The women’s majlis: National Day is a proud occasion

‘I don’t like how people celebrate the National Day,” said one of my friends. “The boring car parade, spraying string on others and traffic congestion. We should do something more memorable on this day.”

I neither agree or disagree with my friend’s statement. I’m yet to figure out the best way to celebrate National Day. For now, I’m happy with the way we celebrate. But I must say, the celebration is getting more dazzling.

A few years back, National Day wasn’t celebrated the way it is now. Five years ago, I remember going to the Corniche and the celebration lasted a few hours. There was less enthusiasm and I don’t recall seeing many nationalities participating. Year by year, we’re celebrating the country’s birth in different ways. To me, the highlight is looking at cars adorned with patriotic imagery of our leaders.

“You don’t have corrupt leaders – that’s the main reason for UAE’s success,” said one of my Egyptian friends who witnessed the uprising in her country. No leaders in the world are loved like ours. They’re a great example to follow. In my opinion, the UAE will continue to prosper and be a role model for ­other countries.

This year, when I went to watch the air show at the Corniche, my heart skipped a beat. Many cultures from around the world gathered to mark the country’s birth. A lot of people are caught up in criticising how we celebrate National Day – instead, we should be talking about how our country has gifted us a sense of belonging.

Seeing happy faces around me is one of the joys of National Day. It makes me think to myself that one doesn’t need a UAE passport to belong in this country; all one needs is to feel welcomed and get that sense of belonging.

While walking along the Corniche, I saw our brethren from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and India laughing. It was a rare sight. Perhaps National Day lifted all their burdens and gave them an opportunity to forget their worries and ­homesickness.

“Aren’t we lucky to be UAE citizens?” is a phrase that my family often repeat on National Day. National Day reminds me of my father’s past and his children’s future. He was born in 1930. At that time, life was difficult. He belonged to a low class. His generation tasted hardship.

Because of our forefathers’ legacy, today their offspring lead comfortable lives. Out of all the people in the world, we’re among the luckiest, to be living on this blessed soil.

Just like a cute baby, my country is growing more beautiful year by year. In 1971, seven hearts were unified and today, this country has welcomed more than 200 nationalities under its umbrella. It never ceases to amaze me. Long live the UAE.

Asmaa Al Hameli is a features writer for The National.

If you have a good story to tell or an interesting issue to debate, contact Shireena Al Nowais on

Super Saturday results

4pm: Mahab Al Shimaal Group 3 | US$350,000 | (Dirt) | 1,200m
Winner: Drafted, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Doug Watson (trainer).

4.35pm: Al Bastakiya Listed | $300,000 | (D) | 1,900m
Winner: Divine Image, Brett Doyle, Charlie Appleby.

5.10pm: Nad Al Sheba Turf Group 3 | $350,000 | (Turf) | 1,200m
Winner: Blue Point, William Buick, Charlie Appleby.

5.45pm: Burj Nahaar Group 3 | $350,000 | (D) | 1,600m
Winner: Muntazah, Jim Crowley, Doug Watson.

6.20pm: Dubai City of Gold Group 2 | $300,000 | (T) | 2,410m
Winner: Old Persian, William Buick, Charlie Appleby.

6.55pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 Group 1 | $600,000 | (D) | 2,000m
Winner: Capezzano, Mickael Barzalona, Salem bin Ghadayer.

7.30pm: Jebel Hatta Group 1 | $400,000 | (T) | 1,800m
Winner: Dream Castle, Christophe Soumillon, Saeed bin Suroor.


Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm


Real Madrid 2

Vinicius Junior (71') Mariano (90+2')

Barcelona 0

Married Malala

Malala Yousafzai is enjoying married life, her father said.

The 24-year-old married Pakistan cricket executive Asser Malik last year in a small ceremony in the UK.

Ziauddin Yousafzai told The National his daughter was ‘very happy’ with her husband.


Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

Buy farm-fresh food

The UAE is stepping up its game when it comes to platforms for local farms to show off and sell their produce.

In Dubai, visit Emirati Farmers Souq at The Pointe every Saturday from 8am to 2pm, which has produce from Al Ammar Farm, Omar Al Katri Farm, Hikarivege Vegetables, Rashed Farms and Al Khaleej Honey Trading, among others. 

In Sharjah, the Aljada residential community will launch a new outdoor farmers’ market every Friday starting this weekend. Manbat will be held from 3pm to 8pm, and will host 30 farmers, local home-grown entrepreneurs and food stalls from the teams behind Badia Farms; Emirates Hydroponics Farms; Modern Organic Farm; Revolution Real; Astraea Farms; and Al Khaleej Food. 

In Abu Dhabi, order farm produce from Food Crowd, an online grocery platform that supplies fresh and organic ingredients directly from farms such as Emirates Bio Farm, TFC, Armela Farms and mother company Al Dahra.