Look: Hundreds sweat it out as Expo City transforms into giant gym in Dubai

The venue is hosting several activities like yoga, dance, gymnastics sessions and football as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sat 12 Nov 2022, 7:48 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Nov 2022, 9:43 PM

Hundreds of people turned up at the Expo City Dubai sports and fitness weekend on Saturday, November 12, as part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC). A number of children and adults turned up to participate in the Expo Run.

One of them was Dr. Ellie McCarthy, who arrived with her husband Chris and her children 14-year-old Aidan and 11-year-old Beth. While Ellie won first place in the 15km race, Beth came first in the 3km run. Aidan was placed second in the same. “My husband used to be an elite runner, so the family was into running,” she said.

“However, we were never expecting to win the race. I thought I might get a place in my age group but never expected to win.”

Dr. Ellie and her family at the run
Dr. Ellie and her family at the run

Dr. Ellie credited the DFC for inspiring her to keep fit. “I work at King’s College hospital and during the DFC, we have been encouraged to participate in as many activities as possible,” she said.

“With everything that is happening during the month, it is the perfect excuse for us, as a family, to get out and about and exercise. We live near Kite Beach, so every weekend we visit and participate in several activities.”

Apart from the run, there were several different activities at the Expo site. The Surreal Water feature hosted several open-air classes during the morning.

Lillian Zahra Mirsafavi was one of those teaching yoga at the location. “The weather was perfect and the sky was super blue,” she said. “The energy of the class was fantastic. Everyone was so enthusiastic, I really enjoyed myself.”

Lillian performs the bridge pose at the Surreal Water feature
Lillian performs the bridge pose at the Surreal Water feature

The Briton said that DFC was a great motivator. “I have taught a few classes and I have attended some at various fitness hubs around the city,” she said.

“It is so amazing to be able to head out after the long summer. Also, with so many activities happening around, it is a great motivator for people to try out new activities and find new passions that they can carry with them beyond the one month.”

Towards the evening, the entire Al Wasl Dome transformed into a giant gym. With bootcamps, Zumba lessons and breathing masterclasses, it had something for everyone.

Friends Elsa and Annita had driven down to Expo City from their house in Al Barsha. “It is not often that you get the chance to exercise in the Al Wasl Plaza,” said Elsa.

“So, we didn’t want to miss that chance. I have gone to fitness hub in DIFC as well.”

Friends Elsa and Annita came to Expo City Dubai from Al Barsha
Friends Elsa and Annita came to Expo City Dubai from Al Barsha

“I have also gone to the fitness village in Kite Beach,” said Annita. “We are loving how there are so many different activities to try out this month.”

The Expo City Dubai sports and fitness weekend will continue on Sunday, November 13 with several activities including an Expo Ride, Les Mills classes, dance workshops, gymnastic sessions and AC Milan Academy football training for children.


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