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Walk 2017, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre’s Annual Walkathon Returns to the Capital for its 11th Edition

05 Nov 2017
Abu Dhabi

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Walk 2017, the 11th edition of Imperial College London Diabetes Centre’s (ICLDC) annual walkathon will be returning to Yas Marina Abu Dhabi on Friday 17th November at 2:00pm. ICLDC, the region’s leading diabetes centre and part of Mubadala’s network of healthcare providers, is inviting the UAE to walk together and kick-start an active lifestyle in a fun and interactive way, with the support of The Department of Health in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and sister companies, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and Healthpoint.

Walk 2017 aims to raise awareness on diabetes and encourage the Abu Dhabi and wider UAE community to come together and #WalkOn towards a healthy lifestyle. The 5km leisurely walk is expected to attract more than 20,000 people, and will be packed with family-fun activations including a climbing wall, bouncy castles, a gladiator challenge, bubble football, face-painting, healthy F&B, zumba, sporting activities, celebrity participants, and entertainers from across Abu Dhabi’s communities.

Dr. Omniyat Al Hajri, Director of Public Health at the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi, said: “Creating awareness of chronic diseases and promoting the adoption of a healthy lifestyle amongst Abu Dhabi residents is one of the main objectives of the Department of Health. We consider diabetes and other similar chronic diseases need to be addressed through education, awareness and community engagement. Through collaborative partnerships such as ICLDC’s Walk 2017, we can unite our efforts to have a more profound impact on society.”

Walk 2017 is one of the initiatives of ICLDC’s initiative Diabetes.Knowledge.Action, which is now the longest running public health awareness campaign in the country, and which promotes healthy lifestyle activities and events around balanced diet, maintaining healthy body weight and engaging in daily exercise routines. 

Commenting on the initiative, Lawrence Patrick, Chief Executive Officer at Imperial College London Diabetes Centre said: “The Walk was created by ICLDC to bring about a positive change in the Abu Dhabi community and encourage a proactive approach to preventing and tackling diabetes. Now in its 11th year, we take great pride in the extensive reach and impact this initiative has created in society and it is a testament to our commitment to being a community resource that approaches diabetes in a holistic way to create the best possible outcomes for society. Diabetes is a chronic condition that is becoming more and more prevalent. Walking may be one of the most basic forms of exercise but it is also a very effective form of activity for helping to reduce blood glucose levels.  We encourage everyone to join us at Walk 2017 to take a positive step towards curbing the effects of diabetes on our society, and adopting a healthy, and active lifestyle.”

Figures from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) revealed that, in 2015, 19.3%, almost one in five people, of the UAE population between the ages of 20 and 79 have type 2 diabetes. In 2015, there were over 1 million people living with diabetes in the UAE. Trends in 2015 also indicate that the prevalence of diabetes in the UAE is rising at a faster rate than both the MENA region and the rest of the world. Rapid economic growth, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets characteristic to the UAE are all risk factors, leading to the number of people with diabetes expecting to double to 2.2 million by 2040. Therefore, it is essential that initiative such as Walk 2017 continue to play an important role in educating people on the condition and promoting healthy, active lifestyles to prevent and manage diabetes.

“Abu Dhabi Sports Council is committed to creating a healthy and inclusive society. Year upon year, the Walk has proven to be an educational and engaging activity that unites families and people from different ages. We are proud to be taking part in this initiative and encouraging residents to take a positive step towards adopting an active lifestyle to overcome diabetes and live healthier lives,” stated ADSC General Secretary, HE Aref Hamad Al Awani. 

Walk 2017, #WalkOn, will take place at Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi on Friday 17 November 2017. Gates open at 2pm and the Walk will begin at 5pm. Tickets are for AED10 (free entry for children under 16) and are on sale now via this ( For more information please visit: or:

•    Facebook: /DiabetesUAE 
•    Instagram: @Start_Walking
•    Twitter: @Start_Walking 
•    Hashtag: #WalkOn

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