Emirati Mohamed Al Kumaiti, 37, general manager of Ajman Equestrian Club, in a horse stable in Ajman. Sarah Dea / The National
Emirati Mohamed Al Kumaiti, 37, general manager of Ajman Equestrian Club, in a horse stable in Ajman. Sarah Dea / The National

Portrait of a nation: Emirati rider dedicates his life to equestrianism



Mohammed Al Kumaiti knew where his future lay from a young age and he pursued it with vigour. Now at the top of his profession as a master horseman, he explains the demands and sacrifices that his passion entails.

AJMAN // Mohammed Al Kumaiti has been riding horses since he was a young boy. He dedicates almost every waking hour to his passion, which is to spend as much time in the saddle as he can.

The Emirati first got on a horse at age 10 when he joined the Ajman Equestrian Club and started taking part in competitions five years later.

In Grade 10, he left high school to dedicate all of his time to riding and caring for horses.

“I can’t count how many tournaments I have participated in because they are in every country in the world, such as Germany, Belgium, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE,” said the 37-year-old.

His decision to quit school to pursue his dream was met with mixed emotions by his family. His father tried to convince the teenager to continue with his studies, but also recognised his son’s passion and skill with horses and encouraged and helped him to practise the sport.

“My father tried to reason with me not to leave school, but I couldn’t go back because I felt that I love horses and equestrianism more than studying,” said Mr Al Kumaiti who now works as the equestrian club’s general manager.

“I wanted to continue my studies, but there is no free time in this sport because I exercise [horses] every day from 5am to 9am and then I go to the club. After that I exercise again from 4pm to 8pm.”

After initially working for Sharjah Police in the mounted unit, he then took his current job where he takes a hands-on approach to the role.

He grooms and cleans his horses, something he was taught during his time spent in Europe.

“When I was 17 years old I went to Ireland because it is the country that refines horsemen,” he said.

“Cleaning the horse is the task of the rider, not the cleaners, because if they don’t understand the basics they can’t manage a club and the sport won’t be developed.

“My coach would always tell me ‘you are not only a horseman for riding a horse, you have to learn everything about horses to manage an equestrian club’.”

Mr Al Kumaiti’s decision to dedicate his life to horses was not easy, he had to start from the bottom.

“I started from zero, showering horses, their carts, stables and riding. In the end I am the owner of the horse and I care about its psychological condition. If I don’t clean and take care of it I can’t know what is its condition and the cleaner can’t know.”

Over the years Mr Al Kumaiti has been the UAE champion in equestrian competitions seven times and also holds titles for showjumping. His greatest joy in the sport comes from raising a foal into a fully grown champion.

“Horsemen acquire from riding patience, humility and respect for everyone who works with them,” he said.

While riding comes naturally to him he said that he sometimes struggles with the long hours his passion requires.

“If there was any difficulty, I enjoyed it because of my love [for horses]. But the hardest thing was alienation from homeland and family.”

When not on horseback the avid sportsman also enjoys skydiving, hunting, fishing, diving and sports cars. He has now taken up photography, but says nothing compares to his beloved horses.

“I still practise today. Equestrian is the most beautiful hobby I have ever practised and I give it most of my time.”

roueiti@thenational.ae

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 680hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 800Nm at 2,750-6,000rpm
Transmission: Rear-mounted eight-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 13.6L/100km
On sale: Orderbook open; deliveries start end of year
Price: From Dh970,000

INDIA'S TOP INFLUENCERS

Bhuvan Bam
Instagram followers: 16.1 million
Bhuvan Bam is a 29-year-old comedian and actor from Delhi, who started out with YouTube channel, “BB Ki Vines” in 2015, which propelled the social media star into the limelight and made him sought-after among brands.
Kusha Kapila
Instagram followers: 3.1 million
Kusha Kapila is a fashion editor and actress, who has collaborated with brands including Google. She focuses on sharing light-hearted content and insights into her life as a rising celebrity.
Diipa Khosla
Instagram followers: 1.8 million
Diipa Khosla started out as a social media manager before branching out to become one of India's biggest fashion influencers, with collaborations including MAC Cosmetics.
Komal Pandey
Instagram followers: 1.8 million
Komal Pandey is a fashion influencer who has partnered with more than 100 brands, including Olay and smartphone brand Vivo India.
Nikhil Sharma
Instagram followers: 1.4 million
Nikhil Sharma from Mumbai began his online career through vlogs about his motorcycle trips. He has become a lifestyle influencer and has created his own clothing line.
Source: Hireinfluence, various

Results

2pm Handicap (PA) Dh85,000 1,800m

Winner AF Al Baher, Tadhg O’Shea (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer).

