UAE says its security is ready for Sept. 18 IMF meeting

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

ABU DHABI The United Arab Emirates has bolstered security for a meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Dubai.

UAE officials said the Dubai emirate has strengthened its police and security forces with additional officers and advanced security and military equipment. They said the force has been training to respond to any insurgency attack or emergency during the six-day meeting, which begins on Sept. 18.

"Our rescue officers are ready to tackle any crisis," Brig Gen. Mohammed Al Mansoori, a senior Dubai police official, said. "We have been preparing and planning for it over the past year. We have the equipment and staff to deal with land and sea rescues with utmost efficiency."

On Tuesday, Dubai's police and civil defense forces staged an exercise at a major hotel, Middle East Newsline reported. The exercise sought to test the response and capabilities of authorities to rescue an fire victim on the hotel's 36th floor.

Al Mansoori commands a 300-member rescue department that deals with land and sea operations. The department has six sections that employ an elite rapid response force as well as naval vessels.

Officials said UAE security forces have added patrols near the Dubai International Convention Center, where the IMF-World Bank meeting is scheduled. They said the board of governor's session, which includes representatives from 184 countries, constitutes the greatest test of Dubai's security capabilities and its ability to handle thousands of people meant to attend the meeting.

The Dubai emergency forces has a response time of between five and 15 minutes, officials said. The forces have been trained in an effort to reduce the response time.

"We are working towards further modernizing our equipment, introducing new technology, upgrading skills and having greater participation in international events such as security exhibitions," Al Mansoori said.

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