Pupils at schools across the Emirates have raised the nation’s colours on UAE Flag Day.
Schoolchildren dressed in the colours of the UAE flag took part in parades to mark the occasion on Wednesday.
Pupils at one Dubai school put on their roller skates and – with flags in hand – skated through the grounds.
Flag-raising ceremonies, where the national anthem is played, are also held to mark the occasion.
Close to 800 pupils at Gems Wellington Academy in Al Khail, Dubai, gathered on the school playing field to form the message, “We love the UAE.”
Pupils from nearby Gems Millennium School created the same message in Arabic, while children at Gems International School in Al Khail, also in Dubai, gathered on their playing field to form the number 50 – in recognition of the UAE's Golden Jubilee year.
“On each of our respective fields, we will be spelling out messages for UAE flag day and have a drone overlooking all three schools,” said Campbell Douglas, head teacher at Gems Wellington Academy in Al Khail, speaking ahead of the event.
He said pupils at the school had practised to make sure it was a success.
“We wanted to celebrate unity in diversity,” he said.
“We have a diverse school population and have more than 90 nationalities at our school.
“It’s important that our pupils understand that for our world to progress, we need to understand our differences, as our strength comes from that.”
At American Academy for Girls, in Dubai, pupils dressed in green, red, black and white for the flag-raising ceremony.
“The flag represents the tremendous growth and forward-thinking of the UAE's founders and the unity of the Emirates,” head teacher Lisa Johnson said.
She said the steps back to normality as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes gave this year's Flag Day further significance.
“This year is particularly exciting as we have a return to assemblies. Even if there are limits, we are so happy to join in-person to learn about the history of the UAE flag and show our pride by wearing the traditional colours.
“With 80 per cent of our students being Emirati, this is a significant day for our school community and we are proud to see all our students dressed in red, green, white and black splendour.”
Dubai Schools Al Barsha invited Dr Aref Al Sheikh, who wrote the words to the UAE's national anthem, to speak to pupils about his experiences.
Ghadeer Abu Shamat, superintendent at Gems Al Khaleej International School, Al Garhoud, Dubai, said the school organised an assembly where the holy Quran was recited and poems were read by pupils.
The special programme was headed by the pupils, where they recited an oath to the country.
Children dressed in the colours of the flag also took part in a parade.
Higher education institutions in the Emirates also marked the day with flag-raising ceremonies.