Expo workers celebrate UAE’s Golden Jubilee with giant cake

Gifts were also distributed at their accommodation complex in Jebel Ali

Construction workers who helped bring Expo 2020 Dubai to life joined in with the UAE's Golden Jubilee celebrations on Thursday morning.

Managers at the workers' accommodation complex in Jebel Ali presented the 450-strong team with a 1.5-metre-wide cake in UAE flag colours, adorned with the 50th anniversary logo.

As the cake was being cut, Arabic music played and workers waved their UAE flags with pride.

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From construction workers to electricians, and plumbers to carpenters, we wanted to celebrate them today as we also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UAE
Prashant Shptye, Servhub

Workers were also handed small gifts, including stationery and chocolates, and caterers served slices of cake and cups of badam kheer - a sweet drink made from milk, sugar and rice.

Prashant Shptye, 38, operations manager for Servhub, the company that organised the event, said all the workers at the celebration helped in the construction of Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Each one of the men here played a part in making Expo come to life,” he said.

“From construction workers to electricians, and plumbers to carpenters, we wanted to celebrate them today as we also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UAE.

“It’s great to see everyone so happy and enjoying the music and food today.”

Around the site in Jebel Ali, workers were seen enjoying their day off. On one section of the road, a group of men used bricks and stones to make wickets as they enjoyed a game of cricket.

Cafes and malls in the area were also decorated with bunting and UAE flags.

Bob Michael Orok, 30, from Nigeria, has been in the UAE for just under one year and was celebrating his first UAE National Day.

“I have only lived here for one year and wow, what a celebration it is,” said the construction supervisor.

Bob Michael Orok, a Servhub employee, enjoys UAE National Day celebrations at his accommodation in Jebel Ali, Dubai. Ruel Pableo / The National

“Today we are all Emirati and I thank the Emirates for allowing me to be a part of their country.

“I have lived in Kenya, South Africa and America and I am proud to experience a new life in a country so young but with such a rich past.”

Imtiaz Afsar, 24, a construction worker from India, said he was enjoying the celebrations with his "new family".

“It feels great to be celebrating today with the UAE on its 50th anniversary,” he said.

“I've enjoyed dancing with my friends and eating cake, I couldn't believe it was so big when they brought it out.

"Today you see men from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Nepal, many places all over the world and we are celebrating the UAE.

“I am far from home but now I have a new family here.”

A Dubai resident for 14 years, Mukhter Ahmad, from India, took many photos of the celebrations.

"The UAE has given me peace because I can provide for my family," he said.

"I took many pictures today because I want to show my wife how my life is in the UAE, it is a good place for me and them.

"Today the UAE is fifty and I think it has given many people many opportunities in those 50 years."

Updated: December 2nd 2021, 1:13 PM