Since Jane arrived in Abu Dhabi in 1969, 30 years ago, she's seen it become a thriving, cosmopolitan metropolis with high-rise buildings, eight-lane highways, and beautiful gardens. While living there, she wears another hat: as owner/principal of an international school, with 662 children, representing 36 nationalities, aged three to twelve. "I opened Al Rabeeh School in 1979 with a handful of kindergarten children, and it has expanded in nationalities, size and age groups ever since, but we are now at maximum capacity in the existing buildings, despite having moved several times. My time away from Abu Dhabi, is sometimes to interview new staff but usually for my other passion, Arabian horses. Needless to say, it is very much bound by the amount of work in school and its holidays.
"Having said that, Abu Dhabi is a very comfortable place to live, and I actually wonder, after all these years, if I could adapt to living in England again on a permanent basis. There are few restrictions in Abu Dhabi; women can drive, dress as they would in the West, and have plenty of spare time. My life would be complete if I could have horses here' says Jane.
"A fascinating aspect of living in Abu Dhabi is that hundreds of the fastest Arabian horses from every country have been imported here to the U.A.E. - probably the only place in the world where this has happened. As a breeder, I'm lucky to have the opportunity to compare the type of racehorse bred in UK, France, Russia, Poland and America."
On the subject of French-bred Arabians, Jane offers, "Well, they've caused a lot of discussion regarding their purity in the past years, as the majority don't look like Arabian horses. But would anyone have questioned the purity if they had not been so successful on the track? Plain, correct Arabian horses are bred all over the world... the French-bred Arabians just run faster and they have been specifically selected for their speed for generations."