UAE: How Sheikh Hamdan inspired two teens to bike through the 7 Emirates

Friends Irfan Mohammed and Muhammed Bin Samir started their journey in 2017 and now have to only ride to Abu Dhabi to complete their challenge



Supplied photo
Supplied photo
by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 8:52 PM

In the spirit of the recently concluded Dubai Fitness Challenge, two Sharjah-based childhood friends undertook a journey to cover different emirates on their bikes, with their latest successful cycling destination being Fujairah.

They are not professional riders nor do they possess professional bicycles, they are just two normal teens with very ordinary bicycles and a big dream… their inspiration, the Dubai Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

What was conceived as a part of a friendly banter has taken the form of a self-imposed challenge that is not only invigorating but continues to enrich the life experiences of these two young adults.

Irfan Mohammed, 17, and Muhammed Bin Samir, 18, have already traversed six emirates on their bikes since starting their cycling journey in 2017.

Irfan who is a Grade 12 student of Our Own English High School, Sharjah – Boys says, “When I was in Grade 9, I wanted to do something cool, so I decided to cycle to Ajman which is not far from here. It’s just 18 km. Some of my classmates tried to dissuade me saying it’s too far and could prove to be risky. But I went for it. So it started from there, and after that, I wanted to cover every emirate. Now my friend and I have only Abu Dhabi left (to complete the seven emirates).”

The duo left their homes at Abu Shagara in Sharjah last week at 3am all set to hit Fujairah as early as possible.

Irfan later says, “It’s was amazing. One of the biggest motivations is that I am living in the UAE. We are living in a country where the environment around you pushes you to take up such challenges and when you see Dubai’s Crown Prince, undertaking these adventures himself, on social media, it’s a big motivating factor that empowers you to conquer all your fears and push your limits.”

They explained that the climb on the mountainous road to the scenic Fujairah “makes you work for it to get there.”

Said Irfan: “Our route to Fujairah was through the Sharjah Airport Road. We reached there at 1pm. The ride was difficult because all the other emirates had straight roads. Here we were cycling uphill and it was quite tiring. We took short breaks to drink water and to eat. But we tried to limit it as much as we could. It was a great ride, because in the past, most of our rides had been during the day. But for this one, we left early, as we were aware that it would take around 10-12 hours to reach our destination. We had to leave early morning because we wanted to cover the maximum distance before it started getting too hot.”

The duo has already cycled from Sharjah to Ajman – which was an 18km ride that they undertook in August, 2018. Then in the same year their trip to Umm Al Quwain and back was a 75km ride. In 2020, they rode from Sharjah to Dubai and in January 2021, they rode 180km to Ras Al Khaimah and back.

Muhamed, who is currently pursuing B.Com with ACCA from the City College International in Ajman, says, “It was a different experience because it’s not a straight road. It’s uphill cycling, almost 10-15km of mountains. Fujairah has a lot of mountains. I feel if one has the tenacity to cover Fujairah, one can cover Abu Dhabi as well. The trip from Sharjah to Fujairah and back was 240km. Once we reached there, friends from our group arranged a reception for us led by Hussain who is the General Manager of Fujairah General Trading.”

After their successful feat, Muhamed has been approached by his college to organise a cycling event.

"My college wants me to organise a long cycling challenge for the college team. I don’t think everyone knows how to cycle, it’s very liberating. If you have the ability, push yourself. Leave the screens aside, change your outlook and enjoy the outdoors.”


More news from UAE