UAE: Residents gear up for 2021 Dubai Fitness Challenge

SM Ayaz Zakir/Dubai
Filed on September 9, 2021
Sujith Koshy has been participating in the challenge since its launch in 2017. — Photo by Shihab

The initiative by the Crown Prince of Dubai has motivated residents to invest in their health

The 2021 Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) is almost here, and residents are all set to transform Dubai into the most active city in the world.

Fitness enthusiasts say that the initiative by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has motivated them to invest in their health.

DFC, which will run from October 29 to November 27, features events across the emirate and encourages residents and visitors to commit to 30 minutes of activity for 30 days.

Sujith Koshy, a banker and fitness influencer who uses a wheelchair, said he has been participating in the challenge since its launch in 2017.

“This initiative has motivated residents to focus on their overall well-being and I’m sure it has made Dubai one among the fittest cities in the world,” he said.

Some residents believe that this year’s fitness challenge will draw in more participants than previous editions.

Jennifer Chalouhi, a Lebanese expat and personal trainer, said a regular fitness routine is essential for physical and mental health.

“The pandemic has taught us the importance of being fit and healthy and this year’s challenge is likely to have more participants. Being fit maintains your energy levels throughout the day and helps in dealing with depression and mood swings,” she said.

In the wake of the pandemic, residents who did not participate in the previous years' challenges are determined to prioritise their health this year. Such is the case for Mansour Hashim, an Egyptian expat who started his fitness journey prior to the challenge.

“I want to be prepared for the challenge. This initiative not only motivates us, but it also teaches us the importance of having a strong immune system,” he said.

Koshy said he believes anyone can dedicate 30 minutes to fitness, but stressed that the willpower should come from within.

“We get a boost to work out when we see others work out. This is what the initiative does. I have heard from many that they have continued with their daily routine of 30 minutes or more even after the challenge,” he said.

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