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Dubai Creek sparkles with flotilla spectacle

posted on 03/12/2008: 1580 views

Hundreds of people descended on Dubai Creek on Tues afternoon to witness a Marine Parade as part of the country's 37th National Day celebrations.

People of all ages and nationalities lined the banks of the Creek to watch an array of vessels sail down the creek including wooden dhows, speedboats, yachts and water taxis - all adorned with scarves and the UAE flag.

It was perhaps fitting the festivities should take place in the very heart of Dubai with the city's lifeblood for many years sparkling in the background. The Creek remains a vital artery of modern Dubai but the vast expanses of desert stretching beyond the waters in every direction are certainly very different from 37 years ago.

A helicopter flew overhead and several paragliders dropped back down to earth as the flotilla made its way to its final destination at Al Shindagha Cultural Village.

The event, organised by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in association with Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority and Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, was billed as a symbol of the UAE's "pride, unity and solidarity".

The Parade began across from the British Embassy and moved down towards Al Shindagha as abras jostled for space on the choppy waters; their numerous daily trips between Bur Dubai and Deira disrupted by the event.

All eyes and cameras were focused on the flotilla but there were plenty of other activities on offer. A massive cake featuring replicas of Dubai landmarks such as the Burj Al Arab and Emirates Towers sat by the water and slices were offered free to the public as a carnival atmosphere took over the city's historic quarter.

Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, was welcomed back to dry land by the same group of Emirati bagpipers that greeted the QE2 on her arrival to Port Rashid last week. – Gulf News


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