A pink taxi

A pink taxi

October 20, 2010

Dubai: Sports City

As I was driving on Sheikh Zayed Road with my brood, gazing at the forest of high rise buildings on both sides, listening to a tune on the radio that I had circuit trained on, I was reminded about how dynamic our city Dubai is.

Take my ten year old son who swims for squad at Hamilton Aquatics. They also train the Serbian 17 year old champion, Velimir Stjepanovic. Just the other day, he swam in the same pool as my son, a few lanes away. He was literally flying in butterfly above the water. He is the fastest fly and free style swimmer of his age in the world and his records are better than even Michael Phelps' were at his age. He studies and trains in Dubai. He is coached by British, South Africans and Australians, together with a couple of Olympic team candidates.

Dubai attracts the best sports instructors. When we play golf at the Creek Club Academy, we are coached by Scottish professionals. We have learned to decipher their accent while chipping and putting. Besides swimming and golf which are his favorite sports, my son has been practicing judo for 5 years now, at the Dubai Karate Center (where I trained in Karate in the 80s). Sense Yoneda is Japanese, with a 6 black dan and he instills the sense of discipline and concentration.

In this blog I have often mentioned my American pilates and Bikram yoga instructor at Club Stretch who has modified my posture, has taught me how to focus and how to integrate the art of pilates in my daily life. Bikram Yoga is the only yoga that appeals to me. It has taught me to relax at the right moment and I have taken that adage to heart. Additionally, I have been taught to "edit out" all the small habits that interfere with my relaxation and concentration. Zen is really what I achieve.

My children ride with English or French riding instructors and they have been rock climbing with a Nepalese climber for a few years. My daughter dances ballet at the Ballet Center  and she follows the Royal Ballet exams from England. They play soccer with British trainers. I will not omit the Pakistani squash instructor of the eldest or the Sri Lankan Aikido Sanse who coaches my daughter. My 5 year old's gentle and measured preparation into a Japanese seated position tells of the time and patience given by the skilled instructor.

I mention all these nationalities to explain how all these sportsmen and women from all over the world have come to Dubai to train. We are very fortunate to benefit from this dynamic community and have certainly only tapped on the surface of these resources as we are recreational sports lovers. We randomly take skating and ski lessons, only admire the polo players, the endurance horse racing and the kitesurfers. We do not dive and my daughter will try to brake the jinks of us being below average tennis players.

These talented sportsmen and women that coach us infuse our lives with vitality and health and we are very much grateful. They make Dubai an attractive city because it has a very sportive lifestyle to offer.


  1. I really like your pro-dubai entries. Dubai gets so much bashing from ungrateful expats that it is really refreshing when you shed light on what makes this city so wonderful.

  2. I am sure you have missed so many other sports that Dubai has encouraged from long ago such as endurance hores back riding,where HH Sheik Mohammad's team won the gold in Kentucky recently.HH came second in the individual race,after a young Spaniard who lives and trains in Dubai.
    What about camel and horse racing,that have been brought to the forefront on regional and international levels.We forget that the Dubai team is first in boat racing worldwide,and that there is a dhow race,and sailing has been a popular race for decades.
    That is why Dubai is our Pearl that we cherish and love!

  3. Dubai has truly become an amazing city. I spent some time there last summer and was so impressed with all it had to offer. I think for all of you cousins who are raising your kids there, you are very fortunate.