Thousands of Emirati servicemen and women saluted the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as he attended their graduation ceremony in Abu Dhabi.
A sea of National Service recruits stretching as far as the eye could see gathered at Zayed Military City for Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, also Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and other spectators.
Sheikh Mohammed toured the lines of soldiers in an open top armoured vehicle manufactured by the Emirati company Nimr.
“Today we have a right to be happy and proud of this group of young Emirati men and women, who have responded to the call of duty for National Service," Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter.
“There is no better feeling than the leader, father and homeland seeing their children as they graduate from the fields of greatness and honour, confident in their steps and proud of their roots, identity and belonging."
He added: “With your graduation today from this field that carries an immortal symbol and lingering memory, you send a national message of honour and sincerity, as sent by your fellow volunteers, who were graduated by the Founding Father Zayed in 1990. It was a great, historic day in the UAE’s march.”
The parade came ahead of Commemoration Day on Thursday, when the country marks the sacrifice of troops that have fallen in the line of duty, including many in Yemen, and celebrates the role of the armed forces and others in uniform.