17 October 2017Last updated

Features | People

My fabulous Friday: Ahmad Al Darmaki

The only Emirati professional mixed martial arts fighter reveals his weekend favourites, including family barbecues, beach visits and luxury staycations…

Colin Drury
31 Oct 2016 | 03:05 pm
  • Ahmad Al Darmaki

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM


I have a big family – five brothers and four sisters – and often on Fridays we all get together, along with my parents, for a barbecue at someone’s house. I always look forward to catching up and hearing everyone’s news. We get through a lot of food, as you can imagine.



On a weekend, I love to go to the beach with friends. As a fighter, I’m physically very active during the week – I train three times a day – so on Fridays I try to have complete rest. I see other guys working out on the outdoor equipment but I just chill out and enjoy good company.



The one gadget I can’t live without at a weekend is probably my PlayStation. I love getting on it with friends, family or even by myself. I’d struggle without my phone too but I’m not on any social media sites so I only really use it for calling and texting.



My wife Rabaab and I like a staycation somewhere nice when we have a free weekend. We’re blessed in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with so many amazing hotels. We’re spoilt for choice, really. But we stayed at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa recently, and that was very special.


As a fighter, I adore my food but I do also need to watch what I eat when I’m preparing for a bout. Steaks, chicken and pasta are all favourites, and fortunately, they’re good for me, but I also love to go to PF Chang’s Chinese restaurant in Yas Mall. The dynamite chicken is so tasty, I can never resist it.



I enjoy a good movie – but nothing rubbish. Only ones that’ll teach me things or expand my mind. I watched Harsh Friends, starring Christian Bale, recently. It’s about friendship; there aren’t many things as important as that.



I spend all week in sports gear – shorts and vests mainly – so I do like to dress up a little smarter on a weekend. I’ll put on my kandura if I’m seeing the family or going somewhere more formal. If I’m taking my wife Rabaab out to dinner, I’ll perhaps put on a nice suit.

Colin Drury

Colin Drury