After a two-year hiatus, the Dubai Muscle Show, Dubai Active and Dubai Active Industry exhibitions return to the Dubai World Trade Centre, in what promises to be the Middle East’s biggest-ever festival of fitness.
The trio of events takes place October 28-30 at Dubai World Trade Centre, welcoming 250 exhibitors of world leading sports nutrition, fitness and bodybuilding brands from 25 countries. There are a host of special guest appearances slated, as well as live classes, Q&As and, of course, ample fitness freebies and giveaways.
Here are some of the potential highlights.
Spinneys Wellness Talks stage
Hosting a series of presentations and panel discussions on subjects such as nutrition, mental health and body confidence, the Spinneys Wellness Talks Stage will welcome experts from across the world — including professional athletes and inspiring Influencers.
Taking place on Friday and Saturday, the stage kicks off with a discussion focusing on nutrition hacks to simplify life and improve wellbeing, and ends on Saturday with a session on the benefits of yoga and meditation, which will encourage people to tune in their inner frequency and learn to listen to their bodies in more meaningful ways.
No Dubai Muscle Show would be complete without eight-time Mr Olympia champion Ronnie Coleman. The 57-year-old is one of bodybuilding’s most colourful characters and has been an ever-present since the Dubai event’s inception.
“I always love coming to Dubai, I’ve been to every Muscle Show they’ve had so far,” Ronnie tells Livehealthy. “It’s one of the most organized shows on the planet — everything always runs really smoothly. There are great guests, the crowds are big, the people are so nice and the food is some of the best I’ve ever had.”
The American will be exhibiting his eponymous Ronnie Coleman Signature Series supplements at the show. Ronnie looking forward to returning to the Middle East, a region in which bodybuilding is booming following the back-to-back Mr Olympia victories of Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay, who will also be attending this week’s show.
“It shows that you can find a champion just about anywhere in the world,” Coleman said. “There is talent everywhere and hopefully it will encourage more people in this region to get involved.
“Bodybuilding gets a bad rap in the US — it’s at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of sport. A lot of people think it is just lifting weights and taking steroids, But then you go somewhere like Dubai and there is more respect for the sport. It is growing.”
Team Nogueira Future Champions
The official combat sports partner of Dubai Muscle Show/Dubai Active will be hosting a series of MMA, Boxing and Muay Thai exhibition matches. It will be a chance to meet some of the trainers and fighters of Team Nogueira Fighting Club, which is based at Al Ghurair Warehouse in Al Quoz.
The state-of-the art facility focuses on empowering its members to achieve their fitness goals through martial arts and combat sports. Team Nogueira has seen its fighters compete in the UFC, Bellator, Jungle Fight and other major international events.
Rafael Haubert, managing director at Team Nogueria, said: “We will host a truly spectacular competition over the weekend which will see a variety of disciplines available for audiences and participants alike to enjoy in an unforgettable weekend.”
Dubai Muscle Classic
For anyone looking to get acquainted with bodybuilding for the first time, the Dubai Muscle Classic provides a good entry point. There is Dh75,000 of prize money up for grabs, as well as in-kind rewards, including a full-year contract with Squat Wolf gym wear and meal prep plans via Low Calories restaurant in Jumeirah.
Categories range from Men’s Physique to Wellness and Bodyfitness. Participants can also purchase stage and backstage photography packages to document their experience in Dubai. Competitors must get permission from their national federation and are required to have an IFBB Membership passport.
Pairs and individuals will do battle in a functional fitness competition open to “anyone who attends a gym”. Organizers are keen to point out that the event is not CrossFit, meaning a greater range of people can compete in the DWTC arena.
On Thursday, Turf Games Engine will focus on an individual aerobic-style workout as athletes work through various movements to test their endurance, while on Friday the Combine event with see male, female or mixed pairs participate in back-to-back workouts over 55 minutes.
The competitions will bring together some of the best amateur functional talent in the UAE, with categories of adults up to 39 years old and then a masters category for those 40+.
One of the biggest names in the fitness industry, Kelsey Wells has 2.8 million followers on Instagram — and another 2.5 million on Facebook — for good reason. The American trainer headlined Dubai Active in 2019 and is due to host a power session in the FitNGlam Active Arena, as well as participate in a Q&A, on her return to the Emirates.
“Dubai was the last live event I did pre-pandemic so this felt like it was the perfect opportunity to start in-person again — it has come full circle,” she tells Livehealthy. “I am so excited, I really felt connected — especially to the women there — and my experience was so positive.”
Wells’ modus operandi is to make women feel empowered to focus on the health benefits of weight training rather than working out to try to change the way they look.
“I was super impressed by how health-forward the culture seemed to be last time I was in Dubai,” she added. “People were not just active but being active for the right reasons.
“I’m very big on intent and your motives for your movement — it is no secret that there are a lot of toxic facets of the health industry and something as a health and fitness professional that I feel passionately about is redirecting the dialogue.
“Fitness should not be aesthetically driven. First and foremost it should be about caring for ourselves and our health. I feel like Dubai really embodies that and it’s one of the reasons I agreed to come back.”
Mark is a Dubai-based writer who has couch-surfed through Ukraine, broken bread with football fans in Basra, and appeared on a boxing reality TV show in the UAE – all in pursuit of a good story. Or at least an average anecdote.