x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Tens of thousands ready to walk their way to health

Around 45,000 people are expected to take part in the walk of five of the 23 walking tracks that the city has built to encourage healthy lifestyles.

The first annual Yallah Walk begins this Saturday at 5pm at Safa Park in Jumeirah.
The first annual Yallah Walk begins this Saturday at 5pm at Safa Park in Jumeirah.

DUBAI // About 45,000 people are expected to take part in the municipality's largest health awareness campaign, with the first annual Yallah Walk beginning this Saturday and finishing on March 19.

The walk will encompass five of the 23 walking tracks that the city has built to encourage healthy lifestyles.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, the director general of Dubai Municipality, said a special prize will be awarded to the participant who covers the most distance. Other prizes will be awarded throughout the two weeks of the event.

Mr Lootah stressed that physical activity should be an ongoing process, and that walking can lead to a healthier society.

"These tracks will change the pattern of behaviour, thinking and the lives of many people in Dubai," said Mr Lootah. "It's not simply a competition, it is encouragement."

Medics on site will carry out examinations to provide proper care at the event.

Mr Lootah said the tracks are built in a special way to make walking comfortable and safe.

"The tracks are scientifically designed and of the highest quality with a type of rubber that absorbs shock, causing less pressure on the knees, for example," said Mr Lootah.

"Some people misuse and damage them, but we rectify this."

Seven parks will be officially launched in the days ahead, according to Ahmed Abdul Kareem, director of the Municipality's Public Parks and Horticulture Department. He added that each existing park attracts a daily average of almost 4,000 visitors.

"Yallah Walk will be more than once a year," said Mr Abdul Kareem. "The next event will be of a bigger scope as we hope to partner with Dubai Health Authority. They have data for patients to help us calculate the before and after, so individuals can see the benefits of walking."

The municipality is also considering dividing the Safa Park walking track to allow space for cyclists.

Yallah Walk will begin on Saturday at 5pm at Safa Park. It will continue on Sunday at Al Mamzar Park, Al Khawaneej Walking Track, Zabeel Park and Al Barsha Park. Registration will take place from tomorrow until Sunday at the parks, at Fitness First Clubs, or at www.walkingdubai.ae.

Once participants are registered, they will receive a number via e-mail that must be printed on the badge provided for entry.

 

melshoush@thenational.ae