Races, virtual workouts and sales: 7 ways to take part in Dubai Fitness Challenge 2020

This year, event organisers intend to keep the city moving through a mix of physical and virtual events

The fourth annual Dubai Fitness Challenge will kick-off on Friday, October 30, bringing with it 30 days of action-packed events that will continue until Saturday, November 28.

The initiative, launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai in 2016, encourages residents to participate in 30 minutes of activity every day for 30 days, with the hope of creating a habit that will remain long after the challenge ends.

For those looking to participate, there will be a host of events, sports and wellness programmes available to make fitness more accessible. This year, event organisers intend to keep the city moving through a mix of physical and virtual events. Here's how you can get involved in Dubai Fitness Challenge 2020.

Start by getting the right gear at the DFC mega sale

From Thursday, October 29 to Saturday, October 31, there will be a Dubai Fitness Challenge mega sale taking place at Dubai Mall, with up to 90 per cent off on gym wear, sports equipment and wellness products across brands. Meanwhile, throughout the month of November, UAE residents can expect offers, packages and promotions both online and in-store across fitness and wellness brands, retail outlets and hotels.

Take advantage of the free virtual resources

This year, DFC will have a special focus on at-home workout sessions, with free fitness content for all ages and abilities available throughout the Dubai Fitness Challenge website.

Participants can visit the site for workout videos, 30-day exercise programmes, discipline challenges, healthy recipes, health and wellness articles, vlogs, educational videos for children and more from experts in the fitness industry.

For the first time, participants in the challenge will be able to get free 30-day access to DFC's partner apps – Fitbit Premium, NEOU, Sweat, Daily Burn, Les Mills on Demand and FIIT. Using these apps, you can explore everything from HIIT-centric programmes to body weight workouts from the comfort of your home.

Register for the Dubai Run

Last year's Dubai Run had more than 70,000 runners take over Sheikh Zayed Road. This year, the flagship event comes with a twist – to prevent overcrowding, the entire city of Dubai will turn into a running track on Friday, November 27, with the event open to all ages, ability and fitness levels.

The event is free to enter and participants will be able to choose their own track in any community or neighbourhood, as well as their pace, distance, and whether they want to run solo or with buddies (groups have to be restricted to a maximum of five).

To help runners put their best foot forward, this year Dubai Fitness Challenge is launching 28-day training programmes curated by professional coaches and athletes such as Manal Rostom, Luke Mathews, Lee Ryan and Luke Gaffney. The training programmes will be available on the Dubai Run website and will provide support and step-by-step fitness guides for all levels.

Registrations are now open at www.dubairun.com

Join in on free workout sessions across the city

This year will see the return of Dubai Fitness Challenge's City is a Gym initiative in partnership with Etisalat. Participants can access a virtual map of Dubai, with 30 locations across the city featuring workouts that have been specially curated by fitness instructors.

Individuals scanning a QR code at the location will be able to access a workout unique to that place, and there will be no equipment required to get started.

Take in the sights with Dubai running tours

New this year is a programme of running tours organised in association with Arabian Adventures and Asics Runners. Those participating will get an on-foot view of some of Dubai's famous landmarks. Choose from three different routes with varying difficulty levels - a 5 kilometre fun run around Burj Lake in Downtown Dubai; an advanced 10km beach run along Kite Beach; and a self-guided 3km treasure hunt quest in the Dubai Creek area - all of which available for free on the Questo city explorer mobile game. The tours will be available throughout the 30 days of the challenge.

Explore the Fitness Villages

Like last year, certain areas in the city will be home to fitness villages, with a number of activities taking place within.

DP World Fitness Village Kite Beach will be an open-air setting offering family-friendly activities spread across sixteen zones. Visitors can access it during the 30 days from 2pm to 11pm, Sunday to Thursday and 7am to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The area will feature a beach football pitch, dedicated kids' play area, obstacles, a mirror room and more.

The Emirates NBD Fitness Village Al Khawaneej will focus on family-oriented activities in the park. Open to visitors from 4pm to 11pm Saturday to Wednesday, and 4pm to midnight on Thursdays and Fridays, the outdoor area will be transformed into five distinct zones, featuring a cycle hub, a community stage, a family box, a dedicated women’s pavilion and a kids’ play area.

The Mai Dubai Fitness Village Festival City Mall will be a new adventure spot, accessible from Friday, November 6. At its centre will be The Arch, a giant state-of-the-art multipurpose attraction that will host four activities - a climbing wall, zip line, bag jump and quick flight. There will also be four activity zones with football, basketball, pump track and a workout stage.

Aside from the Dubai Run, there will be a packed calendar of racing events and activities taking place throughout the month of November for those looking to test their limits. Currently, there are 11 Dubai Fitness Challenge events taking place, and more are likely to be added to the roster.

Here are the challenges you can sign up to:

  • Dubai Sports World (Friday, October 30 to Saturday, November 28)
  • Desert Palm X-country Race 1 (Friday, October 30)
  • Dubai Festival City Dragon Boat Race (Saturday, October 31)
  • Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic – Ladies Golf (Wednesday, November 4 to Friday, November 6)
  • Super Sports Run Race 2 (Friday, November 6)
  • Al Marmoom Dune Run(Friday, November 20)
  • Grit + Tonic Triathlon Hatta (Friday, November 13)
  • Sketchers Performance Run (Friday, November 13)
  • La Mer Open Water Swim (Saturday, November 14)
  • Under Armour Functional Fitness Challenge (Friday, November 20)
  • Spinneys Family Fun Run 5 (Saturday, November 28)