Alex Moonen of The Netherlands competes in  the Strongman Champions League Finals at SkyDive Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National
Alex Moonen of The Netherlands competes in the Strongman Champions League Finals at SkyDive Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National

Strongmen test their mettle at Dubai competition

DUBAI // Whether they were dragging a lorry along a track or lifting a boulder above their heads, it was all in a day’s work for the real-life supermen competing in the Strongmen Champions League World Series final on Saturday.

Hundreds of spectators turned up to the Sun and Sand Sports Fitness Fest at the Skydive Dubai in Dubai Marina to watch the 10 competitors heave massive weights around with the hope of being named the Strongest Man in the World.

The challenges included dead-lifting a 450kg car on a trailer from the floor 12 times, carrying rocks weighing up 130kg or running a course while hoisting a 100kg sandbag.

“We started with 100 athletes for 16 stages all over the world and we finished with the top 10 who fought the whole year - and we are here in Dubai for the final stage,” said Marcel Mostert, director and presenter of the competition.

Among the competitors was Martin Wildaver from Austria. He was impressed by the scenic setting and the enthusiastic support from onlookers but he said the climate added to the challenge.

“It was hot for our bodies so we sweat a lot, which made us get tired and made it hard to compete in this weather,” the 28-year-old said.

Thankfully, the challenges only required short bursts of energy.

“Each [challenge] was one minute, but we had to prepare ourselves for each one and there were breaks between competitions which made our bodies calm down and then warm up again and that was really hard for our bodies,” he said.

As well as the strongman competition, there were also of plenty of other activities to get involved with, including obstacle courses, belly dancing classes, a climbing wall and a running track.

“The two-day festival’s idea was that we wanted to create an awareness about fitness in the community. It is aimed at everybody who wants to get fit,” said Chloe Winstanley, marketing manager and organiser of the event.

“Also, for people who do not have to be athletes or go to the gym, they just come down to the festival, learn about all activities as cycling, football and samba and find out how to live a healthy lifestyle and learn how to look after themselves properly.”

Asif Shaikh, 30, an Indian, attended on the last day of the festival to try out some activities.

“I am into fitness and I came to get all information I need about CrossFit as lessons and locations that I was not able to get from other places in Dubai,” said Mr Shaikh, a project manager.

“The festival was very cool, it had many activities and every thing at one place with a lot of fitness options.”

Zaher Moukhal, 30, a professional bodybuilder from Lebanon, said he was inspired by the strongman competition.

“The organisation and various activities were amazing,” he said. “It is fabulous to have professional athletes here in Dubai.”

The winner of the strongman competition was Dainis Zageris from Latvia.


Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

Stars: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman

Rating: 2/5

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

A Cat, A Man, and Two Women
Translated by Paul McCarthy
Daunt Books 


Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5


6.30pm UAE 1000 Guineas Trial Conditions (TB) US$100,000 (Dirt) 1,400m

Winner Final Song, Christophe Soumillon (jockey), Saeed bin Suroor (trainer).

7.05pm Handicap (TB) $135,000 (Turf) 1,000m

Winner Almanaara, Dane O’Neill, Doug Watson.

7.40pm Handicap (TB) $175,000 (D) 1,900m

Winner Grand Argentier, Brett Doyle, Doug Watson.

8.15pm Meydan Challenge Listed Handicap (TB) $175,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Major Partnership, Patrick Cosgrave, Saeed bin Suroor.

8.50pm Dubai Stakes Group 3 (TB) $200,000 (D) 1,200m

Winner Gladiator King, Mickael Barzalona, Satish Seemar.

9.25pm Dubai Racing Club Classic Listed Handicap (TB) $175,000 (T) 2,410m

Winner Universal Order, Richard Mullen, David Simcock.

The specs

Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 299hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 2,750rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 12.4L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh157,395 (XLS); Dh199,395 (Limited)

Match info

Huddersfield Town 0

Chelsea 3
Kante (34'), Jorginho (45' pen), Pedro (80')

Sugary teas and iced coffees

The tax authority is yet to release a list of the taxed products, but it appears likely that sugary iced teas and cold coffees will be hit.

For instance, the non-fizzy drink AriZona Iced Tea contains 65 grams of sugar – about 16 teaspoons – per 680ml can. The average can costs about Dh6, which would rise to Dh9.

Cold coffee brands are likely to be hit too. Drinks such as Starbucks Bottled Mocha Frappuccino contain 31g of sugar in 270ml, while Nescafe Mocha in a can contains 15.6g of sugar in a 240ml can.


Director: Christopher Nolan

Stars: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh 

Rating: 5/5

Roger Federer's record at Wimbledon

Roger Federer's record at Wimbledon

1999 - 1st round

2000 - 1st round

2001 - Quarter-finalist

2002 - 1st round

2003 - Winner

2004 - Winner

2005 - Winner

2006 - Winner

2007 - Winner

2008 - Finalist

2009 - Winner

2010 - Quarter-finalist

2011 - Quarter-finalist

2012 - Winner

2013 - 2nd round

2014 - Finalist

2015 - Finalist

2016 - Semi-finalist


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside


Director: Vikas Bahl
Starring: Ajay Devgn, R. Madhavan, Jyothika, Janaki Bodiwala
Rating: 3/5

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

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