The 9th edition of the event which is being hosted in the Middle East for the first time, begins tomorrow and will run until 26th October at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

 Hundreds of attendees including senior officials from Government entities will be present with the event consisting of workshops and fitness activities that aims to promote physical exercise.



The International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) Congress in its 9th edition hosted for the first time in Abu Dhabi, begins tomorrow (Monday 23rd October). Organized by Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) in collaboration with the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, and in strategic partnership with the International Society for Physical Activity and Health, World Health Organization, Ministry of Health and Prevention, Department of Community Development, Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Pure Health Mubadala Health and Fatima Bint Mubarak Sports Academy.


Senior high-level officials from UAE’s government entities including HE Abdulla bin Mohammed Al Hamid, Chairman of Department of Health Abu Dhabi is  expected to attend the event, which is being held for the first time in the Middle East, under the theme of ‘Making Every Move Count’. Michael Johnson, the legendary track and field star and multiple world and Olympic champion will also be present for the event. The congress will also have in attendance many athletes, leading policy-makers, health regulators, specialists, academics and doctors who will feature in a wide range of workshops and informative symposium sessions as well as a series of fitness classes that individuals can take part in. Among them will be lead speakers such us Dr Hala Sakr, Regional Adviser, Violence, injuries and disabilities; World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean & Dr Fiona Bull, Physical Activity Unit Head, World Health Organization.

HE Dr. Jamal Mohamed AlKaabi, Undersecretary of Department of Health (DoH), said: “Hosting this prestigious and global event reflects Abu Dhabi’s leading position as a hub for innovation in healthcare and destination of choice for international experts and organisations that seek to further develop healthcare systems worldwide. Under the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership, the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi along with the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre and other strategic partners remain committed to activating community-centric initiatives that contribute to enhancing the health and well-being of all members. Similar events contribute to our vision in achieving a Healthier Abu Dhabi through encouraging our population to adopt healthier lifestyles and maintain their health both physically and mentally.” 

His Excellency Matar Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, said: “The International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) Congress is a significant global event that will bring together a wide range of prominent figures from the fields of health and fitness to discuss and exchange ideas that will help address key challenges that we are facing today while raising awareness on the importance of regular physical activity for people.

“The programme has been carefully planned to combine key workshops, panel discussions and keynote speeches along with a variety of enjoyable activities that attendees can engage in during the duration of the Congress and fully aligns with the Government’s drive in promoting a healthy lifestyle for all. We hope the insights and ideas shared this week will help create a better tomorrow – not just in Abu Dhabi but around the world also.”

Prof. Jasper Schipperijn, President of the of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health said: “Since the first ISPAH Congress began, each edition has been of paramount importance and the 9th edition that will be held in Abu Dhabi this week will be no different as physical activity continues to be a crucial topic.

“As we continue to envision a world that aims to engage people in regular physical activity, the ISPAH Congress will serve as an important platform for experts to share their expertise and insight and explore ways of how we can take these ideas and practices to the next level while informing the public on the positive impact daily exercise can do to your body and mind.

“The ISPAH Congress in Abu Dhabi will be a fascinating event and I cannot wait to hear the ideas and methods that will help shape a better future.”


The ISPAH Congress, which will end on 26th October, is the largest physical activity and health congress in the world and ISPAH is widely recognised as the leading global society of researchers, experts and practitioners focused on promoting physical activity across the life course. Among the congress physical activity highlights will be “Ring the Bill Challenge’, “ISPAH 3K Run”, “The Spirit of Football” and varied sports activities organized around ADNEC.

It is worth mentioning that the ‘One Billion Steps Challenge’ will also be among the activities as it aims to bring together thousands of people across the wider local communities to help achieve the target, encouraging people to be more active. Users who participate will be in with a chance of winning flight tickets to any destination in Europe or Asia with Etihad Airways by entering a draw.

Users can take part in the Challenge by downloading the STEPPI app from Apple and Android platforms.

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