40 years of Dubai Police through the lens of Mushtaq Ahmed

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‪Photos documenting 40 Years of Proud #DubaiPolice History, taken by Photographer 1st Warrant Officer Mushtaq Ahmad , in an exhibition at the Dubai Mall celebrating the UAE’s 46th National Day. ‬ ‪#46NationalDay‬ ‪#YourSecurityOurHappiness‬

Posted by Dubai Police - Official Page on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Landing in Dubai with a camera on his shoulder and unknown future ahead, Mushtaq Ahmed didn’t expect he would be witness to a force now behind one of the safest environments in the world.

Joining Dubai Police as a Warrant Officer in 1977, the Indian photographer documented the history of police forces over a span of 40 years through rare images, 18 of which are now on display at a photo exhibition in The Dubai Mall as the country gears up to celebrate its 46th National Day.

At 72 years old, Ahmed is the head of the photography sector of General Department of Community Happiness and father of seven children. He recalls the moment he captured the inauguration of the first computer at the Dubai Police headquarters back in 1979.

“It was the first computer introduced to train officers and staff. Today, the Dubai Police has the second biggest operation room in the world after Japan,” said Ahmed as he pointed at one of the pictures on display showing young His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the inauguration.

Now, he said, the operations room of the Dubai Police is marked with its most advanced equipment that enables forces to have 24/7 surveillance of the city and send rescue teams to emergencies within minutes.

The exhibition, which runs until December 4 in the Fashion Avenue right opposite to Paris Gallery, shows close up images of royals at special moments in the Dubai Police history, the force that’s now talking supercar fleets and smart police stations.

One picture captures the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Sheikh Mohammed during the inauguration ceremony of the Dubai Police Academy in 1989.

Ahmed, who travelled with the police delegations to document their participation in international events and festivals, said the feeling that the Arab countries need a long time to keep up with the world’s progress has quickly vanished. “When I visited the operations room in Singapore in 1988, I felt we need a long time to reach to the progress they have, but this feeling disappeared in no time. Dubai has seen the progress that none of us expected will see in this short time span,” said Ahmed.

Joining Dubai Police as a Warrant Officer in 1977, the Indian photographer documented the history of police forces over a span of 40 years through rare images, 18 of which are now on display at a photo exhibition in The Dubai Mall as the country gears up to celebrate its 46th National Day.

Being in charge of sending pictures of Dubai Police events to the Press, Ahmed said his colleagues refer to him as ‘Mr Click’.

He was also in charge of taking aerial shots of the country’s infrastructure to be used for Dubai Police records.

Now after documenting 40 years of development, Ahmed said he feels he’s part of the country.

“Dubai is home. It’s been an honour to witness this development and to be given the chance to be part of it,” said Ahmed.

Holding his position at the Dubai Police and marking the country’s continuous development, Ahmed said there’s still more to look forward to and to document.

“If it took 46 years for the UAE to become a global dream destination, then we can imagine what will happen in the next few years, especially with the country talking innovation and Artificial Intelligence,” said Ahmed.

He noted he plans to organise a bigger exhibition showcasing Sheikh Mohammed’s wedding ceremony pictures and writing a book that features all the images that captured the country’s development.

“I’m treated with so much respect in the department as a senior man and as a colleague. Without their support, I wouldn’t have had this exhibition either. There’s no better place I imagined I would be at and I look to stay here as long as I can.”

About Mushtaq Ahmed

Mushtaq Ahmed - Dubai Police Warrant OfficerWarrant Office Mushtaq Ahmed Muhammad Amir head of photography section for Dubai Police Force, one of the very first professional photographers in Dubai showcases his documented history with Dubai Police over a span of his 40 years career since October 1977.
He has been fully supported by the Dubai Police General HQ and has travelled with the Police delegations Internationally to document participation in events and festivals such as Police Olympics in Australia 1988, Canada 1990 and USA 1992. His photography has been showcased in many galleries including a photo exhibition in the US capital, Washington.