The Dubai Fitness Challenge has been under way since last Friday, with plenty of residents and visitors showing up for classes. The month-long event, which runs until Saturday, November 16, aims to get people of all ages and abilities moving for 30 minutes every day. Accordingly, the team have set up two fitness villages – at Kite Beach and Dubai Festival City – plus 10 fitness hubs and 30 pop-up gyms all over the city. Activities include everything from cycling, cardio and other outdoor sports to yoga, HIIT, kayaking, boot camps and virtual workouts.
Here are some cool classes and programmes to try:
Dance those calories off
The Pointe on The Palm Jumeirah is one of the 10 official fitness hubs for the Dubai Fitness Challenge this year, which means it'll host complimentary all-day classes for one and all. Two that sound like fun are Zumba by flamboyant instructor Masterjedai and Afrobeat dance with Moto Dancers. "Participants just need to let the beat move you," is how Masterjedai explains his class. "Zumba is all about staying upbeat. Join my LED Zumba party, wear your LED accessories and join a high-energy class with full-on blasting music."
The crew at Moto Dancers add: "Dance is an international language that has no limits. We are here to expand the African culture through both traditional and modern Afrobeat dance classes. Come dance with us."
Work out from home with Les Mills
For the duration of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, Les Mills Middle East is offering a free trial of Les Mills On Demand, giving you a chance to work out in the comfort of your own home. The programme – available via computers, tablets and iPhones – features 800 virtual sessions of group workouts from around the world. Sessions can last between 15 and 55 minutes, and include the company's patented stream of cardio, HIIT, core, flexibility and strength classes. Les Mills Middle East's trainers will also host free classes at Kite Beach until Saturday, November 16.
Gym and swim with friends through Privilee
If friends bring out your competitive side or you simply enjoy working out around familiar faces, lifestyle app Privilee is allowing its members to give six-day trials as a gift to an unlimited number of friends (who need to be UAE residents) free of charge. The offer is valid from today until the last day of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, on Saturday, November 16. Privilee offers access to a host of fitness arenas in five-star hotels across the city, plus stand-alone gyms such as Seven, Fit Republik, TribeFit, 9 Round, Oomo Fitness, Let's Go Gym and Fly High Fitness. It also gives you and your mates the option to head to the beach, pool or spa at several luxury resorts around Dubai after your 30-minute session. Membership costs from Dh529 a month; www.privilee.ae/signup
Caveman-style fitness at Tepfactor
Test your fitness, patience and skill within the caves set up at JBR by Tepfactor, an adventure company that's offering a free 30-minute game in partnership with Dubai Fitness Challenge until Saturday, November 16. The crystal-maze-like set-up involves 21 rooms, which require various ranges of motion, from climbing and crawling to squatting and balancing, plus brain-teasers and logical reasoning. A minimum of two people is required, and the free half-hour is from 6.30pm to 7.30pm during the week and from 10.30am to 11.30am on weekends. Cite the promo code "TEPDFC19" or present the Dubai Fitness app at reception; www.tep
Sign up for the Under Armour Challenge
Back for its third year, the challenge from Under Armour is more demanding than ever and is divided into fitness stages. Think obstacles, sprinting, weighted carries, rope climbs and "a selection of surprises to test even the most battle-hardened competitor", all in a day's work at the Kite Beach Fitness Village. The challenge is designed by the team at K08, the creators of suspension and resistance bands, and will test agility, speed, mobility, muscular endurance and cardio, plus mental strength. Register for the Friday, November 15 event before Tuesday, November 12, for Dh50, which includes an Under Armour kit bag, T-shirt and cap; underarmourme.com/en/ua-challenge
Sign the kids up for a Mini Mudder course
There are plenty of child-friendly activities at the two fitness villages this year, including a daily obstacle course designed by Jeep Tough Mudder until Saturday, November 9, at Kite Beach. The one-kilometre Mini Mudder route is open to children between 5 and 13 years, and includes obstacles such as Everest, Secret Agent Web and Monkey Bar, which will test their ability to scale, squeeze and swing respectively. The adult version, meanwhile, is a 1.5km course, taking in the slippery Everest quarter-pipe, and the 10-foot Berlin Wall, as well as the all-new Gauntlet (four consecutive challenges designed to test balance, grip and upper-body strength); www.toughmudder.ae
Up your steps at Wild Wadi Waterpark
While most Dubai Fitness Challenge sessions are free to show or sign up for, some come with post-event prizes. One such activation is the Wild Wadi step challenge, ongoing until Saturday, November 16. If you find yourself in the water park on any day before then (tickets cost Dh149), head to the information cabana by 3pm to register and pick a fitness tracking device of your choice. The challenge, which is between 3.30pm and 4pm tasks you with taking 3,030 steps (in keeping with the event’s 30 minutes for 30 days motto). The first power-walker to hit the number will receive a complimentary three-month pass to the water park, while every participant will get their next entry fee waived.
Surfing lessons at Wavehouse
Every weekend until Saturday, November 16, five budding and expert surfers can have the Aquaventure Waterpark in Atlantis, The Palm, all to themselves from 8.45am to 9.30am for complimentary Surfs Up sessions. Within lies Wavehouse, which opened earlier this year, and boasts the state-of-the-art Wave Rider, an apparatus that shoots about seven tonnes of water per second in a thin sheet across a moulded foam structure, to produce a realistic wave effect. Try your luck at bodyboarding, knee-boarding and surfing. Booking is essential to be one of the five to access the Wave Rider; 04 426 2626