Catching thieves, impressing the Queen: Rare video clips show Dubai Police horse patrols’ journey since 1976

They have broken a Guinness World Record and even impressed Queen Elizabeth II

Images courtesy: Screengrabs from Dubai Police video/YouTube
Images courtesy: Screengrabs from Dubai Police video/YouTube

A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 8 Sep 2022, 1:09 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Sep 2022, 3:50 PM

The Dubai Police’s fleet of patrols today features an enviable collection of sports and supercars. But even now, the force’s horse patrols literally stand tall — as they have for over four-and-a-half decades.

The equestrian unit was first set up in 1976 with four horses, and fast-forward to 2022, it continues to be an integral part of Dubai’s security patrols.

The Dubai Police on Thursday released a video that features rare footage of the horses and their officers in action over the years.

The horses, which also double up as a draw for “tourists to bond with”, play a “pivotal role in enhancing public safety”, the police said in the video.

The Mounted Police Station was established under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The horse patrols aim to prevent crimes as officers “can easily manouever through narrow alleys that police vehicles can’t reach”.

In June this year, two policemen on horseback helped bust a gang of thieves. Captain Youssef Muhammad Al Mulla and First-Lieutenant Ahmad Rashid Al Kaabi were out patrolling the streets when they spotted a car moving “suspiciously”.

The equestrian unit also helps secure matches held in Dubai. Horseback patrols are being used to ensure security in the ongoing Asia Cup.

According to the Dubai Police video, the unit supports people of determination by offering equine-assisted therapies. Children of determination benefit from courses in social development, articulation, and communication skills.

A few years ago, the Dubai Mounted Police broke the Guinness World Record for the largest parade of horses with flags.

Impressing the Queen

Back in 2019, 173 personnel from the Dubai Mounted Police, Dubai Police Academy and Hemaya International Centre participated in the Royal British Windsor Show, which has been the UK's and Europe’s “largest horse show for decades”.

Dubai Mounted Police’s participation impressed Queen Elizabeth II, according to an official featured in the video.

Major-General Mohamed Isa Al Adhab, director of the Mounted Police Station, said: “Her Majesty visited the Dubai Police stables during the Windsor Show, and approached us. She asked, ‘Are these Sheikh Mohammed's horses?’

“I replied: ‘Your Majesty, these are ex-racehorses.’

“She paid particular attention to the term ‘ex-racehorses’, turned to a British military official, and asked: ‘Are these similar to what you were talking about?’”

The officer explained that it is a challenge to retain racehorses. “There is a programme in the UK held under the patronage of Her Majesty designed solely to carry out this mission. Queen Elizabeth II has always supported the rehabilitation of ex-racehorses.”

Show horses require a calm, quiet, consistent environment, while racehorses are the “energetic” kind. “So, she was astonished to see (our) racehorses standing quietly next to drummers and surrounded by music.”

The Dubai Police has implemented a programme dedicated to rehabilitating and training racehorses, he explained.

The police video concluded by highlighting how horses are a “symbol of nobility and pride”, while officers who handle them “symbolise safety in Dubai”.


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