New app launches to help UAE youth connect with nature

There are free fitness classes and more to try

New app launches to help UAE youth connect with nature
New app launches to help UAE youth connect with nature Image #2

Fancy floating under the moonlight at the National Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi? How about riding through wadis and exploring ancient heritage sites in Sharjah? Perhaps a free workout class as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge?

There’s a brand-new UAE app that can help you do just that, while helping the environment.

Connect With Nature aims to reach 500,000 young people in the UAE with a range of fun activities and programmes.

According to a poll by YouGov, 65 percent of young people in the UAE aged between 18 and 29 in the UAE want to take action to protect the environment. Meanwhile 72 percent of young people in the UAE want to spend more time outdoors with nature, while 70 percent of people want to know how to help the environment.

There are a series of “Wild Workouts”, which are all free to take part in, too as part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge. The first one is at Al Qudra Lakes on Wednesday October 30. The guided 5.6km run will go around the first of the eastern and flamingo lakes at 6pm.

On Wednesday November 6 at 6pm there will be a workout at Sustainable City where you can learn more about the greenery and vegetation, as well as the specially designed recycled water ponds that are home to fish, ducks and wildlife. The final one is at Zabeel Parn on Wednesday November 13, where you’ll go on a guided run round a 2km circuit.

Other activities include a “ride back in time” in Sharjah on Friday October 25 where you’ll go on an overnight camp after a horse riding trek through the Valley of Caves at Mleiha Archaeological Centre. It runs from 4pm until 9am Saturday October 26. The camp is Dhs410 on the app.

Meanwhile Nature After Dark, for Dhs210, takes place on Thursday October 24 and Thursday November 14 in Abu Dhabi at the National Mangrove Park and will allow you to explore nature under the moonlight, while learning more about how to protect the ecosystem.

There will also be youth panels, debates and competitions focusing on sustainable fashion, and more.

There are also a range of self-guided challenges on the Connect With Nature app, to help you get out and about solo.

Founding partners of the app include Emirates Nature-WWF and The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and strategic partner the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC).

“Young people are the change makers and future leaders of sustainability, so it is important that we find ways for youth to connect with nature and nurture their desire to make a positive impact in the UAE,” Director General of Emirates Nature-WWF, Laila Mostafa Abdullatif. “The team at Connect with Nature has created a brand new app and a packed new season of exciting, inspiring and fun events to do just this. This programme has been created for youth, by youth and will adapt to the changing needs of young people, to drive environmental sustainability in a fun and engaging way.”

Khansa Ibraheem Al Blouki, Director of Environmental Outreach at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi said: “Over the past 20 years, through different environmental education programs including our enviro –Spellathon program, and sustainable school and campus initiatives we have reached and engaged with thousands of youth in Abu Dhabi. Building on this, Connect With Nature takes youth engagement to an Emirate-wide audience and deeper level, focused on empowering young people, whether Emirati or residents, to change the narrative and be the change-makers for a sustainable UAE.”

The app is free to sign up to, so now’s your chance to get involved.
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