UAE marks spirit of tolerance with 50 tonnes of flowers

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on November 23, 2019 | Last updated on November 23, 2019 at 06.55 am


Event was part of the ministry's National Festival for Tolerance and Human Fraternity 2019.

The UAE attempted to establish itself as the tolerance capital of the world in a unique way on Friday.

Around 5,000 volunteers gathered in an open ground at the Dubai Festival city parking lot to say it with 50 tonnes of flowers. Through its initiative 'Flowers of Tolerance', the Ministry of Tolerance began its attempt to break the Guinness World Record of producing the largest carpet of natural flowers in the world with the help volunteers from over 150 nationalities.

Held at the outdoor parking of the Dubai Festival City mall, the event was part of the ministry's National Festival for Tolerance and Human Fraternity 2019 that aims to promote the values of tolerance, coexistence, and human fraternity based on the legacy of the UAE's Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The Guinness World Record for the biggest carpet of natural flowers was set in Italy in June 2016 with a carpet of 42,849 square feet and 58 square inches. At the time of press, the flower formation was 80 per cent complete and volunteers were hoping to touch the 100,000 square feet mark, as planned. To put in perspective, the flower carpet would be the size of two large football playgrounds.

Anoop Anil Devan, general convenor of the event, told Khaleej Times that 22 types of flowers were imported from India, Kenya and other countries for the formation that primarily saw the use of marigold orange, yellow and some variety of white flowers.

To bring out the spirit of tolerance in the true sense, all our participants - over 5,000 - wore traditional attire representing their respective countries."

The flower carpet took the shape of the National Festival for Tolerance and Human Fraternity's logos as well as of some of the UAE's famous landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

Wearing colourful outfits representing their different countries and cultures, thousands of men, women and children from over 100 nationalities and communities living in the UAE, began placing flowers in the designated areas marked by the organisers around 5pm. The formation of the flower carpet was being done under the supervision of a specialised team of around 100 managers and in the presence of a committee of the Guinness World Records.

While the flower formation continued until midnight, a number of cultural performances were held to celebrate the Year of Tolerance.

A tolerance parade that saw about 1,000 people of different nationalities walking around the flower carpet, wearing their traditional attire and singing and dancing on their local songs. This was followed by a number of cultural performances on a huge stage set next to the flower carpet arena.

The 'Flowers of Tolerance' carpet of natural flowers will be displayed at the Festival City venue until Sunday.

The event is organised by AKCAF, the fraternity of alumni from colleges across Kerala and Globerz Events for the Ministry of Tolerance.

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