Five Star Stables
“Thy saddle shall be the seat of prayers to me.
And thou shall fly without any wings
And conquer without any sword.”
from The Qur’an
This is a brief post, focusing on the pictures, which speak for themselves. It will appeal to equestrians, people who love horses, and anyone interested in the spectacular skyline and extravagances of Dubai. (A note to the regular followers of my posts: If you want to see the photos on them in their fullness- or the overall blog itself- go to the actual site, expateyes.com, rather than relying on the text that shows up in your email.)
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai is an accomplished and avid horseman, who owns many purebred Arabian horses and participates frequently in international competitions. He owns stables, racetracks and stud farms in England, Ireland, and Kentucky. Evidently he rides almost every single day, often in the desert or along the shoreline of the Arabian Gulf. Riding is deeply engrained in his Bedouin roots -remember he is a mere generation away from tribal, desert life- and the enthusiasm is shared by his family members.
In fall 2008, some tourists from Maryland arranged, through a connection of a member in their group, a private tour of the Sheikh’s Zabeel Stables. There is no public access to these, so I felt very fortunate to be included. The main trainer told us that on the previous day, the Sheikh’s 11-month-old daughter had gone for her first ride! The horses are simply splendid. Each one has two fulltime caretakers or handlers.