Mar 03

Challenge Dubai Triathlon Kicks Off with $300,000 in Prizes

dubaiThe Challenge Dubai Triathlon kicked off on Friday February 27. The event was a part of the first round of the Triple Crown Championships with $300,000 in prize money up for grabs.

The triathlon tour spanned 113km and included three competitions: running, swimming and cycling. More than 800 athletes were in Dubai to witness the event, and 110 participated. Among the participants was Gomez of Spain, a title favourite, as well as Michael Raelert of Germany and Ironman European Champion, and Helle Frederikson of Denmark and London Olympics 2012 champion. But it was Daniela Ryf, a Swiss athlete, and Terenzo Bozzone from New Zealand that took home the titles of champions.

The event kicked off at 6:30 AM with swimming. The cycling and running contests followed. The swimming contest was held in batches in an area near Jumeriah Beach Park. The cycling contest moved toward Meyden and passed through Al Safa Park and Nad Al Sheba before reaching Al Ain Road and returning to the starting point. The third contest, running, spanned 21.1km. Participants ran this distance twice before the award ceremony.

The triathletes faced challenging conditions, particularly during the swimming contest. Waters were choppy, which made visibility difficult. But despite these conditions, Ryf and Bozzone would go on to give some of their best performances yet.

Daniela Ryf, 27, performed the fastest bike (2:18) and run (1:17) split, and won by over four minutes. The Swiss athlete and Ironman 70.3 champion beat out Canadian athlete Heather Wurtele and fan favourite Helle Frederiksen of Denmark. Terenzo Bozzone beat out Australia’s Tim Reed and Germany’s Michael Raelert.

Ryf experienced problems with her gears during the contest, stating that she was stuck in fifth gear. Despite this issue, Ryf would transition into the running contest with a near-three minute lead over Jodie Swallow of Great Britain. Heather Wurtele of Canada beat out Jodie Swallow to take second place. Frederiksen followed closely behind, overtaking Swallow.

Javier Gomez and several other male athletes were out of the event within just six seconds of each other. After conditions took their toll, Gomez withdrew from the race, stating that he wasn’t feeling well. Terenzo Bozzone took first place and his $65,000 piece of the prize.

But the event was not without its flaws. There was a shake-up in the podium after five of the leading participants were found to have cut the course. Four-minute penalties were given to those athletes, including Michael Raelert who slipped from second to third place. According to event officials, the athletes did not purposefully try to gain an advantage by cutting the course, but rather, were led in the wrong direction while following a motorbike outrider.

The Challenge Dubai, which attracted athletes from 45 countries, was a tremendous success. Two more events will take place in Oman in August and Bahrain in December. Both Ryf and Bozzeman are focusing on August’s contest. If they succeed, it’s on to the final contest in Bahrain, which will award the highest prize purse in the history of the sport.

If you are interested in taking part in The Challenge Dubai in 2016 then we recommend that all participants begin training as soon as possible. For complete beginners we advise triathletes to  Read some exercise bike reviews, start swimming regularly at your local pool and get running as often as possible, either at a gym or outside.

Aug 19

Air Quality In Dubai: Getting Worse?

dubai pollutionWhile the overall air quality in Dubai is better than in many developed countries, air quality is deteriorating and may need government intervention as the country grows.


The activities the citizens now take for granted – new home construction, commercial construction and driving cars contribute to the rising amounts of air pollution.

 Monitoring Air Quality In Dubai


One measure of air quality is particulate matter – small particles of dust, sand or chemicals – and it’s currently measured at an elevated, unhealthy level. In addition, nitrogen oxide, the product of combustion of fossil fuel, and smog are increasing.


Some local authorities are already taking notice. In some areas, authorities have setup monitoring stations that are connected to their websites, allowing anyone to track the elevated levels of air pollution. Specifically, they are tracking at particulate matter pollution, known as PM10. These small particles are only 10 micrometers across – and if you have been out of school for a while, a micrometer is only a millionth of a metre.


They are also tracking levels of PM2.5, which is even smaller. This particulate is particularly troubling because it is small enough to pass directly into human lungs. In studies, elevated levels of PM2.5 has lead to lung cancer and premature death.


This is perhaps most troubling to those who workout outside – runners, in particular, who tend to breathe more deeply than the average person. Their risk of inhaling unhealthy levels of PM2.5 is much greater than the general population. Many runners have now taken to exercising indoors on equipment like running machines and elliptical machines. For the best treadmill experience, some have even taken the precaution of wearing a face mask while working out.


Construction workers, and other workers who spend the bulk of their working day outside are also at increased risk.

A recent study concluded that there is an immediate need to know more about how increasing levels of air pollution is tied to human activities such as construction and the widespread use automobiles. It also looked at particle and ozone forming substances blown into the atmosphere by mineral excavation, commercial transport, and hydrocarbon industries.


Both particulate matter and ozone are what is known as secondary pollutants. In other words, they form as a result of reactions with primary pollutants. Because of this, the study also concluded that the whole region must be evaluated, not just Dubai. Achieving regional cooperation on cleaner air might be a challenge, but the least Dubai can do is to make these countries aware of their contributions to the air pollution problem and make them aware of their responsibilities.


