DUBAI: The Crown Prince of Dubai led on Friday 70,000 runners in his bid to make the metropolitan “the most active city in the world.”
Sheikh Hamdan Al-Maktoum spearheaded the Dubai Run 30X30 inaugural event, which offered a choice between a 5-kilometer fun run and 10km race.
The city’s main highway Sheikh Zayed Road was transformed into a race track for the Dubai Fitness Challenge initiative.
The initiative was introduced by the prince due to rising levels of obesity in the country that has become a public health concern for the government.
Figures from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) show that in 2017 about 17.3 percent of the UAE population between the ages of 20 and 79 have type two diabetes, placing the country 15th worldwide for age-adjusted comparative prevalence.
Starting from the Dubai World Trade Centre, both routes went through some of Dubai’s iconic landmark including Burj Khalifa, Dubai Opera, The Dubai Mall and Emirates Towers.
Organized by Dubai Tourism and Dubai Sports Council, the Dubai Run is expected to become an annual fixture on the Dubai Fitness Challenge calendar. Residents and visitors of all ages and abilities were able to participate in the inaugural Dubai Run free of charge.
“Today marks a milestone in our mission to make Dubai the most active city in the world – together as one society. I commend the enthusiasm and energy of our people and I am proud of how the people of Dubai, across ages, nationalities and abilities, have come together to create such an inspiring event. Congratulations to all those who accepted the challenge. I am confident that you will encourage even more to join over the coming days and make DFC 2019 our most successful edition yet,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
Dubai Run 30X30 on Sheikh Zayed Road was presented by DEWA, in association with ARN, Dubai Police, Dubai World Trade Centre, Etisalat and the RTA.