Emirati men and women perform traditional dance at the breakwaters yesterday in Abu Dhabi.
Emirati men and women perform traditional dance at the breakwaters yesterday in Abu Dhabi.

Nation unites for a happy 39th birthday

The UAE and its diverse mix of peoples joined with Emiratis yesterday to celebrate the country's 39th birthday with outpourings of emotion, plenty of national pride and dozens of fun events.

The History Project

The National created a team whose task it would be to commemorate the momentous events surrounding the day the country was born. The result was a collection of interviews, never seen before photographs and film recounting the days before the Union. We named it the History Project.

From traditional dancing, poetry readings and military parades to the more high-paced musical performances and fireworks displays, a feast of activities was laid on for residents of each emirate.

"December 2 is an important day in the calendar," said Ahmed al Kaabi, a university student in Ajman. "It is a day to remember the history of the country, celebrate its achievements and look forward to the opportunities and challenges of the future."

In the capital, families flocked to the Corniche and thousands were in the holiday spirit, dressed head-to-toe in the colours of the Emirates.

While they picnicked, cars drove by decorated with flags, national symbols and pictures of UAE leaders. Events on the Corniche and at Heritage Village included folk dancing, drumming and face painting before an evening of entertainment that featured a huge fireworks display and musical performances.

Events in Dubai carried an automotive theme as cars brightly decorated with flags and transfers cruised the roads, while more classic vehicles could be seen at the Emirates Classic Car Show.

Things took a cultured turn in Ajman with a poetry reading, art exhibitions and opera.

Elsewhere, events included the Sharjah Water Festival 2010 at the Al Majaz Waterfront and Khalid Lagoon.

A parade was followed by a spectacular array of water-themed displays and entertaining shows staged by international teams competing for best-of-show honours.

The Heritage Village and Green Mubazzarah Park and Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort were Al Ain's most popular spots, hosting events including a laser show and a performance by the Saudi Arabian singer Mohammed Abdo.

Across the Emirates, as people celebrated, the lucky parents of National Day newborns said the arrival of their babies on such a special day was a true blessing.

However, celebrations in Ras al Khaimah were more subdued amid the mourning period declared after the passing of Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed, the long-time Ruler of the emirate, last month.



Families rejoice as babies share a birthday with the nation

National Day subdued in still-mourning RAK

Hundreds turn their motors into four-wheeled tributes

Women racers' 'unity drive' gains miles of support


Barcelona 2

Suarez 85', Messi 86'

Atletico Madrid 0

Red card: Diego Costa 28' (Atletico)

How to get exposure to gold

Although you can buy gold easily on the Dubai markets, the problem with buying physical bars, coins or jewellery is that you then have storage, security and insurance issues.

A far easier option is to invest in a low-cost exchange traded fund (ETF) that invests in the precious metal instead, for example, ETFS Physical Gold (PHAU) and iShares Physical Gold (SGLN) both track physical gold. The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF invests directly in mining companies.

Alternatively, BlackRock Gold & General seeks to achieve long-term capital growth primarily through an actively managed portfolio of gold mining, commodity and precious-metal related shares. Its largest portfolio holdings include gold miners Newcrest Mining, Barrick Gold Corp, Agnico Eagle Mines and the NewMont Goldcorp.

Brave investors could take on the added risk of buying individual gold mining stocks, many of which have performed wonderfully well lately.

London-listed Centamin is up more than 70 per cent in just three months, although in a sign of its volatility, it is down 5 per cent on two years ago. Trans-Siberian Gold, listed on London's alternative investment market (AIM) for small stocks, has seen its share price almost quadruple from 34p to 124p over the same period, but do not assume this kind of runaway growth can continue for long

However, buying individual equities like these is highly risky, as their share prices can crash just as quickly, which isn't what what you want from a supposedly safe haven.


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5


5pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Maiden (PA) Dh 70,000 (Dirt) 1,000m, Winner: Hazeem Al Raed, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Ahmed Al Shemaili (trainer)

5.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh 85,000 (D) 1,000m, Winner: Ghazwan Al Khalediah, Hugo Lebouc, Helal Al Alawi

6pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 70,000 (D) 1,400m, Winner: Dinar Al Khalediah, Patrick Cosgrave, Helal Al Alawi.

6.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh 70,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Faith And Fortune, Sandro Paiva, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

7pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 70,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Only Smoke, Bernardo Pinheiro, Abdallah Al Hammadi.

7.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh 70,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: AF Ramz, Saif Al Balushi, Khalifa Al Neyadi.

8pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 70,000 (D) 2,000m, Winner: AF Mass, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel.

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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

3 Body Problem

Creators: David Benioff, D B Weiss, Alexander Woo

Starring: Benedict Wong, Jess Hong, Jovan Adepo, Eiza Gonzalez, John Bradley, Alex Sharp

Rating: 3/5

If you go

The flights Etihad (www.etihad.com) and Spice Jet (www.spicejet.com) fly direct from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Pune respectively from Dh1,000 return including taxes. Pune airport is 90 minutes away by road. 

The hotels A stay at Atmantan Wellness Resort (www.atmantan.com) costs from Rs24,000 (Dh1,235) per night, including taxes, consultations, meals and a treatment package.

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