al matrooshiThe emirate of Dubai continues to grow at a remarkable rate and has seen its population triple in less than 20 years. In 1991 it had just one tall building but now has over 400 skyscrapers including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, standing at an incredible 828 metres. Keeping pace with this change and planning for the protection of its citizens into the future is no easy task, however it is one that Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi has undertaken with great vision.

As commander in chief of all Civil Defence forces across the United Arab Emirates he has ensured that Dubai Civil Defence has set the standard for the other six emirates of the UAE and has become a benchmark across the region. The Major General has led a five year initiative which has resulted in a significant reduction to loss of life and assets through programmes such as the implementation of the UAE Fire and Life Safety Codes, comprehensive automated monitoring of all commercial premises in Dubai, targeted fire safety campaigns for industrial and residential properties, the issuing of Standard Operating Procedures across the UAE, and risk analysis for future planning and resource deployment.

The Major General started his professional career in the Armed Forces and quickly progressed through the ranks undertaking more senior managerial roles before being transferred to a strategic role with the Dubai Police Rescue Corps. Here he excelled and displayed a true passion for the Emergency Response sector so it was a natural progression when he was promoted to Director General of Dubai Civil Defence and subsequently as Commander in Chief of all UAE Civil Defence forces. The Major General also holds permanent membership of various Higher Councils in Dubai and the UAE for Police and Civil Defence Operations, Crisis Management and Framing National Polices and Strategies.

In recognition of his leadership and dedication to safety initiatives Major General Al Matroushi was awarded Fellowship of the IFE at a ceremony attended by senior officers of Dubai Civil Defence, a delegation from the British Embassy and fire industry professionals. The award was presented by Mr Ian Gibbons MBE, Deputy Consul General and Director of UK Trade and Investment who said “The partnership between the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates is a living embodiment of what’s happened today. We have such close links politically, economically and commercially and it’s wonderful that such a prestigious organisation, the Institution of Fire Engineers, has adopted and awarded the Major General such a prestigious award. It’s my honor and pleasure to present you this award. Major General this award is because your leadership and commitment have taken Dubai Civil Defence to a new level.”

Major General Al Matroushi accepted the award saying “I would like to thank the UK government, the British Embassy and the Institution of Fire Engineers for helping to make this award happen. It is my honour to receive this Fellowship from such a prestigious Institution. I would like to add that achieving such change and improvements to my organisation could not have happened without the dedication and efforts of all my teams in the Civil Defence”.

With a new IFE branch soon to be inaugurated in the GCC region it is clear that the IFE is creating a strong foothold on which to build its membership for the future.

Pictured: (l-r) Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi FIFireE, Peter Stephenson BEng(Hons) MIFireE (President of the new IFE GCC UAE Branch), Ian Gibbons MBE