Dubai Fitness Challenge: Ronaldinho to back Sheikh Hamdan's call to get emirate active

Free fitness carnivals across emirate will feature special guests and fitness professionals, organisers say

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, is backing the 30-day Dubai Fitness Challenge,which starts on October 20. Dubai Government
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Football stars such as former Brazil ace Ronaldinho and celebrities are expected to get behind the Dubai Fitness Challenge and attend some of the fitness carnival events taking place across the emirate.

The challenge was launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, on Monday in a bid to get people to commit to 30 minutes of exercise a day for 30 days.

It will involve five free weekend fitness carnivals, kicking off with an event at Safa Park on October 20 and 21.

The challenge runs from October 20 to November 18 as part of a plan to make Dubai the most active city in the world.

Dubai Government and Dubai Sports Council will also promote a month of activity to encourage lifestyle change in the sedentary population.

Highlights of the events will include celebrity guests, health experts and fitness professionals, who will make motivational appearances at various locations, dedicated events and live entertainment venues around Dubai.

Free exercise classes and community activities are planned for each of Dubai’s neighbourhoods, and will be listed online.

Participants can monitor their progress through the month via a mobile phone app.

Sheikh Hamdan made a personal plea to encourage people in the emirate to sign up to the 30-day fitness challenge.

“Dubai aims to set an example for cities around the world in encouraging citizens to give high importance to physical activity and sports,” he said.

“We are very keen to spread a culture of fitness since we strongly believe that making physical activity and sports a part of their daily routines will help people significantly improve the quality of their lives.“The Dubai Fitness Challenge has been designed to motivate people to pursue an active and energetic lifestyle.”

Read more: Swim, walk or cycle: challenge to residents to get fit in 30 days

Issam Kazim, the CEO of Dubai Tourism, hopes visitors and those living in the emirate will get behind the programme.

“The Dubai Fitness Challenge is our primary focus but, for visitors to Dubai, we want to show there is so much more on offer here than what they may expect,” he said.

“We’ve seen a great number of visitors to Dubai in the first half of the year, and a good increase that we are happy with.

“New developments that are shortly opening will add a lot more colour to Dubai, whether it’s Dubai Safari, Dubai Frame or the continued development of theme parks and hotels with now more than 105,000 rooms.

“There is so much more to do here than people realise.”

On the fitness challenge, he added: “There is science and research that shows if someone does something consistently, it is enough to create a habit.”

Hundreds of free events are promised across Dubai for the duration of the scheme, with participation numbers monitored to see which have been a success to help shape future projects.

To register and pledge your commitment to 30 minutes of activity for 30 days, visit