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Millions participate in National Day events

posted on 03/12/2012: 2392 views

The country erupted in celebrations on its 41st National Day on Sunday with millions of residents enjoying festivities that saw streets, malls and residential areas awash in the colours of the UAE flag.

Official National Day parades drew people in their thousands. Flags, big and small, fluttered in the cool breeze as children and grown-ups alike sported red, green, white, and black face paint.

There were dazzling fireworks and events where traditional UAE folk dances and songs took centre stage. Heritage tents were set up in dozens of private and public sector establishments to showcase Emirati culture, with national cuisine, handicrafts and souvenirs being handed out for free.

Residents flocked to parks and tourist attractions in the cities and countryside to enjoy the three-day weekend. Children enjoyed the rides and played games while their parents got busy by the barbecue pits.

Text messages and calls flooded telecommunication networks as people exchanged National Day greetings.

In Dubai, a carnival atmosphere prevailed at the Boulevard in Downtown Dubai — home to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall — as the National Day parade there drew big crowds.

The event featured a colourful canvas of traditional and international floats, live entertainment, besides heritage and cultural activities. Families and friends, young and old, lined up along the route of the parade and waved UAE flags.

Police patrols were out in full force to direct traffic and attend to any emergencies.

The Burj Khalifa glittered with national colours while the Burj Al Arab sported the National Day logo on its sail. Also in Dubai, the Global Village shopping and entertainment fair drew big crowds to the Union Festival being specially held to mark National Day.

Famous Emirati performers entertained fans as folk shows set the mood. Even non-UAE pavilions joined in, decorating parts of their stalls in UAE colours. A blood donation drive at the Union Festival provided a humanitarian touch to the festivities.

In Sharjah, families flocked to Qasba and Al Majaz Waterfront to witness special events to mark the occasion, especially the hugely popular fireworks displays.

Celebrations in Abu Dhabi and other emirates were no less impressive. In Ajman, 15,000 sky lanterns released along the Corniche provided the highlight. – Gulf News


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