DUBAI, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai International Marine Club, led a star-studded line-up for the start of the Dubai Sports Council's DXB 24-hr Walkathon on Thursday morning, as hundreds of enthusiastic hoi polloi mingled with top Dubai government officials and Emirati celebrities at the second edition of this unique community-focused event.

Sheikh Mansour was joined at the start at 7.30am by Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of the Dubai Sports Council, DSC; Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police; Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai, Major-General Obaid Muhair bin Surour, Deputy Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai and Chairman of the Standing Committee for Labour Affairs, as well as chairmen of government departments, celebrities, sports stars and others.

Speaking about the event, Nasser Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary-General of DSC, said, "We thank all the participants from the different government and private entities, and, of course, the individual participants, because together, they make this Dubai 24-hour Walkathon a truly unique event on your sporting calendar.

"The walkathon is a celebration of our diversity because today we have seen participants from many different countries, including visiting holidaymakers, from different age groups and different strata of society. We are really pleased to see this because that is our focus � to bring the different sections of the community for a day of healthy fun.

"With the guidance and support of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, Dubai has become a truly vibrant place, challenging and encouraging everyone to take up regular physical activity.'' "Dubai, today, is a model for other cities on how to encourage its diverse population to adopt sports, or any other physical activity, as part of their daily routine, especially after this overwhelming success of the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30x30, and this walkathon aims to keep that positive image going," he added.

Around 2,000 people took part in the second DXB 24-hr Walkathon, which will finish at 7.30am on Friday after four loops of a dedicated 25-km route past some of Dubai's most iconic landmarks, including the Dubai Canal.

Starting from behind Sunset Mall, the participants walked down the Beach Road to Burj Al Arab before making a U-turn. The route then took them down to the edge of Dubai Canal, into Al Safa Park and then to Marasi Business Bay, from where they turned back for the Sunset Mall.

Source: Emirates News Agency