The UAE's commercial capital aims for global dominance in everything that is worth excelling in.
A spectacular fireworks display yesterday at the Dubai Festival City marked the conclusion of the third iteration of the annual 30-day Dubai Fitness Challenge, an initiative that transformed the emirate into an open-air gym for citizens, residents, and tourists over the 30-day period. And what a fantastic month it has been. The challenge, thrown by the very athletic and ever-energetic Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, saw more than 10,000 official classes and activities, over 40 mega fitness-focused events, several fitness hubs, and two dedicated Fitness Villages across the city.
Dubai, as we're well aware, is an extremely competitive city. The UAE's commercial capital aims for global dominance in everything that is worth excelling in. Hosting some of the world's tallest, longest, biggest architectural marvels among several other feats and Guinness World Records, the emirate has earned the moniker of the world's foremost superlative city. The emirate and its leaders don't believe in taking any half-measures. "We want to be Number One," the Dubai Ruler has been quoted as saying on several occasions. That competitiveness to make Dubai #1 starts at the very top and has evidently rubbed off on its residents, too. We've accepted Sheikh Hamdan's challenge with the seriousness that it deserves, and are on our way to make Dubai the most active city in the world.
Even as individuals and groups of people have been bitten by the exercise bug, what's most heartening is that corporates have now jumped on the fitness bandwagon and have been actively promoting the health agenda among their staff. For instance, after ranking #3 and #2 among its peers in the previous editions of the DFC, the diversified Galadari Group, the parent company of Khaleej Times, pulled out all stops this year to ensure that not only do all group employees get at least 30 minutes of free time during their workday to achieve the fitness goals, but also converted seven of its companies' locations across the emirate into functional gyms where different experts were invited to lead fitness sessions every weekday over the 30-day period.
Galadari Brothers, of course, is only one among the several thousands of corporate who visibly put people over profits and dedicated the month to employee fitness and wellness. Fitness is not just a physical attribute - it's a lifestyle philosophy that includes mental and emotional well-being. Mens sana in corpore sano, a Latin phrase that translates into 'a healthy mind in a healthy body,' reiterates the importance of physical exercise as a critical component of mental and emotional well-being. By investing time, energy, and effort in the well-being of employees and residents at large, the emirate is moving towards achieving cognitive wellness and happiness of its denizens, eventually making Dubai the happiest city in the world.
Yes, the 30-day Dubai Fitness Challenge is over this year, and yes indeed, it will be back next year with no doubt an even bigger bang. But let's not lose the momentum that this biggest-yet edition of the DFC has created. We're in the zone, so to speak, when it comes to losing the flab, and the target of fitness is on our workout crosshairs. We've made new buddies at the gym, walk companions in the community, workout associates at the office - and we're enjoying it. It'll be a shame if we now give all that up and wait another 11 months to restart the fitness drive. Let's continue to work out for at least 30 minutes every day and, in fact, turn the #Dubai30x30 into the #UAE30x365 challenge.