Dubai's Crown Prince: Everybody's Fitness Champ

He is the brave, athletic and adventurous icon who has inspired many to lead more active lives

  

Whether it's up in the sky, on the mountains, deep in the snow, or underwater, the Crown Prince of Dubai is always game for a fitness challenge - no matter how extreme.

Through his social media feeds, the UAE and the rest of the world have seen him hanging upside down, swimming with sharks and an elephant, crawling his way out of a barbed wire obstacle, tumbling in the air after jumping off a plane - and a host of other daredevil stunts and incredible workout routines.

No doubt, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, is the fitness ambassador not just of the emirate but the entire UAE.

He is the brave, athletic and adventurous icon who has inspired many to lead more active lives.

Sheikh Hamdan finds a way to get everybody moving. He launched a number of initiatives, including the annual Gov Games, where government teams have to tackle obstacle courses that test their mental and physical aptitude.

But more than any other project, it is his Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) that started a fitness revolution. It is one that is set to make Dubai the most active city in the world.

Launched in 2017, the challenge is not as extreme as those that Sheikh Hamdan is taking on: All one has to do is commit to 30 minutes of physical activity every day for 30 days.

Results have been impressive. Over a million joined last year and loads of men and women have reported weight loss and better health.

Now, the 30x30 challenge will be back on Friday, and Sheikh Hamdan has urged everyone to make every step count.

"In each of the DFC's previous editions since its launch, I have been overwhelmed by the incredible participation and enthusiasm of all my fellow residents, and I count on all of you even more this year to help us achieve our goal of becoming 'the most active city' in the world," he said.

"DFC 2019 promises to be more diverse, entertaining and action-packed than ever before - and is literally bringing fitness to every doorstep with its brand new 'City is a Gym' activation across the communities of Dubai."

Encouraging everyone to make the commitment, Sheikh Hamdan said: "I am personally very excited to gear up for the challenge and urge the entire city, young and old, to get on the journey with me."

An official ambassador of the DFC and a fitness influencer, Sujith Koshy Varghese, told Khaleej Times that this initiative has inspired several residents to adopt healthier lifestyles.

"I think the challenge is very inspiring and Sheikh Hamdan inspires a lot of youth, which is a major crowd in the UAE," he said.

"The way he travels, takes photos and puts his hands in everything he does - it's amazing."

Varghese said the challenge serves as the breather everybody needs, considering how people have to keep up with such a fast-paced world.

"It's wonderful he does the fitness challenge because, here, we have busy lives. Using fitness as a priority is amazing. A lot of people wouldn't have worked out for years, and this encourages them," he said.

"People have been messaging me to say they're joining this year. I know some who take this challenge as a reason to start their transformation."

3 LIFE LESSONS THE WORLD LEARNT FROM FAZZA

1-Teamwork wins the day.

When Sheikh Hamdan launched Gov Games, it didn't mean he would just be watching from the sidelines. He joined the battle and led his team to back-to-back wins. The obstacles were almost impossible: Some required them to cross four-metre ninja walls, tackle two-metre-long acrylic tubes filled with water, and swim through ice-cold water. But for his F3 teams, anything can be done with preparation, excellent tactics, and a solid team spirit.

2-Hang on - whatever it takes.

Snaps of Sheikh Hamdan's workouts are not all serious exercise. He proves it can be fun, too.

One Instagram photo showed him hanging upside down from a bar, with a happy boy swinging by his side. But really, it was the clever, motivational caption that moved his followers: "Hang on no matter what the situation."

3-Go EXTRA! After all, YOLO*.

Why chill in the pool if you can get underwater and watch elephants swim? And who can forget his wing-walking in 2014? He stood on the roof of a plane with a selfie stick and took an Insta-shot. Sheikh Hamdan proves that one's fitness journey can be a series of adventures that are just too amazing for anyone to pass up on.

(*Yolo: You only live once.)

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