Happy Birthday to our dear and lovely United Arab Emirates, which was born on 2 December 1971. This makes our dear country a mere 38 years old. Barely considered middle-aged by human terms, so imagine if judged by national terms alongside other nations.
Given that this is my first National Day on UAE soil in a decade, I really savoured the sweet flavour of this day here in the UAE. This is a day we forget our roots and allegiances. We're not Abu Dhabi or Dubai, we're not Sharjah or Ajman, we're UNITED Arab Emirates! Our differences make the alloy of the UAE stronger, and paves the way to an even brighter future inshalla (God willing)!
Given my geographic distance from the UAE all these years, the UAE has always remained close to my heart. So I dedicate this post to all Emaratis and UAEians and anyone that loves the UAE but are unable to share this lovely day with the rest of the UAE population. I dedicate this post to all the lovely UAE supporters wherever they are, in the UK or USA, in Canada or in Australia, in Japan or in Russia, in Brunei or in Pakistan, in Kenya or in Italy. This is for you.
I was happy and proud to attend the procession organised at Emaar Boulevard yesterday under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. The story is best told through the pictures that follow. Enjoy!
1- A lovely display of the UAE flag alongside the world's tallest building, the Burj Dubai at 818 meters high.
2- A chirpy street dancer on bouncy stilts with the UAE flag painted on his face.
3- A group of dancers sporting the UAE flag on stilts. They were very bouncy!
4- No parade is complete without a Camel! So the organisers got together a group of camels. They entertained us all not only with their good looks, but also with their loud camel noises, and above all their camel poopy smell.. hahaha it was really smelly but everyone loved it. Of course, what better a contrast than having the Burj as the backdrop. Camels roamed the lands where the Burj is now standing not more than 20 years ago! I remember it!
5- Even the skies of the UAE carried the colour of the flag.
6- Dubai Police offered us a lovely display of their cars and motorcycles. The black bikes are Suzukis and the white ones are Yamahas, the cars of course as German BMW's. Shame they didn't use European bikes, as they are much more fun and characteristic. Imagine Dubai Police on BMW's or Ducatis. Yummy!
7- This is a closeup on the women in black on black bikes. They are from a special branch of the Police whose job is just to protect foreign dignitaries on UAE soil. I'm so proud of them to take a job like that. It might just be me, but I found those ladies to be very attractive too! The one in the foreground (you can see just her helmet) was so petit she could barely touch the ground with her specially-designed boots. However I know what she lacks in stature she compensates for in skill and determination. Like I said, these boys and girls made me very proud!
I wonder if they need any part-time help!
8- This group of balloons was very entertaining. Organised by the RTA, it's supposed to look like a station and a metro train. Each balloon needed about 20 guys to hold it down (I assume it was filled with lighter than air Helium gas). The ironic thing is that this RTA endeavour actually caused a traffic jam, hehe.
9- No Parade is complete without mentioning of Dubai's Father, the late Sheikh Rashed Al Maktoum who happens to be the biological father of our current Dubai Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, bless them both! Sheikh Rashed is the co-architect of the Union along with his "brother" Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan. Sheikh Zayed was the first UAE President and considered by many in the UAE and beyond as one of the greatest world leaders in the last century. May they all be blessed and may their souls rest in peace.
10- I think this picture explains itself. Beautiful!
Just a minor note on translation. The Arabic word under Sheikh Mohammed's picture says "My Vision" which is taken from the cover of his book by the same name.
Finally, I took this picture from a far away place during sunset.
I believe in hope.
I believe in a better future.
I believe in the UAE.
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