Thousands across the UAE celebrate Flag Day

Across the country residents mark occasion

Whether it was a small flag on the desk or banners draped across skyscrapers, thousands across the country raised the national colours in honour of the accession of Sheikh Khalifa as President.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, shared photos of himself and his daughter Sheikha Al Jalila bint Mohammed raising the UAE flag with children at Union House in Dubai.

"Our Emirati flag is the symbol of our union and strength, it is the pride of our parents and our children, under it's banner we continue the march of progress and by raising it, our young people build the future," he said.

“On Flag Day, we evoke the efforts of the early founders and their sacrifices in building a united nation constructed on the principles of goodness, tolerances and love,” tweeted Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

“The flag of the Emirates, a symbol of our unity, our meaning and our strength, will remain aloft, from which we draw the value of sacrifice, building and work."

Dubai Media Office shared an Instagram post from Princess Haya of Jordan, the wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, of their daughter Sheikha Al Jalila with a caption reading "raise the flag high, so it may remain high".

The Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, spoke at a ceremony on the Al Qasimi Corniche, stating that the flag represented unity, identity and belonging to all the people of the country.  The Ras Al Khaimah Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud, was also present.

Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, attended celebrations at Al Khor Park, accompanied by the emirate’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Rashid bin Saud and a number of other sheikhs, dignitaries and students.

Sheikh Saud said that Flag Day celebrations showed the sincere feelings of the people for the country’s leadership, highlighting the ties of unity, peace, love and honour between the people and the leadership. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, the Ruler of Ajman, led celebrations at the Ruler’s Court near the Ajman Corniche. The flagpole was built for the occasion.

Flag day celebrations began this year at the UAE Embassy in New Zealand, where the flag was hoisted over the Wellington skyline.

As the sun rose over downtown Abu Dhabi, the National Anthem sounded across construction sites and in apartment lobbies as people made their way to work.

In Khalidiya, men could be seen checking flag poles early in the morning and practicing for ceremonies later in the day. Government offices were filled with balloons. Elevators were busy with deliveries baskets of sweets wrapped in national colours. Some men brought traditional canes to work, ready to join in with professional troupes of Ayala dancers hired to mark the celebrations.

At 11am, employees and pupils filed outside to watch the country's flag be hoisted.

The hashtag #UAEFlagDay was trending on Twitter with tolerance, inclusion and love the most cited values by users.

Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, tweeted a short animation that told the story of the UAE flag by its creator, Abdulla Al Maainah.

“Happy Flag Day to the people of the UAE, a day to celebrate our unity, our love for our country, our dreams for a better future,” tweeted Khalid Al Ameri.

Greetings poured in from Emiratis and well wishers around the world.

Khalaf Al Habtoor, the founding chair of Al Habtoor Group, posted a video of the flag raising ceremony from his home in London.

Earlier, he had posted a video about buying flag poles in London to mark the occassion.