun. The Dubai Fitness Challenge is about being fit and active and living a healthier lifestyle. But it’s about more than that. It’s about getting more enjoyment out of life by choosing and doing activities that we like. It’s about feeling love for ourselves and the community we’re a part of. Fitness helps our hearts to be healthier; being part of the Fitness Challenge helps our hearts to be fuller. We appreciate the opportunity to work with our friends in Dubai government and the private sector and bring the love of fitness to the whole community.”

Commenting on its support as the water sponsor this edition, Alexandra Popa, Marketing Manager, MonViso, said: “We are very proud of our partnership with the biggest fitness movement this city has seen. Through our contribution to this grand initiative, we not only aim to energise and refresh participants with water for their daily workouts but also inspire them to make fitness and wellbeing a part of their long-term routine. A key part of our collaboration with DFC is our “Take Water. Give Life” initiative, where we donate 1AED to Al Jalila Foundation for every bottle sold.  We look forward to driving DFC’s vision ahead and making this edition a big success.”

DFC’s action-packed calendar is already in motion and participants are encouraged to seize all available fitness opportunities to get their daily 30 minutes in. The Dubai Fitness App is available for participants to register and access a wealth of fitness opportunities, create fitness groups with friends and family as well as track their performance. More information is also available on the official DFC website


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About Dubai Fitness Challenge

The Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) is an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council. DFC has been created to motivate the people of Dubai to boost their physical activity and commit to 30 minutes of daily activity for 30 days. Running from October 18 to November 16, 2019, the Challenge encompasses all forms of activity – from cycling and football, to kayaking, team sports, walking and yoga, as well as wellness and healthy lifestyle.  Everyone is encouraged to participate individually or together with friends, family and colleagues and enjoy new and exciting ways to improve their fitness and health levels. Participants can track their performance on the Dubai Fitness App and help make Dubai the most active, healthiest, and happiest city in the world.

© Press Release 2019

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