Sheikh Hamdan's Dubai Fitness Challenge returns this month

Challenge begins on October 26 and ends on November 24

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Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, has renewed his emirate-wide call for every resident to take part in 30 minutes of exercise for 30 days.

In its second year, the Dubai Fitness Challenge — or Dubai 30x30 — is geared towards making the city the most active in the world and aimed at improving the health and fitness of its residents.

The challenge extends to residents of all ages and abilities, governments and businesses and begins on October 26, ending on November 24.

The campaign kicks off with a two-day "weekend carnival" at Dubai Festival City from 2pm on October 26, where more than 25 fitness classes, including yoga, spinning, dancing and basketball, will be held. The event promises to feature fitness celebrities and a dedicated area for children's activities.

“My vision for the Dubai Fitness Challenge was to create a truly inclusive movement across our city and the wider UAE, to sustainably enhance the health and long-term well-being of people of all ages, abilities and levels of fitness," Sheikh Hamdan said on Sunday.

"This year, we have a target of one million participants and I urge you all — residents and visitors — to invest in yourselves and your happiness so you can better contribute to the welfare of your families, your communities and the global society.”

Nearly 800,000 people registered to participate in last year's campaign but about a million were estimated to have actually taken part, far exceeding the target of 100,000.

A survey of registered participants found that 44 per cent were from schools, 33 per cent were from corporations and 23 per cent were from government entities. Forty-five per cent were women and 34 per cent of all participants were over the age of 40.

“Last year was a tremendous start for the festival but we aren’t satisfied with our successes. This year, the event will offer more ease and convenience of access to all communities so that everyone — regardless of age, ability and fitness capacity — can participate daily,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

Highlights of last year's challenge included appearances from celebrity fitness personalities Cassey Ho and Kayla Itsines, as well as events such as The XDubai Spartan Race and The Colour Run.

The country's leaders also got involved, throwing their support behind their initiative and sharing videos of themselves exercising and challenging others to do the same.

A video of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of State for Tolerance, shared by his daughter, and another from Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, showed that the challenge had extended beyond Dubai to the rest of the emirates. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed also posted a video of himself exercising alongside Dubai Police officers.

Thousands of free exercise classes, pop-up gym sessions, weekend fitness carnivals and other community-driven activities, will be held across the emirate, as they were last year, complete with support from professional trainers and fitness tips from international experts.

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