Voters cast their ballots at the Fujairah polling station. Antonie Robertson / The National
Voters cast their ballots at the Fujairah polling station. Antonie Robertson / The National

Voters of all ages turn up to cast their ballots in Fujairah

FUJAIRAH // From the young to the very old, able-bodied or otherwise, eligible voters in the northernmost emirate turned out in force on Saturday for the Federal National Council (FNC) elections.

As the sound of Emirati folk music was played in an area containing 32 voting booths, Khalifa Hamdan, an Armed Forces soldier, arrived in a wheelchair to cast his ballot. Last month, Mr Hamdan was injured in Yemen, fighting as part of the Saudi-led Operation Restoring Hope. In an attack 52 of his countrymen perished.

The Armed Forces were also represented by 90-year-old veteran Salem Al Rammas. “Participating in this event is like celebrating democracy, and we should all take part and stand by the country and help in choosing the right person for the right place,” he said.

Despite a slow start in voter turnout, by 10am, according to Brig Mohammed Al Kaabi, chairman of Fujairah Elections Committee, it was a different story.

Voting in each of the emirate’s three centres – Fujairah city, Dibba and Masafi – was problem-free. Only two ballots were rejected as the voters were ineligible.

At the emirate’s main election centre, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, turned up to inspect the voting.

The large turnout, he said, demonstrated people’s confidence in the FNC.

Many who showed up at the centres said they had brought their children to teach them how to be an active member of society.

“I came with my son to teach him and make him understand how important our role should be in choosing the best person to represent us and target our needs and solve our issues,” said Yousef Al Bier, accompanied by his 12-year-old son, Mohammed.

“It’s also a part of our national duty,” he said. “Many residents should do the same and teach their children how to support the country and take part in developing the future.”

Volunteers were on the scene to help, making the process for first-time voter Ali Al Kaabi smooth and enjoyable.

“The process was fast and clear. I’m here to support my country and take part in this huge event,” said the 35-year-old from Al Bithna.

Among the prominent issues voters hoped would be addressed by the new council was healthcare.

“The candidate that I support is a person who will work on issues that concern the rural parts of the emirate and will discuss healthcare issues and developments in many fields, such as infrastructure and youth centres,” Mr Al Kaabi said.

Sheikha Al Yamahi, 35, said voting was something that required careful consideration from everyone.

“I encourage everyone to vote for the person they see as best for the position. I voted for one who will target the lack of employment in the area and the healthcare facilities.”


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek independent legal advice.


Al Jazira 3 Persepolis 2
Mabkhout (52'), Romarinho (77'), Al Hammadi (90'+6)
Persepolis: Alipour (42'), Mensha (84')

Pupils in Abu Dhabi are learning the importance of being active, eating well and leading a healthy lifestyle now and throughout adulthood, thanks to a newly launched programme 'Healthy Lifestyle'.

As part of the Healthy Lifestyle programme, specially trained coaches from City Football Schools, along with Healthpoint physicians have visited schools throughout Abu Dhabi to give fun and interactive lessons on working out regularly, making the right food choices, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated, just like their favourite footballers.

Organised by Manchester City FC and Healthpoint, Manchester City FC’s regional healthcare partner and part of Mubadala’s healthcare network, the ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ programme will visit 15 schools, meeting around 1,000 youngsters over the next five months.

Designed to give pupils all the information they need to improve their diet and fitness habits at home, at school and as they grow up, coaches from City Football Schools will work alongside teachers to lead the youngsters through a series of fun, creative and educational classes as well as activities, including playing football and other games.

Dr Mai Ahmed Al Jaber, head of public health at Healthpoint, said: “The programme has different aspects - diet, exercise, sleep and mental well-being. By having a focus on each of those and delivering information in a way that children can absorb easily it can help to address childhood obesity."

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Top tips

Create and maintain a strong bond between yourself and your child, through sensitivity, responsiveness, touch, talk and play. “The bond you have with your kids is the blueprint for the relationships they will have later on in life,” says Dr Sarah Rasmi, a psychologist.
Set a good example. Practise what you preach, so if you want to raise kind children, they need to see you being kind and hear you explaining to them what kindness is. So, “narrate your behaviour”.
Praise the positive rather than focusing on the negative. Catch them when they’re being good and acknowledge it.
Show empathy towards your child’s needs as well as your own. Take care of yourself so that you can be calm, loving and respectful, rather than angry and frustrated.
Be open to communication, goal-setting and problem-solving, says Dr Thoraiya Kanafani. “It is important to recognise that there is a fine line between positive parenting and becoming parents who overanalyse their children and provide more emotional context than what is in the child’s emotional development to understand.”

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