Emirati mother tells of saving her children from savage dog attack in Fujairah

Despite dozens of onlookers, Nadyah Ahmed says no one tried to help

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An Emirati mother of four has said no one tried to help when she and her children experienced a savage dog attack on a beach in Fujairah.

The 39-year-old woman fought the dog off on Saturday for more than 15 minutes and says the crowd of beachgoers did nothing to intervene.

“I was on the sand trying to pick up our things so we could leave when I spotted my daughter who was playing in the sand being pulled by the leg by a dog,” said Nadyah Ahmed.

She had gone to the beach with her daughter Aya, 11, twin son and daughter aged six, a 14-month-old infant and the family helper.

She ran 20 metres, falling twice and getting sand in her eyes, trying to reach her daughter who was screaming.

“My eyes were full with sand but I reached her and tried to kick the dog away,” said Ms Ahmed.

According to her recollection the dog kept on biting her daughter on the thighs, legs and arms in a sustained, 10-minute attack.

The attack happened on Qidfa beach in Fujairah but no one intervened, said Nadyah Ahmed. Photo: Nadyah Ahmed

Even when the child was hiding behind her mother’s back, the dog managed to get to her and continue its attack.

The incident took place at 4pm on the emirate's Qidfa beach. The family had been there for only an hour but decided to leave because it was too windy.

Despite there being dozens of people nearby, Ms Ahmed said no one attempted to stop the dog from attacking her daughter.

“It looked like a wolf and was firmly biting her from the thigh and even pulled her," she said. "It then attacked me.

“So many people were on the beach, men and women, but they were just watching and not one of them tried to interfere and help.”

While Ms Ahmed fought the dog off herself, she told her daughter to run and hide in the car, where the helper and baby had also sought safety.

“My baby is so small, the dog would have eaten him,” said the mother.

Ms Ahmed's six-year-old son was not in the car and in a flash the dog let go of her and ran towards him.

“From among all the people around, it ran straight towards my son and by the time I made it to his spot, the dog had already bitten him in the back and legs,” she said.

She raced again to protect her son from the attack, as the dog bit both of them, she said.

Ms Ahmed held the attention of the dog and told her son to run to the car. After freeing herself from the grips of its teeth, she joined them and immediately drove to Khor Fakkan Hospital for urgent treatment.

Her husband, Saeed Al Thanhani, who was not present during the attack said they were told by doctors that his daughter’s wounds were about 3cm deep.

“They told us it couldn’t be stitched and is full of sand and dog saliva,” he said.

Ms Ahmed is also suffering from a number of bite wounds in her hands, arms, back, legs and thighs.

The woman and her two children must now receive injections until January 7 to guard against infections.

Two reports were raised as a result of the attack — one by the hospital in Fujairah where they family received treatment and another by Mr Al Thanhani.

Mr Al Thanhani also said the family would be pressing charges against the owners of the dog.

The police are now speaking to three young Emirati women in their 20s believed to own the dog.

In cases such as these, if the dog is not registered or vaccinated, it could be impounded with the option for it to be put down if it is deemed to be dangerous. The owner could also be liable for a hefty fine.

Updated: December 13, 2022, 1:05 PM