UAE National Day: Families enjoy quiet, relaxing celebrations at home or on a mountain

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Dubai - Emirati Amal Ahmad said National Day fills her with happiness and pride.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Wed 2 Dec 2020, 9:17 PM

Last updated: Thu 3 Dec 2020, 7:14 AM

Keeping in mind the ban on large gatherings, UAE residents chose to mark the 49th National Day either indoors — tuned in to virtual festivities ­— or at various socially distanced events across the country.

Emirati Amal Ahmad said National Day fills her with happiness and pride — and more so this year, as the country fought the pandemic head on and worked hard to bring life as close to normal for its people.

For the special occasion, Ahmad got a special abaya especially stitched for her. She proudly wore it as she went to a celebration at one of the stables where she practises her equestrian skills.

“We would usually enjoy meeting up with friends and going for parades, but this year I decided to stay with my family and enjoy a small fair held at the Caballo stables. My siblings and parents accompanied me to the stables where we enjoyed horse shows, with the background of patriotic songs.

“There was also amazing traditional Emirati food that we all enjoyed together. This I feel is the best way we can spend our National Day, thanking God that he has given us good health and kept us with our families in this blessed land — the UAE. Long live the UAE,” said Ahmad.

The day was celebrated with equal fervour in the expatriate community, who spent quality time with their loved ones indoors and outdoors.

Ajman residents Mohammad Shahbaz, his wife Saba Irfan and kids said they made the most of the National Day break and headed for the Jebel Jais mountain in Ras Al Khaimah to enjoy the “winter chill”.

“With such amazing amenities available even in the mountainous areas of the UAE, we planned a barbeque with a couple of friends in Jebel Jais.”

Saba said it was the ultimate relaxation­ — from trekking to watching the sunset, sitting around a bonfire and feasting on some barbeque. “After the pandemic struck, this was probably our first outdoor activity and it was lovely to see families maintaining social distance and wearing masks and yet enjoying good private time with their loved ones.”

Irish expats Mary Rose Connolly and her husband Aidan Connolly had a double celebration as they share their wedding anniversary with the UAE’s National Day.

“Since both of us are working parents, this was a much-needed break we got with our young ones, who are 5, 8 and 10 years old. Yesterday, we took our children on a desert safari in Umm Al Quwain and today we will celebrate by going to Dubai Mall for dinner and the fountain show. It feels like the UAE gives us the opportunity to celebrate our anniversary with our family every year,” said Dubai resident Mary.

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