By Ahmed Hashem
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Although the number is limited, women now serve as police officers on the streets of Dubai, a job long reserved for men.
If you walk or drive on the streets of the bustling Gulf city of Dubai, you will see policewomen riding motorbikes — an uncommon scene in the mostly conservative Arab region.
The 18 members of the Dubai Policewomen Special Guard Unit, a police service launched earlier this year, are on duty to protect businesswomen, dignitaries and female members of the ruling family.
The job was long reserved for men in Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.
Eman Salem, who has worked in the police for 20 years, says the job gives her the chance to handle tough situations.
“Every day, I feel more attached to my job and more determined to perform my duties perfectly,” she said.
“It is hard to work in our field, as it requires us to enhance our abilities and maintain our fitness in order to have quick responses to different situations and emergencies,” she explained.
These situations include handling hostage-taking and abductions, so it comes as no surprise that Salem and her colleagues have mastered different weapons, trained in martial arts, and learned to jump from moving cars and scale down high buildings.
The unit’s members have attended courses in shooting and fitness at the Police Academy in Dubai.
“Our assignments and regular training have helped me overcome my fears and gain all skills necessary to handle hardships,” Aisha Obeid said.
“Some people may never imagine the extent of training we receive and the amount of effort we exert to be ready for any mission,” Obeid, who joined the police more than 11 years ago, added.