The study, which was published in the Total Environment Journal, was conducted in the University of North Carolina in the United States. Use advanced mapping software, they concluded that air pollution was directly responsible for “hundreds” of deaths in Dubai each year. The scientists who authored the study are consulting with the Dubai government on its environmental strategy.


In the end, it may be necessary to setup a framework within local governments, industries, and research bodies that are contributing to Dubai’s air pollution issue. A collaborative approach to sharing data, technology, and ideas is the first step to cleaning up the air in Dubai.

Aug 19

Obesity at Crisis Level in Dubai – New Report Shows

obesityA startling new report on obesity in Dubai showed more than 60% of the population is now clinically obese. The report projected a tenfold increase in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer as a result of the trend.

But the issue extends beyond chronic disease. The projected medical expenses could place a massive budgetary burden on both the government and the affected families.

60% of the population is now clinically obese

Dubai ranked higher than regional averages for men of any age and women younger than 20. Dubai is now on par with most other developed nations in terms of obesity, including the US. When compared to less-developed countries, such as Egypt – where over 75% of women are considered obese – the report found higher rates of obesity.

The report is based on surveys and medical records from 1980 through the current year. It concluded the burden of obesity was still higher in Dubai – and obesity is the top cause of lost disability-adjusted life years, which doctors use to determine the years of life lost as a result of poor health, physical disability, and early death.

Many in Dubai are taking action to combat the obesity trend. A separate survey reported a trending increase in physical activity levels, including cardiovascular activities like running and rowing.

There are several advantages to rowing over running. Rowing has less impact on your joints and can increase stamina, cardiovascular function, and tone and build your muscles. Rowing machines are a popular choice for older people because they place less stress on the back.

Rowing is an effective calorie burner, making a good choice for people interested in weight loss. A solid half hour workout on a rowing machine can burn 400 calories for an average weight individual. Frequent rowing can be the centerpiece of your weight loss regimen. The best rowing machine workouts are vigorous routines between 20-30 minutes in length.

While most people will use a rowing machine in a fitness center, another growing trend in Dubai is the home gym. Interested in purchasing a rowing machine? Do your research. Start with reading reviews from rowing machine owners to get an idea of which machines are dependable and most effective.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Rowing machine workouts are an endurance based exercise designed to burn carbohydrates and increase heart function. The Mayo clinic recommends keeping the tension at a low level so you can attain a high rate of rowing speed, increasing the aerobic effect.

Tones Muscles

Rowing is a holistic exercise in that is uses almost every muscle group in your body. The upper body is strengthened in the arms, shoulders, and back. The lower body is impacted in the buttocks, hips, and legs. The abdomen is also worked with each stroke, which helps to build your core.        

Stress Reducer

Rowing machines designed for home use will often fold and can be rolled underneath a bed or stored in a closet. Short on time? Try exercising at night in front of the TV to help you relax. A recently released report from the Mayo Clinic proved that cardiovascular activity releases endorphins, which work to both relieve stress and combat depression. 

Dubai to Add Another Amazing Location

bluewaters islandThere has never been a place like Dubai on the planet and it doesn’t seem like that is going to change any time soon. Among its other amazing destinations, like the Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah and the World Islands, Dubai is now set to be home to a new must-see location: Bluewaters Island.

A Manmade Island

It says something about Dubai that news of a manmade island is no longer shocking. The famous city already has 10 including The Universe, Burj al-Arab and The World Islands. By now, each has been photographed countless times and seen all over the world.

But now Dubai will be adding another one to the list. It is being built 1,600 feet off the coastline of Jumeirah Beach Residence, located close to Dubai Marina.

It was unveiled on February 13, 2013 by Vice-President and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who had granted his approval for the project. The same Dutch company that handled the dredging needed for Palm Jumeirah will also do so for Bluewaters Island. The company, Van Oord, was due to begin the build in April, but were delayed a month.

The Dubai Eye

However, if you thought Dubai would simply call it quits with just another manmade island, you clearly don’t know Dubai. The island will also host the Dubai Eye, which will become the world’s largest Ferris wheel. Inspired by the London Eye, this Ferris wheel will be much, much taller and have no rival. Set to stand 210 meters above the ground, its closest competitor is a Ferris wheel that was just finished in Las Vegas which stops just short at 170.

Interestingly, however, the firm in charge of building the Dubai Eye, Starneth Engineering, is also the same company that built the London Eye. Will this new version enjoy as much commercial success and popularity as its predecessor? Considering that the unprecedented view will take in Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah—from never before seen vantage points—all signs point to a definite yes.

Furthermore, at the base of the wheel is going to be a vast entertainment center. Plus, the wheel itself will showcase a large LED screen providing a platform for broadcasting and advertising to untold numbers.

Construction was due to be completed in 2015, though delays with Bluewater Island may have pushed that date back some.

More to Offer

That’s not all though. With so much manmade land to cover, Bluewaters Island is also going to play host to a souk, residential buildings, retailers, restaurants, bars, hotels and, of course, roadways that will connect the island to the rest of the city. It sounds like they’ll be needed too, as Bluewaters Island is expected to see some 3 million visitors every year.

So if you thought Dubai was done amazing the rest of the world, think again. The ambition alone that was necessary just to conceive of Bluewaters Island is unlike any other on the planet. Now we just have to wait and see if it pays off.