Dubai's biggest road closes as Sheikh Hamdan leads thousands in fun run

Crown Prince leads by example as Dubai Fitness Challenge takes over Sheikh Zayed Road

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Dubai Run has once again taken over Sheikh Zayed Road as 226,000 participants took part on Sunday morning, making it the biggest one yet.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, announced the final number on his Instagram, thanking all those who turned out for it. He finished by writing: "Stay active! Keep running Dubai. #Dubai30x30".

Closing out the Dubai Fitness Challenge, the run – now in its fifth year – is one of the biggest of its kind in the world as the 14-lane Sheikh Zayed Road closes to traffic for a few hours in the early morning with participants having the option of choosing the 5km or 10km route.

Sheikh Hamdan was at the front of the line as the race began. UAE astronauts Sultan Al Neyadi and Hazza Al Mansouri were also in attendance.

The 5km route began near the Museum of the Future, passing through Burj Khalifa and Dubai Opera and ending near Dubai Mall. Meanwhile, the 10km route also began near the Museum of the Future, going along Sheikh Zayed Road to the Dubai Water Canal, returning towards the World Trade Centre before ending on Al Mustaqbal Street near Dubai International Financial Centre.

This year participants were not only able to walk, jog or sprint on a car-free Sheikh Zayed Road, but also do so while grooving along to upbeat tunes curated by local DJs. Played from three stages along the race route, the playlists were put together by Untold Dubai.

Dubai Run and Dubai Ride are two of the flagship events of the Dubai Fitness Challenge which was launched in 2017 by Sheikh Hamdan. The month-long event aims to transform the emirate into one of the world's most active cities by encouraging everyone to commit to doing physical activity for 30 minutes a day for 30 days.

Updated: November 26, 2023, 8:30 AM