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Women’s Run aims to race beyond Dubai

Women’s Run aims to race beyond Dubai
11 July 2024 08:44


The largest women's-only running event in the country, The Women's Run Dubai, is planning to expand to the wider region, including Abu Dhabi, from next year, the lead organiser of the event for the past four stagings has said in a conversation with Aletihad.

The Women's Run (WR) is approaching its 11th staging when it will be held on November 3 at Al Forsan Park in Dubai Expo City. With the support of Dubai Sports Council and the UAE Athletics Federation, organisers Plan B Events have been tasked with the project for five years which will be complete this November. Women runners of all levels have been invited to participate in either a three-kilometre fun run, the five-kilometre circuit, or the challenging 10-kilometre run.

Females from all around the world, from professionals to very casual first-timers, can take part. Many attend even if they cannot run. Last year, 5,000 ladies registered of which 3,000 managed to shake off personal inhibitions and hit the road.

WR highlights the importance of staying fit and welcomes families, athletic community groups, women entrepreneurs, resilient mothers, and humanitarian organisations, including Special Olympics UAE, Heroes Of Hope, and more. 
Meanwhile, advertising guru and philanthropist Harmeek Singh, who heads an eight-entity Plan B group, has also shared future plans and looked back at the event as well through an email interview.

Leading up to the main event, WR will activate community-led initiatives and highlight their regular Women of Substance cohort in an aim to build a female community where each woman inspires others by sharing their stories of triumphs and struggles. Eleven profiles will be featured.

Due to changes within the Athletics Federation and coinciding with the COVID pandemic, there was a three-year gap in the staging of WR as per Plan B's remit. With painstaking efforts, the brand has grown. "Recognising the limitations of being confined to Dubai, we now envision WR as an IP with no boundaries. This fresh start allows us to expand both horizontally and vertically," Singh told Aletihad.
"We have been fortunate to participate in several major sporting events. For example, we backed the Asian Football Championship in 2019 and managed the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup for three years (2017, 2018, 2021). Additionally, we had the opportunity to work on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and recently completed the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

"We have also been part of mountain biking, skateboarding championships, and various community sports initiatives. WR holds a special place in our portfolio. Initially, we supported community runs, including the Dubai Marathon, but the Women's Run has evolved, grown in size and impact."

"We focus on making the Women's Run a year-round initiative rather than a one-day event. It highlights inspirational stories, such as those of breast cancer survivors, and provides a stage for women who have made significant contributions to society. The event promotes equality and empowerment, using sports as a vehicle. Our goal is to continue expanding this platform, engaging more community members, and creating a sustainable model for women's empowerment through TWR."

Singh's Plan B has a big track record of mixing sports, charity, philanthrophy and social projects.  "We organised a cricket tournament for 3600 residents of a labour camp in Abu Dhabi, hosted a movie screening for them during New Year's Eve, ensuring they felt included and valued as part of the society.

"With Plan B now fully responsible for the Women's Run, we are rebranding it to remove the "Dubai" tag, indicating our plans to expand beyond the city. We are in discussions to bring the event to Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Qatar, and Ras Al Khaimah. The WR brand is poised to grow, and we will soon announce our next destinations, marking an exciting new chapter for this event.

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