Dubai: The Purebred Arabian racing community has been left in shock following the passing of Dr Hussain Al Reda, one of the most influential patrons of the sport.
Al Reda, who was born in Dubai in 1935, was regarded as one of most prominent doctors in the world having specialised in the treatment of fractures and orthopaedics, as well as in neurosurgery.
Among his many administrative roles, he was the general coordinator for the Arabian races promoted by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.
He was awarded the Hamdan Award for distinguished medical personalities in the medical field in the UAE in 2003-2004.
Until his death on Saturday, Al Reda was the General Coordinator of the Emirates International Challenge Stakes, an endurance competition for Purebred Arabian series conducted by the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation.
The three-round series carries a purse of Dh2 million.
Al Reda studied elementary school in Karachi, Pakistani, before he moved to Beirut, Lebanon, and then to Germany to continue his studies.
With a penchant for learning languages, Al Reda and devoted the first year of his stay in Europe to studying language, a variety of which he was fluent in and spoke seven dialects.
After graduating from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Munich with a degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 1966 he then obtained a doctorate from the University of Tobingen to launch his principal career specialising in general surgery.
He worked in the German Hospital Paul, where he became head of the Department of Surgery.
In 1974, Al Reda returned to Dubai and began treating patients in Rashid Hospital.
He would also establish the first department of trauma surgery, and introduced orthopaedics and joint replacement as well as neurosurgery.
Al Reda was a passionate supporter of Purebred Arabian racing and help grow the sport in its early days during the 1980s and 1990s.
He once said: “Purebred Arabian horses are God’s creation. They are so beautiful and kind. They are unlike any other horse. They are special.
“We Arabs need to preserve their heritage the show the world what they are capable of a race horses, endurance horses, show horses and farm horses. They are close to the hearts of the Arab world and always will be held in the highest esteem.”