Emirati trailblazer Shaheen

Soaring in the Sky on Wings of Passion with Shaheen: the First Wrestler to Represent the United Arab Emirates

Ding ding! The world’s first-ever Emirati wrestler to perform globally has entered the ring. And so far, he’s been unstoppable. Having already gained attention from the wrestling world, it appears the sky’s the limit for Moe, also known as Shaheen in the ring.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Emirati trailblazer Shaheen is making waves in the wild world of professional wrestling. Having found success performing internationally alongside former WWE stars, the high-flying wrestler is currently investing his time and talents into the local scene at WrestleFest DXB. 

In 2017, a WWE live show took place in Abu Dhabi. After the show, Shaheen was left in complete wonder & excitement. “All I wanted after that was to experience more wrestling shows with my late friend, but we had to wait till the next WWE tour date which could take a year or two. That’s when I decided to learn the craft & foster a local wrestling scene in the country. I traveled the world to learn the craft, and promised my friend that one day.. there will be a scene back home, and I won’t stop till my lungs give out.” the young Emirati says. With his dedication & hard work, WrestleFest DXB in Dubai now hosts monthly shows with a couple of hundred wrestling enthusiasts in attendance.

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At the moment, Shaheen balances his wrestling career with his day job and rocks a side-hustle, but he hopes to one day focus solely on the art of wrestling. During an interview with Alarabiya News, Shaheen said he is ready to pursue wrestling full-time. “Hard work and dedication always pay off, and if there’s one thing everyone knows about me: it’s that I am a go-getter. So, whenever the opportunity comes, I’ve got to grab it,” Shaheen said in the interview. In February 2020, Shaheen received an invitation to try out for WWE in Saudi Arabia. However, those plans were put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the slight setback came as a blessing in disguise for the 27-year old wrestler, as it allowed him to continue pursuing his dream of shedding light onto the sport of wrestling in the region, which got accredited in May 2022 by the Dubai Sports Council, the governing sports body in the Emirate. “The accreditation is massive in terms of recognizing wrestling in the country,” says Shaheen.

After the accreditation, the United Arab Emirates introduced its first official World Wrestling Championship in a match that took place in July of 2022, where Shaheen faced one of the United Kingdom’s top wrestlers in Dubai, marking a momentous occasion for wrestling in the country. “What you invest is what you receive. I always think of that moment from a fan-centric point of view. I imagine what it must feel like for a fan who was there from day one witness this little seed [the wrestling scene] flourish into a tree. Seeing the attendance grow from only a handful of fans at our training school to over 200 at WrestleFest DXB today is what keeps me going.. I dream big, I won’t stop & I can’t stop” Shaheen says. “I feel like my generation, my community, looked up to the heroes that they watched on TV, but didn’t have someone who they identify with. Wrestling fans in the Middle East need a representative & I’d like to be that person” he adds.

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Wrestling has been a nearly life-long passion for Shaheen. When he was just six years old Shaheen saw wrestling for the first time on a hotel TV during a trip to the US with his family. And he’s been hooked ever since. Watching the sport back home in Dubai was difficult, as none of the channels aired wrestling. So Shaheen turned to magazines instead. “I’d buy those [magazines] and read about wrestling as much as I could,” Shaheen said in an interview with The National News. “Then I discovered this store in Dubai that would tape all these shows … Each week they sell a VHS tape of a WWF episode, and I’d watch it the whole week, over and over, while waiting for the next one.” His favorites growing up were noughties Hardy Boyz & Lita, Rey Mysterio & the late Eddie Guerrero.

In 2018, Shaheen attended a Comic Con in Paris. It was here he met wrestling legend Lita, who gave him some invaluable advice. “Switch your thoughts from I’ve never done this to I’m going to try this as much as I can, whenever I can, until it’s a reality” Lita told him. In the same month, Shaheen also had the opportunity to meet WWE Superstar Finn Balor, who pushed him to pursue wrestling & push through his doubts & mental barriers. The advice from both stars still drives Shaheen to this day. Almost immediately, the young Emirati started training hard & spread his wings to learn the craft in the United Kingdom and in the United States under internationally acclaimed wrestlers. “MEET. YOUR. HEROES. Whoever said don’t meet your heroes has never met Finn Balor & Lita. Their hustle when they first started wrestling inspires me to get my name out there. I still talk to them from time to time, which is crazy to think of. If you told me back then, that I’d be asking them for wrestling advice or sharing recipes with them today, I’d think you were delusional,” Shaheen says.

Apart from wrestling, Shaheen embraces a vegan lifestyle and is dedicated to fitness ranging from gymnastics, CrossFit & yoga. As an active athlete, he is sponsored by Energy Camp Dubai, a one-of-a-kind fitness & lifestyle community in Dubai powered by Under Armour. “Working out is the magic pill. It brightens my mood, makes me feel alive, clears my mind and through community, it nurtures good vibes,” he adds.

From local success to global recognition, there’s no telling how bright this Emirati wrestler’s future will be. To see exactly what Shaheen brings to the ring, be sure to follow him on Instagram. [@shaheenofthesky]