2.30pm Maiden (TB) Dh75,000 1,400m

Winner Alla Mahlak, Fabrice Veron, Rashed Bouresly.

3pm Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 1,400m

Winner Davy Lamp, Adrie de Vries, Rashed Bouresly.

3.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 1,400m

Winner Ode To Autumn, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

4pm Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 1,950m

Winner Arch Gold, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

4.30pm Maiden (TB) Dh75,000 1,800m

Winner Meqdam, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

5pm Handicap (TB) Dh90,000 1,800m

Winner Native Appeal, Sam Hitchcott, Doug Watson.

5.30pm Maiden (TB) Dh75,000 1,400m

Winner Amani Pico, Tadhg O’Shea, Satish Seemar

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

GOODBYE JULIA

Director: Mohamed Kordofani

Starring: Siran Riak, Eiman Yousif, Nazar Goma

Rating: 5/5

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Politics in the West
COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: OneOrder
Started: March 2022
Founders: Tamer Amer and Karim Maurice
Based: Cairo
Number of staff: 82
Investment stage: Series A

'Lost in Space'

Creators: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Irwin Allen

Stars: Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins

Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

War

Director: Siddharth Anand

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Ashutosh Rana, Vaani Kapoor

Rating: Two out of five stars 

What went into the film

25 visual effects (VFX) studios

2,150 VFX shots in a film with 2,500 shots

1,000 VFX artists

3,000 technicians

10 Concept artists, 25 3D designers

New sound technology, named 4D SRL

 

MATCH INFO

Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Son 1', Kane 8' & 16') West Ham United 3 (Balbuena 82', Sanchez og 85', Lanzini 90'+4)

Man of the match Harry Kane

Company Fact Box

Company name/date started: Abwaab Technologies / September 2019

Founders: Hamdi Tabbaa, co-founder and CEO. Hussein Alsarabi, co-founder and CTO

Based: Amman, Jordan

Sector: Education Technology

Size (employees/revenue): Total team size: 65. Full-time employees: 25. Revenue undisclosed

Stage: early-stage startup 

Investors: Adam Tech Ventures, Endure Capital, Equitrust, the World Bank-backed Innovative Startups SMEs Fund, a London investment fund, a number of former and current executives from Uber and Netflix, among others.

Company Profile

Name: Takestep
Started: March 2018
Founders: Mohamed Khashaba, Mohamed Abdallah, Mohamed Adel Wafiq and Ayman Taha
Based: Cairo, Egypt
Sector: health technology
Employees: 11 full time and 22 part time
Investment stage: pre-Series A

SPEC SHEET: APPLE M3 MACBOOK AIR (13")

Processor: Apple M3, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3/USB-4 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Midnight, silver, space grey, starlight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W/35W dual-port/70w power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable, 2 Apple stickers

Price: From Dh4,599

SUZUME

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Stars: Nanoka Hara, Hokuto Matsumura, Eri Fukatsu

Rating: 4/5

SPEC SHEET: SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FLIP 4

Display: Main – 6.7" FHD Dynamic Amoled 2X, 2640 x 1080, 22:9, 425ppi, HDR10+, up to 120Hz; cover – 1.9" Super Amoled, 512 x 260, 302ppi

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, 4nm, octa-core; Adreno 730 GPU

Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB

Platform: Android 12, One UI 4.1.1

Main camera: Dual 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP wide (f/1.8), OIS, portrait, super slo-mo, hyperlapse

Video: 4K@30/60fps, full-HD@30/60fps, HD@30fps; slo-mo@240/960fps; HDR10+

Front camera: 10MP (f/2.4)

Battery: 3700mAh, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, 'all-day' life

Connectivity: 5G; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC (Samsung Pay)

I/O: USB-C

Cards: Nano-SIM + eSIM; no microSD slot

Colours: Bora purple, graphite, pink gold, blue; Bespoke Edition in select countries

In the box: Flip 4, USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price: Dh3,799 / Dh3,999 / Dh4,449

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

The Uefa Awards winners

Uefa Men's Player of the Year: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Uefa Women's Player of the Year: Lucy Bronze (Lyon)

Best players of the 2018/19 Uefa Champions League

Goalkeeper: Alisson (Liverpool)

Defender: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Midfielder: Frenkie de Jong (Ajax)

Forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Uefa President's Award: Eric Cantona


The UAE Today

The latest news and analysis from the Emirates

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      The UAE Today