x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

1988: the capital’s police college opens

40 years of the UAE: In 1988, the first batch of graduates stepped out from a new police college in Abu Dhabi.

In the mid-1980s, the leaders of Abu Dhabi came to the realisation the emirate needed a better-qualified police force - and so, in 1988, the first batch of graduates stepped out from a new police college.

The importance of the move was summed up by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of the time.

"There is no stability without security," he said, "and no tranquillity without a body capable and qualified."

Among the first batch of graduates were: Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid, now the Crown Prince of Ajman; Major General Nasser Al Nuaimi, the secretary general of the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Colonel Mohammed Ahmed bin Ghanem, the chief of Fujairah Police; and Col Mohammed Al Humaidi, the director of the officer training institute at the police college.

Prominent figures and royals continued to graduate from the college.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Nasser, Sheikh Zayed's grandson, graduated from the college last year. "I feel like dancing on top of the floor today, comparing it to the first day I entered," he said on his graduation day. "On my first day, I was not expecting the atmosphere I found myself in. I thought we will be more pampered and comfortable, such as sleeping conditions for example."

However, he never thought of quitting because he had been enrolled in the college by his late father, Sheikh Nasser bin Zayed, who died in a helicopter crash in 2008.

* Haneen Dajani