Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Happy National Day

I shouldn't let National Day pass without a brief post on the subject.

National Day is celebrated from 2nd December each year in the UAE for two days or more (usually the 2nd and 3rd). It marks the UAE's formal nationalisation from the British Protectorate Treaties which ended on December 1, 1971 and the eventual, federal unification of the seven emirates in 1971 which combined to form the modern-day country, headed by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the federation's first president.

The occasion is marked by much celebration if this year is anything to go by. For days beforehand people are hard at work decorating their cars, homes and offices. Some people do seem to get a little carried away.....

Turning to houses, in the same way that some people go overboard decorating the outside of their houses for Christmas, some people get a little carried away. As we walked out onto the main road to get a taxi at the weekend we discovered that one of the Emirati families that lives on the compound had hired a crane to come and put a huge flag up.

Flossie counted the UAE flags that we saw on the way to dinner that same evening. We were only going a few miles but it didn't take long to get to well over 100, especially as she seemed to reset to 40 every time she got to 79!

Thankfully she didn't count them on the way to Al Ain on Sunday. We must have passed thousands, including this gentleman riding his bike up the hard shoulder of the highway.

The celebrations normally culminate with big firework displays on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, and other locations. We gave them a miss this year as apparently the city centre gets gridlocked and it can take more than two hours to complete the journey home (a journey which normally shouldn't take much more than 30 minutes). One for next year I think.

How many flags?

Thanks for reading.


1 comment:

ali jan qadir said...

hahaaha the car is classic... Such love for their leaders :p