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Watch: Sheikh Hamdan inspires UAE students to get fit for Dubai 30X30 as Sport takes centre stage across the region

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, has inspired thousands of UAE school children to get fit in the 2022 Dubai 30X30 Fitness Challenge as it enters its final week this November.

From star jumps at Durham School Dubai to ‘wake up shake ups’ at The English College and a rowing challenge at Bloom World Academy, Dubai students have been hopping, skipping, jumping and flash-mobbing, all in the name of getting fit.

Sheikh Hamdan limbering up with children to inspire young people to take up sport and fitness across the UAE in 2022

Sheikh Hamdan limbering up with children as part of his ambition to inspire young people to take up sport and fitness across the UAE in 2022 – 2023 for their health and wellbeing

Championed by Sheikh Hamdan ever since its launch in 2017, Dubai 30X30 Fitness Challenge aims to inspire Dubai’s residents to boost their physical activity by committing to a minimum of 30 minutes of daily activity for 30 days through a wide range of fitness activities, sport or exercise. As HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said on its inauguration:

“Dubai aims to set an example for cities around the world in encouraging citizens to give high importance to physical activity and sports.”

2022 Challenge kicks off

The popular royal kicked off the 2022 fitness activities by posting a video of himself performing a precarious balance challenge, as he stood on a board, atop a cylindrical foam roller, while holding a kettlebell.

Sheikh Hamdan performs a precarious balance challenge to kick of the Dubai Fitness Challenge 2022

The sporty prince, who is affectionately called ‘Fazza’ by his fans – the name under which he publishes his poetry and which translates to ‘one who helps’ from Arabic – is no stranger to daredevil stunts. He is known to be a keen extreme sports enthusiast and a patron of SkyDive Dubai (which is also getting in on the DFC action with some gravity-defying gymnastic challenges!).



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However, he’s also famously down-to-earth, and every year takes part in the Dubai Run – which happened on 20 November this past weekend – alongside regular Dubai residents.

HH Sheikh Hamdan joking with a Dubai resident as they run together on the Dubai Run 2022

Last year, he was filmed running with Dubai-based teens Rio Watson – who is a person of determination, with a chromosome disorder that affects his motor and speech functions – and Rio’s sister, Tia. HH Sheikh Hamdan was filmed taking over from Tia in pushing Rio’s wheelchair while they all ran the 10KM race together.


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A post shared by Team Angel Wolf (@teamangelwolf)

It was an inspiring example of inclusive impactivity, according to Team Angel Wolf – the Instagram account of Rio’s family:

“Thank you for being such an inspiring leader, a true role model and making time for your community!”

Inspiring today’s youth

It’s this sort of inspirational leadership that has enticed thousands of school children all across Dubai to make the most of the many 30X30 fitness activities going on in their schools and across the city.

While there are hundreds of free and fun initiatives happening – many of which are located in the dedicated Fitness Villages, which are based at Kite Beach, Last Exit, Dubai Silicon Oasis and DIFC among others – it’s Dubai schools that have really jumped on board to bring the Dubai Fitness Challenge to life.

And Sheikh Hamdan isn’t the only inspiring leader encouraging school children to get fit.

Another famously inspirational leader, Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), has been popping up at schools across the emirate to take part in sporty activities and encouraging students to stay active.

The KHDA, which regulates Dubai schools, is committed to promoting an active lifestyle both within educational institutions, and among KHDA staff themselves. The KHDA offices in Academic City feature exercise equipment interspersed among the office facilities, with dumb bells next to desks, tread mills next to in-trays, and even a running track and boxing ring in situ all year long.

A photo of sports equipment in the KHDA offices, taken on a SchoolsCompared visit in September 2022

So, with all this fitness inspiration, which school is the fittest in Dubai? Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of school children getting fighting fit for Dubai fitness challenge.

Which is the fittest school in Dubai?

Forget the school bell; it’s all about kettle bells this month, as UAE schools embrace the positive, healthy message of consistent, regular physical activity throughout the month of November, in honour of Dubai Fitness Challenge.

Durham School Dubai

Durham School Dubai in DIP kicked off their Dubai 30X30 with some The Body Coach online sessions, followed by a star jump challenge by FS2 teacher Mrs White. Keep those legs and arms pumping, Durham School Dubai!

Victory Heights Primary School

The Year 6s at Victory Heights Primary School were lucky enough to travel to the Fitness Village at Kite Beach to take part in trampolining, football and basketball skills training and group aerobics by the sea – all in the name of staying active for 30X30! Looks like great fun – be sure to check it out with your own children before the end of the month.

Safa British School


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It was a military-style workout for the Safa British School students today, with teacher Mr Hill leading the drill. Students were instructed to do as many push-ups as possible, for as long as possible. The participants went in with great energy, but then started to drop one by one, until it was down to a final heat. Year 10 student Amaia took it for the girls, and then it was down to just three boys. Of the last remaining three, Amirali was first to drop, followed by Patrick, leaving Eyad to take the win having done his press ups on one leg! Amazing job Safa British School – but we don’t like to think of how sore your arms must have been the next day! Ouch!

The English College Dubai 

It’s an all-school effort for children at The English College Dubai, with their regular Wake Up Shake Ups together on the school field. What a great way to start the day!

Bloom World Academy

It’s all about teamwork at Bloom World Academy, where staff and students have collectively achieved 12,000km in their rowing challenge for the Dubai 30X30. That’s impressive!

Horizon English School

Horizon English School has jumped at the chance for some community fitness and exercise – pun intended! Their cute school mascot, Harry Horizon, helped to keep the kiddie motivated during the daily Wake Up Shake Up this morning. Go Harry!

Dubai International Academy, Al Barsha

Proof that fitness can be about fun, team work and creativity, DIA Al Barsha has been interpreting the Dubai Fitness Challenge in so many different ways – from HIIT workouts, to track runs, to this fun tug of war.

GEMS FirstPoint School Dubai

There’s no need even to leave the classroom in order to get in your 30 minutes of fitness every day for Dubai 30X30 – as the students at GEMS First Point prove in their Dubai Fitness Challenge activities this month.

Further information

A full schedule and details of what’s on during the Dubai Fitness Challenge can be found at

© A WhichMedia Group publication. 2022. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Tabitha Barda
Tabitha Barda is the Senior Editor of Oxbridge educated and an award winning journalist in the UAE for more than a decade, Tabitha is one of the region's shining lights in all that is education in the emirates. A mum herself, she is passionate about helping parents - and finding the stories in education that deserve telling. She is responsible for the busy 24x7 News Desk, our Advisory Boards and Specialist Panels - and's The School's Report - the global weekly round up of what matters in education for parents which is published every Friday, reviewing schools across the UAE - and features on issues that really matter. You can often find Tabitha on Parents United - our Facebook community board, discussing the latest schools and education issues with our parent community in the UAE - and beyond.

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