Dubai, United Arab Emirates: With an incredible display of enthusiasm and determination, 146,000 people converged on Sheikh Zayed Road on Friday, November 26, to take part in Dubai Run 2021, the world’s largest run.
Presented by Mai Dubai, the event was held on the closing weekend of this year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC), the citywide initiative of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, which aims to make Dubai the world’s fittest city.
Inspired by the vision of its leadership, Dubai is the only city in the world to offer its citizens, residents and visitors an entire month of all inclusive, free fitness events, including the Dubai Run, while also keeping the nation and its people safe and healthy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city’s superhighway, Sheikh Zayed Road, was transformed into a giant running track for Dubai Run, as participants of all ages and abilities ran and walked at their own pace on 5km and 10km routes.
As the sun rose, the city turned into a sea of blue as runners took to the streets in official Dubai Run t-shirts, supplied by Sun & Sand Sports, and kicked off the Run at the start line by the Museum of the Future. Passing some of Dubai’s instantly recognisable landmarks including Emirates Towers and Burj Khalifa, runners crossed the finishing line at Al Mustaqbal Street near Dubai World Trade Centre.
The first route, stretching 5km, attracted families, fun runners and walkers, while the 10km route was completed not just by recreational runners but by some of the world’s leading middle-distance runners, including a team of elite Kenyan runners who have been taking part in several DFC events and activities.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said: “As the Dubai Fitness Challenge reaches its closing weekend, it is inspiring to see the commitment of so many of our citizens, residents and visitors to their health and wellbeing. Running alongside 146,000 people who completed the Dubai Run, I was moved by the strength of our community and seeing what we can achieve when we work together. By turning out in such numbers for Dubai Run, we have shown the world that this is one of the greatest cities to live in, work in and visit; a city with an unassailable spirit and ability to achieve. I’m immensely proud of each and every individual, government agency, business and organization that took part today, and in the Dubai Fitness Challenge. I would also like to thank the organisers, government agencies led by the Events Security Committee, partners and everyone who contributed to the success of Dubai Run – a truly remarkable event, and a day to remember.”
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment, said: “Dubai Run has become an annual display of our city’s collective efforts to embrace a healthier lifestyle and it was incredible to see 146,000 people take part today. Watching our community come together for events like this is a sign of how far we’ve come as a city, as we continue to prioritise our health and wellbeing and show the world how much Dubai can achieve. On the penultimate day of Dubai Fitness Challenge, there is no better way to mark the closing weekend than seeing the happiness and determination on every one of the smiling faces of those who took part today. I would like to thank everyone who helped make today happen – the organisers, government agencies led by the Events Security Committee, partners and everyone who joined Dubai Run – it is something I’ll never forget.”
Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, said: “Dubai Run is a simply phenomenal event. Today, 146,000 people from across our great city came together to show the world that in Dubai, we make living in a healthy and happy community our priority. People of all ages, abilities and nationalities took part today, running, walking and wheeling down Sheikh Zayed Road as it was transformed into a giant running track. It really is an event that has to be seen to be believed. All of us at Dubai Sports Council are honoured to be part of this iconic event, and I congratulate everyone who took part – you have done the city proud.”
With just one day left in the annual Dubai Fitness Challenge, participants will still have the chance to take advantage of DFC’s fun-filled event calendar, featuring an array of activities for fitness and wellness enthusiasts that celebrate inclusivity and diversity. Designed to encourage residents and visitors to live an active lifestyle outdoors during the cooler weather, everyone can still enjoy the three free Fitness Villages across Expo 2020 Dubai, Kite Beach and Mushrif Park, the Fitness Hubs dotted across communities within Dubai as well as free fitness classes. For more information, visit www.dubaifitnesschallenge.com .
Dubai Run is organised by Dubai Tourism and Dubai Sports Council; with presenting partner Mai Dubai; association partners Sun & Sand Sports, Etisalat, Fitbit and Emaar; Official partners Emirates Airline and Noon; government partners Events Security Committee, Dubai Police, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services and Roads & Transport Authority (RTA); and media and app partners Arabian Radio Network (ARN) and STEPPI. (WAM)