Celebrations for 43rd National Day

Firework displays, concerts, the Maseera or a family lunch at the farm – there are plenty of ways to mark this special day.

The Al Fursan flying team take to the skies during the air show on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National
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ABU DHABI // Firework displays lit up the skies all over the capital as Emiratis and expatriates came together to sing the UAE’s National Anthem at businesses, in parks and homes, as celebrations for the 43rd National Day got into full swing – albeit 24 hours early.

At the Corniche family park in Abu Dhabi, families and youngsters gathered to watch a fireworks display organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA).

“This is an impressive, entertaining and interactive public programme, which reflects our passion for the nation and our joy and willingness to celebrate the ‘Spirit of the Union’ on the country’s 43rd anniversary,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, the acting executive director tourism at TCA.

“It has been choreographed to reflect our pride in the nation, history and culture, and allows us to celebrate these in a modern context. The display reflected the national identity by focusing on the red, green and white – the colours of the UAE national flag – set against the black canvas of the emirate’s night sky.”

Celebrations were held across the emirate, with a series of concerts by some of the most popular Arab singers being held at the Zayed Heritage Festival stage at Al Wathba and Madinat Zayed Park in Abu Dhabi city, as well as at venues in Al Ain and Al Gharbia in the Western Region.

Zayed University students Reem Ali, 19, and Afra Ali, 20, picked out the annual car parade, due to take place along the capital’s corniche this evening, as their highlight of the celebrations to come.

“We’re planning to participate in the Maseera [car parade] at Abu Dhabi Corniche in the evening on National Day with the family,” said Reem.

“It’s the main National Day ritual that we enjoy every year. It’s a chance to show our love to the country by celebrating with the people, on the street and with those who decorate their cars with love. It is always fun to see how they express their love, each in his own way.”

The pair had been enjoying the revelry since Sunday, when they attended a traditional party on their university campus.

“The university hosted a celebration on Sunday with traditional performances, a bazaar and fun activities,” said Afra. “We got the chance to live the past through such activities and look forward to the future. Our country deserves all these celebrations.

“This year we have the newly opened Yas Mall that we heard will also host National Day celebrations. We’re going to explore it and celebrate at the same time.”

However, the noise and excitement of the capital proved to be too much for Mariam Kalantar who plans to escape the city and enjoy the holiday and the celebrations with her family at their farm in Al Ain.

“We will be having lunch and then conducting a quiz for the young ones about National Day,” said the 29-year-old from Dubai who works in Abu Dhabi.

“We will also hold a competition for best costume and give the children small gifts.

“There will also be a session of yola, the traditional dance. Every year I do a photo session for the children.

“We are all so excited about the event and we are going to dress up in the colours of the national flag.”