Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Dubai Walks event attracts 10,000 participants

Almost 10,000 people participated in the Dubai Walks event today, part of a government programme to encourage a healthy lifestyle and combat obesity.

DUBAI // Almost 10,000 people participated in the Dubai Walks event today, part of a government programme to encourage a healthy lifestyle and combat obesity. Schools from across the city joined staff from Government departments and members of the public in the 3km walk along the Al Mumzar Corniche. It was the largest event so far in the Dubai Pulse campaign, co-ordinated by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA), that encourages everyone in the emirate to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Hadil Hany, 23, from Lebanon, was at the event to support her young relatives who were taking part with their classmates. She said the event was a positive way of motivating children to exercise. "It is a great event, everyone is excited to be involved and there is friendly atmosphere. It is a good way of combating obesity. Events like these are the first step in embedding exercise in the culture. I really hope that these children continue to walk as part of their daily routines." For the school children, who made up the vast majority of the participants, it was a fun day out with their classmates. But Zahir Merchant, 11, an Indian student at the Abdul International School, proudly wearing his 'Dubai Pulse' T-shirt, said that there was also a serious message that they should exercise regularly and it was beginning to sink in. "It has been really good fun to walk with so many people. But the most important thing is that it is good for our health." "The Dubai Pulse campaign was developed after sports associations and government departments met at a physical activity forum earlier this year to find a coordinated response to high levels of obesity and heart disease. The campaign is inspired by the Agita project in Sao Paulo that has achieved a 70 per cent increase in physical activity in the Brazilian city since it was launched in 1999 through public awareness campaigns and mass participation events. Last month around 600 people attended a Dubai Swims event, with running and cycling days being planned for next February and March. Dr Ahmed Al-Sharif, Secretary General of the DSC, said that he was delighted by the high turn-out and particularly the support shown by schools. "It has been an excellent event and we have even attracted schools from Umm Al Quwain, which demonstrates its popularity. Our aim is to show the importance of physical exercise in creating a healthy population. We hope children will engage in the culture of sport have increased awareness of the facilities available in the emirate." The Pulse campaign is coordinated by a cross-governmental committee featuring the DSC, DHA, RTA and the Dubai Municipality. An action plan of events has been planned for the next two years and their impact will be assessed through participation statistics and feedback questionnaires. Traditionally Dubai has lacked open spaces and paths to encourage walking, which in turn has contributed to an over-reliance on cars. However, in a related initiative Dubai Municipality have specified that 45 per cent of all neighbourhoods in the city should be green spaces and available for physical activity. The DSC are also planning to launch a walk to school initiative early next year in partnership with the RTA. tbrooks@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 A still from the 27-second black-and-white video that was taken using a satellite owned and operated by Skybox Imaging.

Burj Khalifa stars in HD video from space

A 27-second black and white video of a plane flying over Dubai's skyscrapers captures the imagination of some.

 Falconry is an activity where they demonstrate how falcons catch prey while flying at a speed of almost 360 kilometres per hour. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab

Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.

 JP Duminy played a cameo knock of 52 not out from 35 balls to tip the game in Delhi Daredevils' favour. Pawan Singh / The National

Kolkata Knight Riders lose way as Duminy sizzles for Delhi Daredevils

JP Duminy keeps his head as cameo at the death helps swing it in Delhi's favour in Dubai after captain Karthik plays the anchor role.

 A projectionist takes a break in the projection room at Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan. Going to the movies, once banned under the Taliban, has become a popular form of entertainment in Kabul, but women and children rarely take part. All photos by Photo by Jonathan Saruk / Reportage by Getty Images

Afghan cinema: Forbidden Reel

The lights go down and the projector whirls into action as Sher Mohammed, 35, begins his routine, bouncing back and forth between two projectors, winding reels, and adjusting the carbon arc lamps inside the projectors.

 The mother removes the noose with the help of her husband from around the neck of Balal.

In pictures: Mother forgives her son’s killer as he awaited his execution

An Iranian mother spared the life of her son’s convicted murderer with an emotional slap in the face as he awaited execution with the noose around his neck.

Tyrese reunited with Fazza

Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National