Al Khamsa basically means  (The Five) for the 5 main strains and the tribes that bred them. An Al Khamsa horse has to trace  in every line of it’s pedigree back to the horse raising Bedouin tribes of Arabia.

During the 20th century, Egyptian horse breeders started preserving the “Straight Egyptian” horse but still only 2% of all Arabians are considered Straight Egyptian. These horses  must still trace in all lines to the desert Bedouin to be considered Al Khamsa, so this means that not all Straight Egyptians qualify to be Al Khamsa.


Originally a substrain of the Saqlawi, Dahman represents an ideal blending of the Kuhaylan and Saqlawi type and cross exceptionally well with the modern Saqlwai strain. They are known to have the most beautiful heads and were particularly valued by both Abbas Pasha and Ali Pasha Sherif, who remarked “If I had only one strain to choose from in maintaining my stud, I would choose the Al Dahman”

Some strain definitions and quotes on this site are paraphrased from  Judy Forbis’s wonderful. Book Authentic Arabian Bloodstock, an indispensable resource for Egyptian Arabian horse lovers!