Dubai: A total of 87 elite Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams from 48 countries are gearing up for the 5th edition of the UAE SWAT Challenge 2024, hosted by Dubai Police at Al Ruwayaa Training City from February 3.
With a record number of participants, including five female and two mixed teams, the event is expected to be a public spectacle from 8 am to 3 pm daily.
The challenge encompasses five competitions: Tactical, Obstacle Course, Officer Rescue, Tower Challenge, and Assault. The prize money has been increased to $260,000, and alongside the SWAT Challenge, an Esports Tournament will be held.
Event detail released
The Organising Committee of the UAE SWAT Challenge has released details of the 5th edition, which kicks off this Saturday.
The five all-female teams taking part in the competition are: Dubai Police, Abu Dhabi Police, the Chilean Police, the Militsiya from Belarus and the Royal Thai Police.
The UAE Swat Challenge is organised by the Dubai Police and held under the patronage of Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.
It first started in 2019 and involved teams from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and the Ministry of Interior, as well as squads from overseas.
Largest edition yet
Brigadier Obaid Mubarak Al Ketbi, Acting Deputy Director of the General Department of Authorities, Facilities and Emergency Security for Authorities Security Affairs, told Gulf News that this year’s edition is the largest yet in terms of the number of teams competing, following the unparalleled success of the previous four editions on an international scale.
“Many teams and countries want to participate in the competition due to the great reputation of this competition. Our main goal is to exchange expertise and learn about the best practises,” he added.
Brigadier Al Ketbi said there are teams participating for first time including Turkey, China, Thailand, Azerbaijan , Mexico, Belize, Cameroon.
The committee highlighted the significant development of the UAE SWAT Challenge, thanks to the support and guidance of Lt. Gen. Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police.
The competition has achieved global recognition, fostering an exchange of expertise among participating tactical teams and introducing the latest global practices in rapid intervention.
The first-place team will receive $80,000, $40,000 for the second place, $30,000 for the third, $15,000 for the fourth, and descending amounts for places fifth through tenth.
Daily challenges will also be awarded, with the first-place team receiving $5,000, the second-place team $3,000, and the third-place team $2,000.
Each challenge requires tactical skill, physical ability, and proficiency.
Dubai Police Women’s Team ready to compete
1st Lt. Yasser Al Zarouni, Director of the Dubai Police Ladies Team, told Gulf News that the Dubai Police Women’s Team, participating for the second time, is prepared to face all five challenges, in accordance with the directives of Lt. Gen. Al Marri, and building upon the success achieved by the women’s team.
The team showed competitive results in the previous edition and is now fully trained in various advanced skills like tactical shooting, breaching, sniping, and endurance.
Lt Al Zarouni explained that the Dubai Police Women’s Team includes 8 women who are ready at the highest level of training to participate in the competitions after undergoing multiple advanced specialised training programmes, including tactical shooting, storming, raids, snipers, and endurance, which gave them great experience, and they reached an advanced level of complete readiness in performing tasks enough to compete in local and international tournaments.
The Dubai Police Women’s Team was able to obtain tenth place in the overall total during last year’s competition as part of its first participation in the UAE Tactical Teams Challenge 2023, out of 55 teams that participated in the challenge from various countries of the world.
This impressive performance is thanks to advanced training and high morale of the team in dealing with various challenges and competitions.
Lt. Afra Al Nuaimi told Gulf News that the 11-member team of the Dubai Police have been training since August 2023, working on improving their fitness and sharpening their overall skills.
More than 30 international referees will ensure fair play and professional conduct throughout the competition.
Major Abdullah Al Shehhi, Deputy Director of the Electronic Investigation Department at the General Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Investigations, said alongside the SWAT Challenge, Dubai Police has also announced a special edition of its Esports Tournament.
Forty players will compete in two games across eight teams - six male and two female. The competition will feature ‘Counter Strike 2’ and ‘Valorant’, with prize money totalling Dh50,000.
The conference was attended by Brigadier Al Ketbi, who is also the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the UAE Tactical Teams Challenge; Brigadier Musabah Al Ghafli, Acting Deputy Director of the General Department of Authorities, Facilities and Emergency Security for Emergency Affairs; Colonel Dr. Mohammed Al Janahi, Deputy Director of the General Department for Administrative Affairs; 1st Lt Yasser Al Zarouni, Director of the Dubai Police Ladies Team, Lt. Afra Al Nuaimi, Member of the Dubai Police Ladies Team, and Jamal Al Marzouqi, Member of the UAE Team Challenge Committee, and tactical team leaders from different participating countries.