Improving immunity was a key reason to participate in the Dubai Fitness Challenge this year
November 26th, 2020, Zafar Shah

Improving immunity was a key reason to participate in the Dubai Fitness Challenge this year

Among residents who did not participate, fear of catching the Covid infection was the top reason

The fourth edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) commenced on October 30 with the introduction of global safety practices and a mix of physical and virtual workouts.

YouGov’s latest survey reveals the pandemic has given people many more reasons to participate and a large proportion of UAE residents (45%) took up the challenge this year in order to improve their immunity.

In addition to this, nearly one in three (28%) participated to try the newly the introduced stay-home workout sessions, and just as many enrolled themselves to take a break from staying at home due to Covid (27%).


Even though many residents participated due to reasons related to Covid, the majority took part in the challenge to keep themselves motivated to stay fit (64%). Motivation for good health was the key reason for participation last year as well (with 54% saying this).

A third (32%) participate every year and joined this time to keep the tradition alive. Other reasons for participation included getting out of comfort zone (40%), to have fun (38%) and for the free health check-ups and classes (34%).

The pandemic has pushed many people to focus on fitness and transform their lifestyles. Despite the fear of the virus, two-thirds (67%) of those aware of the Dubai Fitness Challenge participated this year, compared to 75% last year. A third (33%) did not participate this time, up from 25% last year.

Among those who did not participate, fear of catching the infection was the main reason (as said by 34%). Another 17% did not take part out of concern for social distancing practiced at the venues.

As a tradition, the Dubai Fitness Challenge encourages people to complete 30 minutes of activity a day for 30 days. Of the residents who participated this year, seven in ten (72%) claimed to log at least 30 minutes of activity a day. One in twelve (8%) pushed themselves further and clocked in more than 60 minutes.

Furthermore, all enthusiasts had specific fitness goals that they wanted to achieve through this initiative. Improving overall fitness (61%) was the top ambition, followed by weight loss and increasing stamina (51% each).


The data shows residents seem happy with the results of the challenge and it had a positive impact on their health and wellness. For all the listed goals, a large majority think the fitness challenge helped them achieve their goals to a great extent.

Enthusiasm for fitness is likely to continue as nearly nine in ten (88%) participants intend to take part in the challenge next year as well.

Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus around 500 respondents in the UAE between 19th and 23th November 2020 using YouGov’s panel of over 6 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult online population in the country