Look: Around 900 Galadari Brothers staff kickstart Dubai Fitness Challenge at iconic cricket stadium

Camaraderie, fun, togetherness and healthy competition ruled the day as group employees and officials took part in the 30-day challenge

by

Angel Tesorero

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Galadari Fitness Challenge 2023 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Photos by Neeraj Murali
Galadari Fitness Challenge 2023 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Photos by Neeraj Murali

Published: Sun 29 Oct 2023, 5:56 PM

Last updated: Sun 29 Oct 2023, 7:35 PM

Over the weekend, approximately 900 employees from Galadari Brothers (GB) convened at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium to kick off the annual Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) with great enthusiasm.

This renowned cricket venue, known for hosting various international matches, was transformed into an outdoor activity area for the parent company of Khaleej Times, the UAE's leading English language newspaper, which has always been an active participant at DFC since its inception.


Camaraderie, fun, togetherness, sweat, laughter, and healthy competition ruled the day on Saturday as group employees and officials once again took the 30-day fitness challenge with enthusiasm and strong commitment. This is why Galadari Brothers is always among the top private companies on the DFC leaderboard.

Ibrahim Galadari, Group Chief Investment Officer, Ravi Tharoor, Chief Executive Officer - Media Division, Advertising among other employees participate in the opening of Galadari Fitness Challenge 2023 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Photo by Neeraj Murali
Ibrahim Galadari, Group Chief Investment Officer, Ravi Tharoor, Chief Executive Officer - Media Division, Advertising among other employees participate in the opening of Galadari Fitness Challenge 2023 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Photo by Neeraj Murali

Going beyond DFC

Ibrahim Galadari, Group Chief Investment Officer, said DFC is an excellent initiative to keep everyone healthy – both physically and mentally.


"We come here to have fun and get everyone engaged. There is also healthy competition among various companies and departments of the group, and we also compete to be better than other private companies," he added.

"Our ultimate goal, however, goes beyond the Dubai Fitness Challenge. Our goal is to lead a healthy lifestyle. We have various activities throughout the month, and we want everyone to continue being physically active and healthy throughout the rest of their lives," Galadari underscored.

It's the sense of belongingness that is the best part of the DFC, noted Shah Basharat, Head of Brand at Mazda. He said through various activities and competitions, employees and staff come together for inclusive activities that strengthen the bond of the company. "It creates a friendly environment that makes them fully understand the culture of the company," he added.

Ravi Tharoor, chief executive officer of Khaleej Times, meanwhile, gave a more philosophical thought to ponder about the event, noting that group events develop esprit de corps and the feeling by the employees to be proud and loyal to the company.

He said: "As the Arab proverb goes, "he who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything."

On a jovial note, he added: "We are very glad that we have kickstarted DFC with Yoga, Zumba and other activities. Absolutely enjoyed the yoga (session) today and look forward to more engagements and fun."

Warm-up yoga

The day kicked off with a relaxation and stretching session. Aditi Hate, a yoga instructor known for 'Yoga with Aditi', pumped up GB employees with warm-up yoga for a relaxed start and also to reduce muscular tension. This was followed by some stretching and laughter yoga to stimulate much-needed oxygen to the body muscles.

Shulamite Berte, popularly known for her Zumba with Shula classes, took the baton from Aditi Hate and let the GB staffers with an adrenaline-pumping Zumba routine.

Let the games begin

Soon, the stage was ready for the main event, which was Tug of War, participated in by representatives from each GB division.

With the rhythm of the drums and yelling of supporters and friends, six players from each team tried to defeat their opponents not just with brute force and strength but also with tactics in the Tug of War.

In the men's category, defending champions HED (Heavy Equipment Division) A made a blitzkrieg start as they subdued Corporate B in under 10 seconds during the elimination round.

HED B dominated their opponents, and in the end, they faced their colleagues at HED A in the finals. Both teams met in the championship, but in the spirit of camaraderie, they decided not to compete and declare themselves as co-winners.

"It was a complete team spirit and great support from our department that led to claim our fourth victory in a row in this competition," said Nabeel Abbas, one of the players from HED A.

In the women's category, the F&B team also claimed their fourth win on the trot in the Tug of War. The team, captained by Marian Habib, defeated the teams from Automobile, Corporate, Media and Heavy Equipment en route to claiming first place.

Habib said complete team effort in and outside work proved the key ingredient to their win.

Pumped-up environment

Meanwhile, Vardhaman Chhajed, a radio jockey at BIG FM 106.2 and a rapper who served as host that day, was impressed by the GB event. He said: "GB is one of the select companies focusing on their employee's health. It (the event) was an energetic and pumped-up environment. Such lovely people."

The kick-off event for DFC ended with hearty snacks for everyone.

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