GCC officer cadets graduate from UK's Sandhurst military academy

More than 300 men and women from the Emirates have completed the tough year-long course over the years

Eight GCC recruits were among 200 officer cadets who graduated from the UK's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, south-west of London, on Friday.

There were two UAE cadets and six others from the Arabian Gulf who completed the British Army’s gruelling year-long training to pass out as an officer.

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, watched as the officers, carrying swords and dressed in their dark blue uniforms, marched in step under a wintry December sun.

The Emirati officers were joined by three from Oman and one from Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait in the GCC contingent.

Two cadets each from Iraq and Jordan and one cadet from Egypt were also among the 26 countries represented.

They have all completed the fundamentals of soldiering, including digging trenches in often freezing and wet conditions during week-long exercises.

CAMBERLEY, SURREY, UNITED KINGDOM - December 11, 2020: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (C), a photograph with UAE Officer Cadets from Commissioning Courses 201, 202 and 203 during the Sovereign’s Parade for Commissioning Course 201, at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Seen with HH Sheikh Zayed bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (3rd L), HH Sheikh Humaid bin Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi (4th L) and other UAE Officer cadets. 

( Rashed Al Mansoori / Ministry of Presidential Affairs )

The tough 44-week course aims to test both the physical and intellectual skills of officer cadets, while also teaching them the values of “service” held by the British Army.

Sandhurst also seeks to instil the values of integrity, valour, loyalty and responsibility.

During their course, the cadets studied in the Zayed Building, the new accommodation block named after Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, and built following a £15m ($19.8m) donation from the Emirates.

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, representing her mother Queen Elizabeth II, at the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst today. PA

The Emirati Sandhurst graduates marched off the parade ground to become officers in the UAE military, joining more than 300 UAE men and women who have completed the training over the years.

The Emirates is understood to be the Arab country with the largest number of Sandhurst graduates.

The ceremony comes exactly a year after Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, watched his son Sheikh Zayed bin Mohamed march off the famous parade square.

Other royals to have graduated from Sandhurst include Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, King Abdullah of Jordan and King Hamad of Bahrain. Britain's Prince William and Prince Harry also graduated from the academy.

Updated: December 11th 2021, 12:50 PM