Fitness activities helped me settle in Dubai, expat says

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Accountant and fitness enthusiast talks about how Dubai Fitness Challenge played a major role in helping him settle down in the city


Saman Haziq

Published: Sun 7 Nov 2021, 6:15 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Nov 2021, 6:16 PM

Although an accountant by profession, Indian expatriate Favas Thaniyeppil has given his heart to fitness and adventure sports. The 32 year old, who is quite fresh to the UAE as he landed here towards the end of 2019, says he is amazed and excited to participate in his first ever Dubai Fitness Challenge this year.

“Fitness is my life, my passion and the only thing that brings me immense happiness. And I am so happy at this amazing initiative called fitness challenge here in the UAE, which is something I have never seen or heard of in my life. For me, this says a lot about the visionary leaders of the UAE who show they care about their people by introducing such a fantastic initiative that motivates everyone to take care of their health and have a good life,” he told Khaleej Times.

Favas worked as an activity instructor in India for seven years where he would take groups for fun fitness activities such as biking, hiking and camping. Looking for similar opportunities and to give wings to his passion, he landed in Dubai, known to him as the city of dreams, where he aims to get more exposure in such activities and work full time in the same field.

However, due to Covid he was unable to get the right job in this field and ended up being an accountant but that didn’t dampen his spirit and he decided to pursue his passion in whatever free time he could get.

“I knew no one in the city when I came here, but thanks to DFC and the number of fitness-related groups on social media and WhatsApp, I have made several friends in the city. It is through these fitness activities that I managed to settle down in this beautiful city because I have made such good friends who share the same passion of staying healthy, fit and enjoying at the same time. So I would credit DFC for playing a major role in helping me settle down in Dubai. I wouldn’t have been able to survive here without friends and without fitness activities,” he said.

An avid fitness enthusiast, Favas says he devotes two to three hours on fitness activities on a daily basis.

“My day starts with community football in my area from 7am until 9am, after which I get fresh and go for work. In the evenings I go for badminton sessions where I teach and manage groups of badminton enthusiasts. On weekends I go for hiking trips in the Ras Al Khaimah or Fujairah mountains with some hiking enthusiasts, whom I joined through one such social media group. Thanks to such fitness and fun sports activities that in such a short span, I have made such good friends from different nationalities, age groups and cultures.

Coming to the UAE and participating in DFC, Favas said, gave him unimaginable exposure and access to different sports and fitness activities for free.

“It has given me the experience of interacting and bonding with people of different nationalities and backgrounds and the journey has been absolutely amazing,” said a happy Favas.

Intense activity is what Favaas looks for and that keeps him going, the sports enthusiast told KT. “I cannot sit idle as it depresses me. I don’t get sleep if I don’t do any intense activity. I really want to get tired and I find happiness through fitness activities as these help me escape from negativity. Fitness activities have given me a life to look forward to in Dubai. I hope I get to convert my passion into profession soon.”

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