Raise the flag high, fly it with pride
The UAE Flag Day, which was celebrated on November 2 this year, was commemorated with much fervour across the country.
As the clock ticked 11am on Thursday, UAE flags were raised across various government entities, private companies and residential houses.
The UAE Flag Day, which was celebrated on November 2 this year, was commemorated with much fervour across the country with leaders, citizens and residents participating in flag hoisting events.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, hoisted national flag with his daughter Sheikha Al Jalila and hundreds of young students at the historic Union House, where the documents were signed that created the Arab world's historic federation of states on December 2, 1971.
On the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted: "The flag of our Emirates is the symbol of our union and strength. It is the pride of parents and children. Under its banner, we continue our journey of development and progress. For its glory, our young people are building the future UAE."
His wife Princess Haya bint Hussain posted Sheikh Mohammed's picture with their daughter Sheikha Al Jalila with the caption, "Raise it high, keep it proud."
The day is marked on November 3 every year since it was first launched in 2013 by Sheikh Mohammed. The day marks the accession of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the office of the President of the UAE in 2004. However, this year the Ministry of Cabinet and the Future announced it would take place on November 2.
Employees of the Department of Finance gather for the UAE Flag Day celebrations in Abu Dhabi. - Photo by Ryan Lim
Meanwhile, His highness Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, tweeted: "On Flag Day, we recall the efforts of the early founders and their sacrifices in forming a united nation on the principles of goodness, tolerance and love.
"The UAE flag is the symbol of our unity and strength. It will remain high and proud, from which we will continue to draw the values of sacrifice, building and action."
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, paid tribute to founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan with an emotional post. "My flag was raised by Zayed. It is our responsibility that we live to raise."
Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police, witnessed the flag-raising ceremony in front of the Dubai Police Headquarters, in the presence of other senior officers and dignitaries.
Men performing traditional dance Ayyala after the flag-hoisting ceremony at The Flag Island in Sharjah. - Photo by M. Sajjad
The celebration of the flag day began with all the participants greeting the flag. Then the Dubai Police Band played the national anthem of the UAE. The event was attended by the Dubai Police Cavalry, students from 88 public schools and 22 private schools, who formed the flag of the UAE in front of the Dubai Police Headquarters.
Meanwhile, Dubai's Kite Beach was transformed into a stunning Flag Garden for Flag Day, with thousands of flags in the sand. Visitors can catch them as they remain hoisted until mid-December.
Government departments, organisations, private sector companies, schools, colleges and individuals joined in celebrating the Flag Day with a plethora of activities in which Emiratis and residents came together to signify their shared love of the country.
Celebrations in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah
Several federal and private entities hoisted the UAE flag in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, including the Ministry of Interior (MOI).
Lieutenant-General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, hoisted the UAE flag at the ministry, in presence of hundreds of officials.
Major-General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Commander-in-Chief of the Abu Dhabi Police, also raised the flag in a ceremony in the Capital, which was attended by hundreds of policemen and women.
To mark the occasion, Sharjah organised the biggest national gathering on Flag Island where the flag was hoisted on the seventh tallest flagpole with special martial music shows and marine sports events. Celebrations continued till evening and featured traditional music shows inspired by Emirati heritage and drumming performance in the Emirati-Japanese 'Kharsha' style.
The two-day celebrations in Sharjah will continue till Friday where Flag Island will feature roller-skating and skateboarding for visitors. The Flag Island will also host a painting workshop and provide 'Kashtah' food carts for refreshment throughout the celebrations.
(With inputs from Jasmine Al Kuttab and Amira Agarib)
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