Dubai Inmates’ Arm Wrestling Championship: A Triumph in Rehabilitation

The competition was bifurcated into two weight categories—over and under 90kg—adding an element of inclusivity to the event

Dubai Police recently orchestrated an unprecedented event within the confines of correctional facilities—an arm wrestling championship exclusively for inmates.

This pioneering initiative, organized by the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Establishments, in collaboration with Dubai Police’s community-based program ‘Positive Spirit’ and the Emirates Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (EBBF), stands as a testament to the department’s commitment to creating a positive and constructive environment for those under correctional supervision.


Brigadier Marwan Abdul Karim Julfar, Director of the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Establishments, disclosed that 70 inmates enthusiastically participated in the championship.

The competition was bifurcated into two weight categories—over and under 90kg—adding an element of inclusivity to the event.

Julfar underscored the championship’s significance as an integral component of correctional institutions’ ongoing rehabilitation and training programs.

The primary objective is cultivating a healthy, social, sporting, and cultural milieu for inmates, fostering a sense of purpose and positive engagement.

Brigadier Ali Khalfan Al Mansouri, Director of the General Department of Community Happiness at Dubai Police, shed light on the broader implications of the ‘Positive Spirit’ initiative.

He emphasized its outreach to all community segments, including inmates in punitive and correctional establishments, aiming to instil values of tolerance and societal brotherhood.


“These activities and competitions embed a positive feeling, providing a good physical and mental sports experience,” remarked Al Mansouri.

The initiative is not merely about physical competition but nurturing holistic well-being beyond traditional rehabilitation practices.

Faisal Ahmad Al Ghais Al Zaabi, a member of the Board of Directors of EBBF, affirmed the federation’s goals in spreading the sports culture.

Organizing competitions for diverse community segments, including inmates, aligns with the federation’s commitment to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

The arm wrestling championship is a tangible example of Dubai Police’s innovative approach to inmate rehabilitation.

By incorporating sports and recreational activities, correctional institutions aim to redefine the narrative surrounding incarceration, transcending punitive measures to focus on reform and reintegration.

In the backdrop of the championship, stories of determination, resilience, and sportsmanship unfolded as inmates, regardless of their past, seized an opportunity for personal growth and positive transformation.

The event, characterized by camaraderie and healthy competition, illustrated that rehabilitation is not solely about punishment but an avenue for individuals to rediscover their potential.

The success of this initiative highlights the progressive mindset of Dubai Police in addressing the multifaceted nature of corrections.

By embracing unconventional methods, such as sports championships, authorities are actively contributing to restoring hope, self-worth, and purpose among the inmate population.

As the arm wrestling championship sets a precedent, it invites a broader conversation on the role of sports and community engagement in the rehabilitation process.

The event challenges preconceived notions about inmates and underscores the importance of treating individuals with dignity and providing them with opportunities for personal development.

In conclusion, the Dubai Police’s arm wrestling championship for inmates marks a significant stride towards redefining the rehabilitation landscape.

This innovative approach not only enhances inmates’ physical and mental well-being but also fosters a sense of belonging and positive reintegration into society.

As other jurisdictions may draw inspiration from this progressive initiative, it serves as a beacon of change in the global discourse on corrections.

Tariq Saeed

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