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Pakistan flag orientation on Dubai's Burj Khalifa angers expats

Sarwat Nasir/Dubai
Filed on August 18, 2019 | Last updated on August 18, 2019 at 07.51 am
upside down flag, pakistan, flag orientation, burj khalifa, dubai, independence day, light show, pakistanis, expats

(Shihab/KT)

The display was held two days after Pakistan's Independence Day.

The Pakistani flag that was displayed on Burj Khalifa on Friday has angered many expats as they claim it's been presented 'upside down'. The Pakistan Association in Dubai (PAD) has told Khaleej Times they've sent a complaint letter to Emaar - the developer of Burj Khalifa - as they've been inundated with calls from upset expats.

The event took place at 8:42pm on Friday. The display was held two days after Pakistan's Independence Day. Thousands of people turned up to see the Pakistani flag, as well as the Indian flag that was displayed at 8.44pm.

Also read: Pakistan, India flags displayed on Dubai's Burj Khalifa

Khaleej Times' video of the flag display went viral on Twitter, with over 100,000 views, however it was inundated with comments from users saying that the flag was upside down.

PAD also tweeted the next day: "Dear @BurjKhalifa @emaardubai, please look at the placement of the flag. Yesterday's portrayal of the flag has hurt the sentiments of many Pakistanis. This is not how flag is represented."

Zaim Mohammed, the Vice President at PAD, told KT: "We started getting calls in the morning that the flag was not done properly. In 2017, it was done correctly. The crescent should be facing upwards. We are sending an official letter to Emaar about this because we are the voice of the Pakistani community and we need to raise these issues. We've also been in touch with the Embassy regarding this."

Though, the flag was displayed in this same exact manner in March this year, as well as last year.

In 2017, the flag's white strip was lit on the bottom structure, the remaining body was green, with the crescent facing upwards.

KT obtained a copy of the letter PAD sent to Emaar. It said: "Dear Emaar/Burj Khalifa, This is with great regret to inform you that the Pakistani community is deeply saddened by the Pakistani flag lighted upside down on Burj Khalifa on 16-8-2019. Burj Khalifa has been lit up with the Pakistan flag earlier as well, and it was always placed in a correct manner. We as a community feel very privileged about it. This year something went wrong with the positioning and it has hurt the sentiments of the 1.5million Pakistanis residing in the United Arab Emirates. We politely urge you to please look into the matter on urgent basis and rectify the error occurred."

Some Twitter users said that a flag being upside down means the country is in "distress".

One user, Umair Khan, posted: "Flag is indeed upside down. Should have done it with respect, whether it is Pakistan or India Flag."

One user also tagged the official Twitter account of Pakistan government and said: "please take notice of flag being hoisted upside down."

Khaleej Times contacted Emaar and the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai for this story, however, did not receive a comment by the time of press.

sarwat@khaleejtimes.com


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