UAE erupts in joy on 44th National Day

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)

The 44th UAE National Day in Abu Dhabi was a people's celebration. Although the festivities started with a traditional dhow race at the Abu Dhabi Corniche with not much crowd in the morning the streets and parks of the Capital were inundated with people and cars - one more creatively decorated than the other by lunch time.

From Mushrif Park downtown to Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island thousands of residents came out to celebrate UAE's birthday.

"There isn't much going on in terms of shows but it's a beautiful day and it is nice to be outdoors" said Lamia Khalfan a Lebanese national as she set up a picnic spot for her family at the Corniche.

"We spent around half an hour looking for a parking space at the Corniche. It seems like the entire city had the same idea as us" she added.

Indeed Lamia and her family were among the many people who were seen enjoying the weather and picnicking on the green patches along the 10-km Abu Dhabi Corniche. Later in the evening traditional Emirati folk shows were held at the Corniche to entertain the public.

Malls of the Capital were also abuzz with Emirati songs children shows and raffle draws. Marina Mall was particularly popular for the Marina Eye a Ferris wheel which was installed just outside its entrance and which will keep spinning until December 4.

"I have been to the London Eye which is a lot bigger and I must say it really isn't the same but it is still a lot of fun and you do get great views of the Abu Dhabi Corniche" said Jamie Crawford a British resident in Abu Dhabi who just had a ride on the Marina Eye.

Another bird's-eye view at a much higher spin was offered by the Yas Marina Circuit where a zip line was installed especially for the National Day celebrations that will go on until Friday evening.

The popularity of the zip line could be gauged by the large number of people queuing up for it (at least one hour waiting).

"It was good fun! I would do it again and again if the queue was shorter" said Nasser Al Kuwaiti an Emirati national.

Other highlights of the fun fair included Ayala shows magic shows Arabic calligraphers and henna painting. Another crowd puller was a mini bazaar where the city's talented craftsmen brought along their handmade clothes jewellery and paintings. As the evening progressed and more people came out to join the celebrations and the celebrations reached a crescendo as the Capital's skyline witnesses amazing fireworks.

Festivities in Dubai

In Dubai mid-afternoon revelers got out on to the streets with their decorated cars to be part of the celebrations. Many residents headed to the Emaar Downtown Boulevard the Walk in Marina The Dubai Mall parks and the Box Park in Jumeirah to check out the celebrations.

Besides placing 1000 UAE flags on the main streets of Dubai the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) organised different activities for the public at Metro stations showcasing UAE heritage and popular Emirati cuisine. Events included a workshop for painting UAE maps a corner for therapeutic herbs and perfumes as well as traditional tents that were set up near metro stations.

The daily fireworks show which is being organised by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in collaboration with Al Zarooni Group commenced on Wednesday at The Beach - opposite JBR as part of the National Day celebrations in Dubai and will continue at the same location today and tomorrow December 4 at 8.30pm.

Dubai's N-Day babies

Five healthy babies were born on December 2 at the Medcare Hospital. The first baby to be delivered at 4.08 am was a girl. "Both mothers and babies are doing well and will soon be part of the UAE community and celebrate with their loved ones. December 2 babies will add more joy to our celebrations as well as contribute in UAE's bright future" said Ala Atari CEO of Medcare Hospital.

Celebrations in Sharjah

Sharjah resident Nour Elshaier said while holding the UAE flag: "It's amazing to see such spirit and patriotism. I hope the UAE reaches greater heights in the years to come." Another Sharjah resident and Indian expatriate Annie George said: "It's great to see everyone come together and celebrate the day. I've been here for 17 years UAE truly feels like home."

The delicious aroma of local UAE delicacies and sounds of laughters filled the air in Al Qasba Sharjah where Kalimat Group's cultural bookstore and caf Maktaba celebrated the National Day.

Children and their families gathered outside the caf to line up for 'khubz rgag' (a popular bread dish) and 'luqaimat' (crunchy sweet dumplings) browse the shop's range of Arabic titles get henna designs made and to listen to a lively storytelling session by artist Ali Aloush.

Managing Director of Kalimat Group Tamer Said said: "It's truly a joy to see how far the UAE has come along over the years and to be able to celebrate its welcoming atmosphere diverse population and cultural contributions not only to the region but to the world as a whole."

Silvia Radan I'm a senior journalist with 22 years experience in all forms of mass media. Originally from Romania I lived and work in Bosnia Uzbekistan England and for the past 10 years in UAE. I specialize in art culture traditions heritage but also environment and the hospitality industry. I'm passionate about jazz and world music cinema mythology and offroading - I'm a marshal with one of UAE's offroading clubs!

Khaleej Times

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