Shaikh Mohammad and Shaikh Hamdan
Shaikh Mohammad and Shaikh Hamdan with the Masar graduates during the Masar Godolphin Graduation Ceremony in Dubai. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: A select group of Emiratis were lauded as young women and men making a difference after successfully graduating from a programme created by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Shaikh Mohammad created Masar Godolphin, Masar meaning ‘path’ in English, as an academic and experimental programme that provides opportunities to young equine enthusiasts, in the world of thoroughbred racing.

The five women and four men, who received their certificates from Shaikh Mohammad and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, at the Madinat Jumeirah on Thursday, said that they are united in their mission to inspire others through their outstanding achievements as Masar ambassadors.

The Masar programme, which ran from January this year through to October, allowed the trainees to spend invaluable time entrenched in Godolphin’s fast-paced UK operation.

Noor Al Falasi
Shaikh Hamdan presents the Certificate of Completion to Noor Al Falasi at Madinat Jumeirah on Thursday. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Godolphin CEO Hugh Anderson said: “Masar was created to create leaders and to introduce talented young Emiratis to an industry that we are passionate about, like His Highness Shaikh Mohammad.

“Great leaders are not just born, they need to learn from experience. These young students have gained in a large way. At the British Racing School, where they learned about horsemanship, at the British Army at Sandhurst, where they learnt about military leadership, and at the London West End, where they learned about presentation skills.

“But mostly they learned from our trainers and people at Godolphin and everyone at Godolphin has learnt something from having these intelligent people spend time with them,” he added.

“I thank His Highness Shaikh Mohammad for his vision in creating this programme and everyone at Godolphin, who has worked hard to ensure it is a success.”

Noor Al Falasi, who holds a Master’s degree in Science and is the first Arab woman to set foot in the Antarctic, described the Masar programme as a life-changing experience.

“It not only teaches you about the thoroughbred industry but also about personal development and leadership,” she said. “It is simply amazing to combine all three. I am eager to continue within the thoroughbred industry because it has captured my heart to be honest. The industry is big and it caters to everyone’s speciality and needs.”

Mohammad Mardood, also concurred with Al Falasi that the last ten months with Masar have changed his life forever.

“I consider myself so lucky to have accepted into the programme, these are stories that I am going to tell my children someday,” he said. “I would love to become a jockey and then perhaps a trainer. I believe that in life everything comes with passion and hard work, and I think I have both in plenty.”

Ali Al Ali, Head of Masar Godolphin, said that he is very proud of the Class of 2018, who he said worked hard to accomplish the vision of Shaikh Mohammad.

“This batch of Emiratis exhibited extraordinary commitment,” he said, “It was a pleasure to work with people who show the utmost passion towards horses and I believe that the future holds a lot for all of them. I wish them the best of luck.”

The Graduates:

Mohammad Mardood, Ali Al Jaffal, Kholoud Al Hosani, Abdul Aziz Al Noori, Alia Alobeidl, Lamya Al Ali, Noor Al Falasi, Sultan Al Suboosi, Fatima Al Badi.