‘I shook the Queen’s hand’: UAE expat recalls special moment from UK royal’s 1979 Dubai visit
Tributes have been pouring in for the late monarch
British nationals in the UAE have been sharing their special moments with Queen Elizabeth II as tributes pour in for the late monarch.
Briton Dikrayet Saleh was just a little girl studying at the Dubai English Speaking School (DESS) when the Queen visited the UAE in 1979.
“I remember being smartly dressed and a group of us students being taken from the school to the British embassy,” she said. “We all stood in a line and the Queen walked past us and shook hands with all of us.”
Saleh spoke about how special it felt. “As a small child, it was a significant event for me,” she said. “Now that she is gone, it feels strange. All of us who are living now have our passports in the name of Her Majesty. From now onwards, it will be His Majesty. That will be a huge change.”
The most travelled monarch in the world, Queen Elizabeth visited the UAE twice – in 1979 and 2010.
Another UAE resident Rebecca Rees recalled the time she too saw the Queen in the late 1970s. “She was visiting our town to tour the atomic weapons facility where my father still works as an engineer,” she said. “I remember being a little girl and watching as she drove by. I waved at her, and she waved back. It felt so special.”
- ‘Are these Sheikh Mohammed’s horses?’: When Dubai Police’s equestrian unit wowed Queen Elizabeth II