Expats in UAE to celebrate Queen's birthday

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Expats in UAE to celebrate Queens birthday
Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 90th birthday tomorrow

Dubai - UK expatriates in UAE plan to enjoy the sun and celebrate with scones and tea


Kelly Clarke

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Published: Thu 21 Apr 2016, 4:08 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Apr 2016, 7:10 PM

The year 1926 was a big year in many ways. It was the year Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Treaty of Berlin, the year Robert Goddard launched the first successful liquid fuel rocket, and the year renowned escape artist Harry Houdini died.

It also marked the birth of the future, and still reigning, Queen of Great Britain, Elizabeth II.

All Hail the Queen
The Queen in Pop Culture
 The Queen on film 

Celebrating her 90th birthday today, Queen Elizabeth has now served more than 63 years as Britain's Monarch.

In September 2015, the petite mother of four made history by surpassing her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria's reign of 63 years and two months as Monarch.
Watch: A montage of 90 photographs for each of The Queen's 90 years

Also read: Some interesting pop culture facts about Queen Elizabeth
Celebrations in the UAE

Since taking the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has made two state visits to the UAE. Her first visit was in 1979 where she met with the UAE's founding father, the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan; and her second was in 2010, when she visited Abu Dhabi's Shaikh Zayed grand mosque.

Today, she will celebrate her birthday with citizens around the UK before retiring to Windsor Castle for a quiet evening celebration with the rest of the Royal Family.

But as the UK celebrates the day, what will UK expatriates in the UAE be doing to mark the occasion? 
"I'll be celebrating the occasion with my husband, brother-in-law and my three-year-old daughter by eating scones and drinking tea - a real British tradition," Rebecca Rance-Read told Khaleej Times.

One of more than 100,000 British expatriates waving the UK flag in the UAE, Rebecca said she will be making the most of the Dubai sunshine.

"I'll be picnicking in the day with friends, before celebrating in the evening with my husband. Picnics again, are quite traditionally British, but we never get the weather for them back home."

Although she doesn't call herself a "staunch" royalist, she said she is one of those expats who always sits down to watch the Queen's speech during special occasions.

On the occasion of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's 90th Birthday, the British Consul-General to Dubai and Northern Emirates, Mr Paul Fox hosted a reception in the garden of the British Embassy on Wednesday evening.

Speaking of the Queen's "very special friendships with the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Makhtoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai," he said she continues to be a prominent figure for British citizens.

What cake would 'one' like?

Back in 2012, former royal chef, Darren McGrady, revealed the Queen had a penchant for honey and cream sponge and chocolate biscuit cake - but this year's birthday treat will be orange in theme.

Tasked with the honour of creating an orange drizzle cake, with orange curd and orange butter cream is Muslim mother-of-three, Nadiya Jamir Hussain.

The British-Bengali chef and author was the first Muslim winner of 'The Great British Bake Off' - a hugely popular television cooking competition in the UK - and will personally present the sweet treat to the Queen on the occasion.
"During Her Majesty's reign, the UK has undergone massive change. However she has proved to be the most potent symbol of continuity the UK has known, providing a counterpoint to this far-reaching change. In doing so she has shown a dutifulness and commitment to her country and people, providing a balm of institutional continuity. She is also the UK's greatest ambassador, as shown by her popularity abroad, especially in this region."

Although, it seems not everyone is in to celebrating the occasion here.

For British expat, Jacky Rose, it will be business as usual.

"(I've ) not planned anything. I doubt I would be doing anything even in the UK. Happy birthday to Her Majesty none-the-less."

But for the UK's Ambassador to the UAE, Philip Parham, to celebrate the occasion here is an honour.

"Our Queen vowed to serve her people and devoted her life for the common good. I'm honoured to be able to mark this occasion here in the United Arab Emirates - a country with which our partnership is - as His Highness Shaikh Khalifa said during his 2013 state visit to the UK - founded on "deep-rooted and steadfast friendship."


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