Ahmed Al-Daham

COURTESY Hana Al Daham
RELATIONSHIP: my father

By the end of 2018, I had spent 50 years of my career in Dubai Police. I joined Dubai Police on June 18, 1968, at the age of 19. At that time, Dubai Police was under the leadership of Jack Brix, and the number of police officers at the time did not exceed a few hundred. My employee number is 253, and I am proud of it as it bears witness to my career in the police, whose achievements are recognised in international forums because of the leadership of the rulers of the emirate and the achievements of its loyal members.

I look back at some of my fondest memories, the most important of which is the declaration of the union of the UAE. Other police officers and I were assigned to secure the convoy of the sheikhs from the northern and eastern Emirates to the Al-Diyafa Palace, where the union was announced.

After that, I was assigned to secure the convoys of Sheikh Zayed. May God rest his soul in Dubai. I also participated in organising the official processions for heads of states visiting the emirate, thus refining my skill to provide professional courses to police personnel in the 1990s, up until the last day of my career, in official processions protocol and VIP protection.

I also remember the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed when he visited Al Qusais, precisely when he reached Al Qusais Roundabout. In the early morning hours, he supervised the construction of low-income housing. I remember stopping traffic to secure the movement of his vehicle, but he asked me not to do so. I witnessed first-hand his humility and understood where his children got it from and why all people loved him.

It is also my pleasure to talk about Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who was and still is an outstanding leader. I witnessed him lead Dubai Police on November 1, 1968, as the Dubai Chief of Police and Public Security. He was distinguished by his keenness to educate police personnel, enrol them in higher education, develop the military academy in all its fields, construct police buildings for all specialities, and enhance the military cadre. He always placed people before anything else, and everyone can attest to that. I felt this as a member of the police through his instructions to the officials and his recommendations to overcome the obstacles that we were facing at the time. Perhaps that was what motivated us to work extra hours after the official work period in securing evening events such as matches, conferences and others.

I also worked at the small Dubai International Airport, which comprised two departure and reception halls, a transit hall, an immigration office, a small restaurant for airport visitors, and aircrafts belonging to three airlines at the time. We realised, as time passed, the ambitions of Sheikh Rashid and his sons to make the emirate a global centre. They established new halls, built runways based on international standards, and added distinguished services to attract major airlines.
Indeed, the dream came true before our eyes, and we are very proud of it as if it was our achievement. Many rapid developments followed at the airport, which we felt with the change in police procedures that kept pace with the airport's growth.

I also remember when I worked as a supervisor of traffic police in Rashidiya in Dubai. The people of the area knew me at that time, and to this day, the elders and the children who have become adults now greet me. A young man reminded me recently of standing in front of the Al-Aqsa School and how I watched over them as they got off the bus and walked towards the "cafeteria" near the school, despite the school's instructions at the time to buy food from the school campus. He also reminded me of stopping them from escaping from school from time to time by jumping over the school fence.

I have many stories to share that I have encountered with citizens and residents here in Dubai during my time as a traffic policeman. I am also sure that whoever lived on this good land was affected by the good nature of its people. I remember that I once stopped a driver violating traffic rules in Al Mamzar Street. I asked him for his vehicle's papers and driving license and was surprised to find out that he was a high ranking police officer. I wanted to apologise to him, but he asked me to complete issuing him a ticket. He also thanked me and praised my work ethic.

Ever so happy for the last 50 years and delighted with the beautiful legacy my children now get to enjoy in my homeland, the UAE

His 50-year career is a source of pride for all his children, and it expresses the extent of his efforts and keenness to give his children a good and dignified upbringing.

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