Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Dubai Fitness Challenge

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Dubai Fitness Challenge
Photo: Courtesy of Dubai Fitness Challenge

From October 18 to November 16, the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) is back and it promises to be bigger and better than previous editions. The 30-day challenge encourages 30 minutes of physical activity every day and is open to people of all ages, abilities, and fitness levels. In 2018 alone, there was a 34 percent increase in participant registration. DFC’s goal this year: to surpass one million participants.

Launched in 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (the Crown Prince of Dubai), the DFC is the world’s first and only citywide fitness movement. According to HH Sheikh Hamdan, “The Dubai Fitness Challenge is our mission to unify the city in one truly inclusive fitness movement with a common goal of achieving and maintaining active lifestyles.”

From cycling and football to kayaking and yoga, there are countless ways you can join in on the fun. Interested but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Below is a roundup of the different ways you can participate in the DFC this year.

Fitness Villages

Located at Dubai Festival City and Kite Beach, the DFC’s two fitness villages are open every day of the challenge (from October 18 to November 16).

The Festival City Mall Fitness Village is open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday to Saturday. Inside the village, there will be seven zones featuring yoga classes, beach activities, cycling, and more. The village will include a DEWA 30×30 skills zone, where you can win cash prizes; a Fitbit fitness zone, with daily circuit sessions; the festival promenade, which will turn into a large workout space; a Dubai Chamber cycling hub, where visitors can rent a bike and cycle towards Marsa Beach; and a Dubai Chamber beach sports zone, with beach activities such as volleyball and tennis.

The second of the two villages, The Kite Beach Fitness Village is set to offer a range of outdoor activities within an open-air setting. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. The village will feature ten zones, including beachside basketball, a Go Sport – Adidas boxing and martial arts centre, an open beach gym, a yoga and meditation zone, a Fitbit beach spinning hub, a Tough Mudder obstacle course, an aqua park, and more.

Photo: Courtesy Dubai Fitness Challenge

Fitness Hubs

In addition to the DFC’s fitness villages, there will be ten fitness hubs spread across Dubai. These hubs will help ensure that every participant has access to a variety of activities to choose from.

Below is a roundup of the fitness hubs, as well as the dates they will be open.

  • Hamdan Sports Complex: October 18 to November 1
  • The Quranic Park: October 18 to November 16
  • Dubai Police Officers’ Club: October 18 to October 26
  • The Pointe (Palm Jumeirah): October 23 to October 30
  • Sustainable City: November 1 to November 9
  • Bluewaters: November 8 to November 16
  • The Block (D3): November 10 to November 16
  • Zabeel Ladies’ Club: October 18 to October 26
  • DMCC (JLT Park): November 1 to November 7
  • Downtown Dubai: October 17 to November 16

Each hub will be responsible for putting together a number of activities throughout the month. For instance, you could try Pilates or yoga at the Hamdan Sports Complex, spinning and boxing at the Downtown Dubai hub, or HIIT boxing sessions and water sports at The Pointe.

"The City Is a Gym"

During the course of the challenge, 30 locations across Dubai will be transformed into workout zones. DFC’s virtual map will allow participants to exercise for free — without any equipment! After arriving at a designated location (such as a common walkway, park, or running track), all you’ll need to do is scan a QR code located on a pole and a workout will appear on your phone.

For the full list of locations, complete with Google Map pins, download the Dubai Fitness Challenge app.

"Find Your 30" Hub and DFC App

The DFC website will soon host a virtual content hub (called “Find Your 30”) that features a variety of free resources, including workout videos, podcasts, recipes, and more. Curated by leading fitness and health experts, the hub’s goal is to help people live a healthy and active lifestyle without any added financial obligation.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Fitness Challenge app allows you to sign up for the challenge and enjoy access to citywide classes, deals, and offers. You can even set up fitness groups, track your progress, and view a variety of health-related resources. Download the app today on Google Play or the App Store.

HIIT 30x30 with Joe Wicks

Known as ‘The Body Coach’, Joe Wicks is set to break the Guinness World Record for the largest high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class ever, taking place on October 26 at Skydive Dubai.

While anyone can participate in the class, you’ll need to have a basic level of fitness experience as participants have to complete the entire 30-minute workout to be included in the world record. The class is free to attend for anyone who is at least 18 years of age. Register today. 


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Flywheel Dubai’s 20 Classes in 30 Days Challenge

Enter this challenge for a chance to win a two-month membership at Flywheel Dubai. All you have to do is participate in 20 of the classes within 30 days. All participants who complete the challenge get 25 percent off branded merchandise.

If you’re interested in a pack of 20 classes, prices start at AED 1,100 (plus VAT). Flywheel will also be offering free 30-minute classes at Kite Beach during the Dubai Fitness Challenge. Learn more by visiting this website.


