Rabdan is one of the finest and most famous Arabian horses and is considered part of the UAE’s rich heritage.
Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor
Following the vision of the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, preserving Emirati heritage has remained a focal point of the UAE’s wise leadership.
In line with his vision, the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City last month merged Al Maqta and Bawabat areas into one and gave a new name: Rabdan.
Rabdan is one of the finest and most famous Arabian horses said to be descended from the horse of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is considered part of the UAE’s rich heritage and the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the Ruler of Abu Dhabi between 1855-1909, was known to have owned the breed. It was his first horse. One of the horses that the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owns is also called Rabdan. This particular horse “descended from the thoroughbred Arabian horses owned by the Al Nahyan dynasty for hundreds of years,” the Abu Dhabi Media Office had said.
The renaming was done based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and the follow-up of Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council. The significant move was aimed to embody the importance of heritage in naming cities and areas across the emirate, and serves as an important tool to teach generations about the UAE’s glorious history.
Following the announcement, Ramzi Al Mubarak, an Abu Dhabi resident who dedicated a website to Rabdan, has been offered up to Dhs1.2 million for the website name www.rabdan.abudhabi that he previously registered.
“I am truly impressed, but not surprised, as the importance of Rabdan is obvious across the Gulf, especially in the UAE, and Abu Dhabi in particular. In 2009, the website name www.horse.ae was reportedly sold for Dhs6 million in 2009 by an Indian-based technology firm,” says Ramzi.
“My aim to donate the sale of the website name www.rabdan.abudhabi to the UAE charities is to encourage the culture of shared responsibility and giving among new entrepreneurs and business owners. It is very important that we contribute, as those who are the happiest, are those who do the most for others.
“Arabian horse races in the UAE date back to over 100 years when the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Khalifa brought Rabdan to ink the intro of a fascinating story through which we are sailing right now. Having a cultural significance in the UAE, Rabdan was a gifted horse belonging to the governor of Abu Dhabi the Late Sheikh Zayed (1855 - 1904) known as ‘Zayed the First’ or ‘Grand Zayed’.”
Shedding light on Rabdan, he said the story started with Kahilah, a horse belonging to the Late Sheikh Zayed the First, that was given as a gift to Al Remaithi family. Kahilah gave birth to Rabdan, named after her male father’s horse which was given back to the Late Sheikh Zayed the First.
“When the Late Sheikh Zayed the First died (1909), the Late Sheikh Rashed Bin Ahmed Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain at the time (1904-1922) received Rabdan as a gift from the Al Nahyan family.”
“The breed still exists with the Royal family of Umm Al Quwain, and is called ‘Sons of Rabdan’, as a symbol of how elite this kind is,” he added.
Many poems were told of how powerful and fast Rabdan is, till it truly became an example of strength and speed, putting it as one of the finest and most elite breeds in the region.
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Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi’s oldest heritage site, Founder’s Memorial, UNESCO World Heritage Site Qasr Al Muwaiji in Al Ain, Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Jahili Fort, Zayed Centre, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Dubai Museum Al Fahidi Fort, Al Jazirat Al Hamra, the Ghost Town of Ras Al Khaimah, and Al Badiyah Mosque in Fujairah and others are some prominent places in the country which give an opportunity to learn and know the UAE’s glorious past.
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