Efforts to promote an active and healthy lifestyle among Qatar residents have got a further boost with the recent opening of larger malls in the country, which also offer various entertainment and leisure options to visitors.
Speaking to Gulf Times, a cyclist and long-time expatriate in Qatar said people who usually walk and do physical workouts outdoor in the winter can now continue their fitness activities in a safe and secured facility, also free of charge.
“People will enjoy walking at their own pace inside a temperature-controlled and larger area, coupled with wider and longer walkways and corridors,” he noted, referring to the newly-opened Doha Festival City (DHFC).
Enthusiasts try Doha Festival City's bike track.
While DHFC’s 3-km outdoor leisure trail is expected to attract bikers, skateboarders, runners, and walkers, he said the increasing temperature nowadays could opt people to walk inside the mall.
DHFC, which hosts more than 500 stores with over 100 dining outlets, offers visitors nearly 4km of corridors for walking. “Summer is coming and we expect many people to shift from outdoor to indoor activities,” said the expatriate, who is also a longboard enthusiast. “Cycling, mountain biking, running, and football, among others, will slowdown.”
He stressed that malls also provide residents only with a suitable environment for walking but also various amenities for their families and children.
This was echoed by another expatriate who has been doing her regular walks in the malls in Doha saying that summer is not a hindrance to continue her fitness workout.
Jhun Canlas, whose mother died of diabetes last year, told Gulf Times
that he realised the importance of exercise in preventing such disease.
“I prefer outdoor exercise, walking and running on the Doha Corniche and Aspire Park but come summer, I walk in the mall,” he said. “Good thing another mall (DHFC) opened recently, it is just a few kilometres away from our home.”
On some days, he said he will do his walking at the Mall of Qatar. He also lauded both malls for having large parking areas free of charge.
However, he pointed out that it is always advisable to exercise or walk in malls located near to one’s residence, to save more time.
Malls such as Hyatt Plaza, Al Khor, Villaggio, and Landmark partnered with Aspire Zone Foundation to encourage people to walk and exercise under its “Step into Health, Walk in the Mall” programme. For adults, the recommended target is 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week.