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Mai Dubai City Half Marathon

Taking place on October 25 at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon features four distances: 2.5k, 5k, 10k, and 21k. The race begins at the Gate Building in DIFC and continues along the Burj Khalifa, Emirates Towers, and newly constructed Museum of the Future. Register today.


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Les Mills On Demand and BODYCOMBAT

Experience the comfort of exercising at home with one free month of Les Mills On Demand. Each workout is 15 to 55 minutes and, with 800+ workouts to choose from, you’ll be sure to find an exercise routine that works for you. Take advantage of the free month of Les Mills On Demand during the DFC, with the option to continue your subscription for AED 55 per month. Les Mills will also be hosting a variety of complimentary classes at Kite Beach during the DFC. Learn more by visiting this website.

During the Dubai Fitness Challenge, you can also try out Les Mills’ BODYCOMBAT, a reworked exercise program that has been around since 1999. Known as the world’s top martial arts-inspired training program, BODYCOMBAT’s latest release blends martial arts and cardio for a full-body workout with low-impact moves. Test out the new format for yourself at Kite Beach on October 22 at 6 p.m.; October 25 at 6 p.m.; November 2 at 8 p.m.; November 9 at 6 p.m.; and November 15 at 6 p.m.

Bare's DFC Superhero Challenge

Throughout the Dubai Fitness Challenge, Bare is challenging participants to step up for a week by joining its Superhero Challenge for AED 320. The week-long exercise program includes four ‘Black’ classes, three 30-minute ab workouts, and a seven-day nutrition detox plan. Sign up today.

Photo: Courtesy of Bare DXB

Barry’s Bootcamp’s Higher Education Challenge

Are you old school or new school? Barry’s Bootcamp wants to know. Take 11 classes throughout the Dubai Fitness Challenge to achieve “New School Status” or 21 classes to achieve “Old School Status”. Participants of the former will be gifted an exclusive Corkcicle bottle, while Old Schoolers will receive a Letterman sweatshirt. To sign up, click here.

Photo: Courtesy of Barry's Bootcamp Dubai

Crank’s 30-Class Challenge

Complete 30 Crank classes between October 18 and November 16 to win a block of five sessions. Choose between a spinning, strength-training, or stretching class, and don’t foget to tag #CrankChallengesYou.


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Movement & Me’s ‘EveryGirlCan’ Initiative

In support of the World Health Organization’s Active Healthy Kids report card for the UAE, Movement & Me’s goal is to promote exercise throughout the country. Designed to encourage girls (ages eight to 15) to engage in physical activity, Movement & Me’s ‘EveryGirlCan’ initiative is set to offer multiple community and school activities throughout 2019, beginning with the Dubai Fitness Challenge. EveryGirlCan events taking place during the DFC are listed below.

  • EveryGirlCan Skate with international figure skater Zahra Lari at The Dubai Mall: October 19 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • EveryGirlCan Train with Nike master trainer Jade Palmer at Festival City: October 26 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • EveryGirlCan Swim with the UAE’s first female Olympic swimmer Nada Al Bedwawi at the Hamdan Sports Complex: November 15 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

HIITBOX Live by Sonja Moses

The brainchild of Sonja Moses, a spiritual sports coach, Muay Thai champion, and Barry’s Bootcamp ME’s Director of Performance, HIITBOX Live is a live group empowerment experience that incorporates music, theatrics, exercise, martial arts, and meditation. Bonus: There will be a live DJ providing the soundtrack to your workout.

This event will be held at 17:45 p.m. on October 25 at The Pointe and powered by Adidas Boxing. Reserve your free spot here, or through this app.

Photo: Courtesy of Hiit Box Live

Connect With Nature’s Wild Workout

Participate in the Dubai Fitness Challenge with Connect With Nature, a program that aims to reconnect youth with the UAE’s landscapes. The organization’s free DFC activities include guided runs around Al Qudra’s flamingo lakes and an exploration of Sustainable City and Zabeel Park’s diverse wildlife. Activities are listed below, and you can sign up today by downloading the app on Google Play or the App Store.

  • Al Qudra Lakes East (5.6k circuit): October 30 at 6 p.m.
  • Sustainable City (3.8k circuit): November 6 at 6 p.m.
  • Zabeel Park (2k circuit): November 13 at 6 p.m.

Bootcamp and Bites by Best Body Co.

Best Body Co. has launched a new community program in the spirit of the Dubai Fitness Challenge. ‘Bootcamp & Bites’, a bootcamp workout followed by healthy post-workout smoothies and snacks, will be held for just AED 30 every Saturday morning this month at the Native Club, Zabeel House in The Greens. For more information, click here.


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