Arshad Ali/Gulf News From Left: Dr Faisal Ikram, President of PAD, Shahid Afridi, and a member of the audience raising bricks with a T-shirt.


Pakistani cricket star Shahid Afridi on Friday stepped up the ‘Own A Brick’ campaign to help build a health and fitness centre for the Pakistani community in Dubai.

Turning up to raise funds for the proposed Dh12-million Pakistan Centre that will also include a medical centre, a health and fitness centre and other community-related facilities, Afridi also endorsed the Dubai Fitness Challenge initiated by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, at a ceremony organised by the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) on Friday evening.

Afridi, whose charitable foundation signed an MoU with PAD in February this year, has pledged support by raising 1,000 bricks for the Health and Fitness Centre.

The centre, which will be named after the cricketer’s foundation, would also serve as a rehab facility for the patients visiting the Pakistan Medical Centre.

Launched last year on August 14, Pakistan’s Independence Day, the ‘Own A Brick’ divides the project’s construction cost of Dh12 million into 12,000 bricks, with each brick costing Dh1,000. A year after announcing the project, the PAD announced that Dh8 million has been pledged and received.

Stepping up the efforts, Afridi on Friday interacted with some 350 people raising bricks with a bat, a shirt and a ball signed by him, with the bat fetching 61 bricks (Dh61,000), the shirt 20 bricks and the ball five bricks.

He also gave away two fitness watches to those who registered themselves first under the PAD for the Dubai Fitness Challenge.

The former captain of the Pakistan cricket team encouraged members of the community to take up effective physical exercise to remain active and have a healthy immune system.

The Pakistani community has taken a lead role in #Dxb30x30 by distributing 100 fitness watches among its people who register first under the banner of PAD.

“I am proud to be part of this landmark project and I extend my full support even after the completion of 1,000 bricks,” said Afridi.

He added that people should always come forward and contribute towards community projects.

“I’m also pleased that my foundation is performing tremendously in the rural areas of Pakistan, serving the marginalised community with full sincerity and dedication.”