The year 2020 has undoubtedly been one of the toughest years faced by today’s world, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Daily routines and habits have given way to the “new normal.”
It has also made us think more than ever about health and wellbeing, both physical and mental. Luckily, the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30×30 is back from October 30, to give a little boost to those whose health and fitness might have fallen by the wayside.
The month-long initiative, which runs until November 28, encourages Dubai residents to do 30 minutes of exercise per day for 30 days and there are plenty of classes, workshops and challenges – some of them free – happening all over Dubai.
Social distancing is bound to make things a little different this year but the organisers are committed to making this year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge as safe as possible.
There will be more than 2,000 fitness and wellbeing classes in over 150 locations across the city and for those who might feel nervous exercising alongside others, there are more than 200 virtual online classes.
Dubai Fitness Challenge is backed by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, who is an avid adventurer and fitness fan.
Challenges will include group runs, such as the Al Marmoon Dune Run, and swimming challenges including the La Mer Open Water Swim. A number of fitness hubs will also spring up across the city and there will be a big focus on mindfulness.
An official statement stresses: “DFC is committed to creating a safe environment for one and all to be physically active. The program of events and activities ensures Dubai’s residents and visitors can stay committed to their health and wellness whether in safe, socially distanced settings or from the comfort of their homes.”
NRG Fitness, a partner in the fitness challenge, said: “We’re really focusing on making people feel safe, so social distancing and limited numbers will be a priority for us during DFC.”
To get the best out of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, it’s best to register online. That way you can find out about participating gyms, cool classes and everything else. Here are five things not to miss:
Kite Beach Fitness Village
Kite Beach will be a vibrant hub of activity throughout Dubai Fitness Challenge 2020, offering HIIT workouts, an aqua park, trampoline workouts, volleyball and football. A special Teen Fit area for 13 to 18-year olds will include boot camps, dance classes and functional training. A kids’ camp is also available, with lots to keep the youngsters entertained. You’ll need to book ahead to join in the fun.
The Dubai Run 2020
The Dubai Run was one of the most popular events in the 2019 Dubai Fitness Challenge, with more than 70,000 people taking part. This year the city-wide run will take place on November 27. Sign up, then pick your route around your neighbourhood and set off on foot. There’s a 2km, 5km or 10 km distance to choose from and it’s open to all ages and abilities. You’ll need to register.
La Mer Open Water Swim
Keen swimmers will get their chance to shine on Saturday, November 14 with the La Mer Open Water Swim. Kicking off at 7.30am, the activity welcomes everyone of any ability and age. Choose from the 200m, 400m, 800m or 1600m (1 mile) circuits or take part in the relay. It costs between Dh125 and Dh175 to take part.
Dubai Festival City Mall Fitness Village
Dubai Festival City mall will have its very own Fitness Village throughout the duration of Dubai Fitness Challenge 2020. This is one for the adventurers, with a climbing wall, 200-metre zip line, a plunging back jump and the Quick Jump, which involves taking a big leap from a 12-metre platform. There’s an IMAGINE Fitness Workout with Fitness First plus lots of football, basketball and more.
Power Yoga with Mahi Depala
Media professional-turned-yoga guru Mahi Depala is hosting a number of classes during the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30×30. Depala is an expert in Vinyasa Yoga, which focuses on improving strength, endurance and flexibility. She will be hosting a class every day for men and women at 4pm at the Astral Space, then 5pm daily for ladies’ only at the Pink Pavilion.
- Register for the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30×30, running from October 30 to November 28.
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.