Sky is no limit to Abu Dhabi’s party

Dazzling flying show, heritage festival and brilliant fireworks make the day complete.

An Al Fursan pilot adds red to the other UAE colours. Delores Johnson / The National
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ABU DHABI // The capital was alive with the colours of the UAE flag on Tuesday – and the sky was no limit.

All eyes on the Corniche were aimed upwards as Al Fursan, the Air Force’s aerobatics team, performed a show of precision flying.

It ended as the sky was daubed with red, black, white and green smoke from the planes.

Tourists, residents and nationals poured into the streets to show their love for the country.

There were celebrations taking place at the nearby Heritage Village, where many attended to revel in the festivities and planned to participate in a traditional dance.

Saud Salem, 25, came from Al Ain for the event.

He said he loved National Day for the feeling of unity.

“It’s so beautiful for my country,” said Mr Salem, who works for the police. “This is a special day for anyone living in the UAE. You see people getting together.”

But the Corniche was the centre of the celebrations as hundreds of cars packed out roads, while bystanders cheered from the promenade.

Young Emiratis and some expatriates played loud music from their cars and honked their horns.

It was a field day for many blue-collar workers who sold boxes of confetti and spray cans of silly string.

Back at the village, bands played traditional Emirati music for dancers, as souqs and exhibits dedicated to handicrafts, archaeology and other features operated.

Hoda Al Janabi, 32, from Abu Dhabi, was enjoying the celebrations with the youngest of her five children, her daughters aged 8 months and 3.

“I’m very happy on this National Day,” Ms Al Janabi said.

Ahmed Magdy, 25, came with his friend Mohammed Arafat, 28. Both are engineers from Egypt.

“National Day here is a very happy day for the Emirati people and the non-Emiratis,” said Mr Arafat.

“The Emirates is a very good country. They love their country very much. We are also enjoying it. You can feel relaxed.”

Mohammed Siddique, 30, a driver from Pakistan, came dressed in a UAE scarf and hat, saying he loved the people in the country he has called home for 10 years.

Dr Ibrahim Al Hammadi, manager of the Heritage Village, said two new museums – an Islamic museum and a historical archives exhibit for National Day – would open to the public on Sunday.

Outside the village, motorists paraded their cars down the Breakwater playing music and jutting out of their sunroofs or windows waving flags.

Nearby in the Marina, a group had gathered on jet skis to tow others on hydraulic jetpacks while waving the UAE flag.

Mohammed Mohtasib, 33, a Palestinian, came with a friend from Jordan and watched the jetpacks while others stopped to take pictures.

“National Day is a nice day for Emiratis and for us,” said Mr Mohtasib, an engineer who has lived in the UAE for seven years.

“In our country we don’t have something like this. We are happy when we see something like this because it’s not available for us.”

The UAE stood out among other Arab countries for its safety and its accomplishments over the past 43 years, he said.

“We hope to some day have the same for Palestine,” Mr Mohtasib said.

Lorne Ventress, 62, from Canada, was walking along the Corniche and said that three weeks after arriving in Abu Dhabi for work, he was impressed by the love residents showed for the country.

“I am so pleased with the patriotism here in this country,” he said.

“In Canada, we love our country, but we don’t show it like this.”