Amna Al Haddad
Sports Pioneer from the Middle East

About Me


Amna Al Haddad (born 21 Oct 1989) is a UAE national Sports Pioneer in the Arab World and ambassador. Her passion for health and fitness started in 2009 which two years later in 2011,  she was introduced to crossfit in April and decided to take her fitness more seriously  into the competitions realm  end of 2011.

Amna is well-known for being the first Emirati, GCC national and Arab to compete in the Reebok Crossfit Games Open (February 22 – March 25, 2012) where she ranked 77th out of 170 women in Asia. She then qualified to compete with a team in the Reebok Crossfit Asia Regionals, in Seoul South Korea from 4-6 of May 2012. She made history by being the first Emirati and GCC national to compete in the Asia Regionals and the first and only Muslim woman to do so in a headscarf. Prior to being a full-time athlete, she worked full-time for The National newspaper as a reporter (June 2011 – June 2012), which she has quit her job to pursue sports full-time.

In 2013, she broke more barriers as she embarked on Olympic Weightlifting where she also the 1st Hijabi Weightlifter and have competed internationally; including the Arnold Sport festival for three years consecutively and competed in a number of  international European events.

One of her biggest athletic achievements, in April 2015, she competed at the IWF Asian interclub championship and won 6 gold medals and 3 silver in the Arab, West-Asian and Asian categories as a -63 kg, with the official UAE National team in Jordan.

Come 2016, she was selected to represent the UAE at the Asian Championships – Rio Olympic Qualifier in Uzbekistan, 22-30 of April; she finished 12th overall in Asia in under -69kg, finished 4th in the B group, and 1st in the Arab world.  She competed as a light 69 (weighing 64.2) specifically for this competition. Her team and her efforts landed them rank 7th overall in Asia, where they merely needed 2 more points to qualify for Rio.

Aside from her athletic achievement, as an influencer, Amna recently signed with Nike a sponsorship deal. She was the first Arab female athlete to signal off We Run Dubai, Nike’s 10K race in 2015. And was featured in the launch of the Nike NTC Arabic App in global campaigns, “Better For It” campaign, and also made history by being the first woman to be featured in the “Inner Strength” documentary series that had a global reach, for Nike.

Also, a prominent speaker, Amna is often invited to give talks at a variety of events:

  • New York Abu Dhabi University, May 10, “Lead Yourself, Lead Others”
  • International Sports Conference for Women: Breaking Barriers, Emirates Palace, May 4-5 2015
  • 85Broads annual Global Network Forum, May 6, 2013Panel Discussion – theme “Career Optimizers”
  • International Women Day - Accenture Middle East, April 17, 2013
  • Annual Sports Award – Sharjah Women’s college, May 31, 2012
  • Women in Sports – annual health week by Dubai Women’s college, Feb 19, 2012
  • Arab Women Sports Tournament, Sharjah Expo Center, Feb 7, 2012
  • “Express yourself” workshop – American Academy in Al Mizhar, Jan 29, 2012
  • AIESEC – UAE Lead, Youth Leadership Congress, NAJAH in ADNEC, oct 18-20, 2011
  • TedX Ajman – an independent organized TED event, April 2011

Awards & global appearances

  • She was also nominated for Emirates Woman award under the “Achievers Category” in 2013.
  • She was chosen as Top Ahlan H0t 100 in 2014.
  • She was featured in Ray-Ban’s tough as leather campaign, in 2014
  • She was chosen part of a feature in TimeOut Dubai: Dubai’s female sport stars, in 2014
  • She was chosen and in a coffee-table book, called “Emirati women achievers,” published in 2015
  • She was given an “Unstoppable” award by Femina Middle East as a “pioneer in the fields of sports,” 2016.

Courses & Certifications:

  • Ohio State Weightlifting Referee
  • “Technical, coaching and refereeing” weightlifting seminar by the UAE weightlifting federation, UAE National Olympic Committee and International weightlifting federation, 19 – 22 of December 2012
  • Trigger Point Performance Therapy at MEFITPRO, 14 of December, 2012
  • Mike Mahler Hormone Optimization and Kettlebell course, 3 of November 2012
  • Crossfit Gymnastics Trainer course, 20-21 of April, 2012.
  • Level 2 of Olympic Weightlifting Clinic by Olympic Weight Lifting in Dubai, 18 of December, 2011.
  • Level 1 of Olympic weightlifting Clinic by Olympic Weight Lifting in Dubai, 16 of November, 2011.

Amna has graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, Journalism and a minor in Psychology from the American University of Sharjah in Fall 2010.


  • Busy Mommy DXB

    Amna, you are an inspiration for girls and women! Good luck with your training for the Olympics.

  • theanonymousemirati

    I need help on my deep seated low bar squat form. Is there a place in Dubai where people can go to to learn proper strength training / power lifting form and technique?

  • delski

    Hi Amna, you truly are an inspiraton! I am a female expat living and working in the UAE, I love weight lifting, and hope some day to compete in a bodybuilding show. Do you know of any such competitions in the UAE for women?

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  • Welcome to my blog!

    Welcome to 999 Fitness

    Amna Al Haddad is a sports pioneer and female sport advocate from the Middle East. The first Emirati Hijabi Olympic Weightlifter, Nike Sponsored Athlete, and Arab Crossfitter competed in Asia Regionals. Holder of 9 IWF event medals. Motivational Speaker and Writer. Follow her journey here!

  • Testimonials

    It was just like any typical day, sitting with my family with the TV on a UAE channel, that a petite, hijab-wearing young Emirati girl came on. She was pushing and pulling herself over and under obstacles and lifting weights. It was a local competition in Dubai that she was competing in alongside a big group of foreigners. I was determined to find out what this young Emirati girl was doing and to join in on the fun! After a little online investigation…that’s when I first knew who Amna Al-Haddad was and discovered the sport that has taken over my life, CrossFit.

    1st Kuwaiti Asia Regional competitor 2013

  • Recent Tweets

    Wishing my youngest sister @marwuh a happiest birthday today! I pray that you receive all your wishes and blessings……

    From Amna Al Haddad 🇦🇪's Twitter via Twitter for iPhone

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