All the best activities to try during Dubai Fitness Challenge – What's On Dubai

Let’s face it: You don’t always treat your body like a temple. That’s OK. Those buffet brunches aren’t going to eat themselves. But it’s always good to have a balance. That’s where the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) comes in.
Taking place from October 28 to November 26, this annual month-long fitness challenge, launched in 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, invites everyone in the city to complete 30 minutes of activity every day, for 30 days.
With an action-packed calendar of free classes, sporting events, and group workout sessions, the DFC aims to help get you moving every single day. Live events will also take place at specially designed ‘fitness villages’ across the city, including a primary complex at Kite Beach and a new Run and Ride Central by Museum of the Future, offering over 600 free sessions throughout the month. Away from the villages, there are some exciting citywide activities and races to get involved with, too.
Here’s a look at our favourites…
Dubai South run
Date: Sunday, November 5
Entry fee: Dhs50
What to bring: water bottle, towel, sunscreen
The new Dubai South Run kicks off from the Dubai South HQ Building with a flat and fast course that travels through the neighbourhood. Runners can choose between a 3km and single-lap 5km loop or double it for 10km. Finishers will receive medals, certificates, race timings, photographs and some tasty after-event snacks in the event village. Prizes and medals will also be awarded to the overall top three placings for both male and female categories, as well as placements across the age categories. The race starts at 4.30pm.
Date: Sunday, November 12
Entry fee: free
What to bring: bike, helmet, Dubai Ride bib, water bottle
The annual Dubai Ride 2023 has become one of the city’s most beloved challenges. This year, the ride welcomes all ages, with the unveiling of two cycling routes. New to the programme this year is a leisurely 4km family-friendly route through Downtown Dubai, coasting along Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard past Dubai Mall, Dubai Opera, and, of course, the Burj Khalifa. Alternatively, riders can take it up a gear by conquering the iconic 12km ride along Sheikh Zayed Road, which temporarily closes to cars exclusively for Dubai Ride participants. This year, riders can choose between five starting gates: Museum of the Future, Satwa, Coca-Cola Arena, Business Bay or Lower Financial Street.
Dubai Stand Up Paddle
Date: Saturday, November 18
Entry fee: free
What to bring: Stand Up Paddleboard (if you do not own one you can request for free board rental)
For the first time, Dubai Fitness Challenge hosts a mass stand up paddle session in the beautiful surroundings of the Hatta Dam. The sessions are designed for complete beginners through to seasoned paddlers with a series of 45-minute classes and exercises. Adults can enter a training session at 2pm, or sign up for the DFC SUP Challenge event at 5pm where paddlers navigate a short course through the Dam. There’s also a special sunset yoga practice at 5.15pm. Participants are eligible to enjoy a free return shuttle bus service from Dubai to Hatta. Under 21s must be accompanied by an adult.
Dubai Run
Date: Sunday November 26
Entry fee: free
What to bring: Dubai Run bib, Dubai Run t-shirt
After last year’s staggering runner numbers – a whopping 193,000 participants – Dubai Run is aiming to break the 200,000 mark this year. This immensely popular challenge takes runners through the heart of Dubai, with its world-famous landmarks as their backdrop. The route, which only opens once a year as Sheikh Zayed Road closes to traffic, includes the iconic Museum of the Future, Emirates Towers, and Burj Khalifa. It’s an epic opportunity to experience the city like never before. Choose between two routes: 5km or 10km, both starting near the Museum of the Future.
Mushrif Park rides
Date: Monday to Friday (7am to 8am and 4pm to 8.30pm); Weekends (7am to 10am and 4pm to 10pm
Entry fee: free
What to bring: bike, helmet (if you do not own either you can request for free bike and helmet rental)
Another exciting new initiative this year is the RTA Mushrif Park Cycling Centre’s Fitness Village, which welcomes cycling enthusiasts to take part in a range of biking activities throughout DFC. Choose between the guided mountain bike trail rides, either along a beginner-friendly 5km trail or a more challenging 15km route, or sign up for Mushrif Park’s road track rides, which feature a 12km cycle around the park. There’s also a daily pump track for younger cyclists aged five to 11 years.
Images: Visit Dubai and supplied 

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