UAE National Day: Students celebrate Union Day, paint school red, black, white, and green

Pupils will be involved in teacher-led online lessons on December 1, and they will only return to campus on Tuesday, December 5


Nandini Sircar

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Photos: Supplied (Gems World Academy)
Photos: Supplied (Gems World Academy)

Published: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 12:46 PM

Last updated: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 8:07 PM

Institutions in the UAE are celebrating the National Day this week with school campuses turning into a sea of red, black, white, and green.

Several private schools in the country will also switch to online learning on Friday in a lead-up to these celebrations.

Earlier, education regulators, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai and the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) in Abu Dhabi, announced that students in these emirates will enjoy a three-day weekend in celebration of the 52nd UAE Union Day.

Students will enjoy a long weekend with Saturday, Sunday, and Monday being off. Pupils will be involved in teacher-led online lessons on December 1, and they will only return to campus on Tuesday, December 5.

Giant UAE flag made of handprints

Jenny Evans, Senior Deputy Principal, GEMS Royal Dubai School, said, “We are marking the UAE National Day on Wednesday, November 29. Our school will see the staff, parents and students in the national dress or the colours of the UAE flag.”

The day will begin with a school assembly on their sports field led by the Emirati student leaders. “Then, the school will become a village of UAE traditions, culture and performances."

"[Aside from that], students will take part in class-based activities, ranging from creating a timeline of the growth of the emirates to building traditional fishing boats to dive for pearls to bring our Social Studies curriculum to life.”

“Our students have created a giant UAE flag made up of the handprints of every student at RDS. The flag will be hung outside in our UAE village,” added Evans.

Many schools are organizing the UAE food festival, where students, their families, and staff are able to sample traditional Emirati dishes.

“The UAE National Day celebrations have been scheduled for Wednesday, November 29 in the school. We have an action-packed day planned. Parents are setting up stalls, alongside fun games, henna, and music will be enjoyed by all. Staff and students will come to school in the traditional attire and colours of The UAE,” said Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO - Principal at Credence High School, Dubai.

Headteachers said the National Day celebrations in schools are a day of cultural immersion for all.

Kelvin Hornsby, Principal/CEO, GEMS World Academy, Abu Dhabi and Senior Vice President, Education, GEMS Education said, “On Friday, November 24 students showcased various aspects of Emirati culture through different performances, such as traditional dance, music, and Emirati poetry. There were Quranic recitations and past, present, and future presentations.”

“In addition, there were henna painting workshops, traditional pottery, and weaving and art competitions. Our FS1 Fashion Show was especially exciting, as the learners showcased traditional Emirati dress. These inspired the community to learn more about Emirati culture, values, and history,” added Hornby.

Principals highlight in line with the UAE’s focus on sustainable development, “Students composed and performed their own song concerning environmental themes, such as preservation of the desert ecosystem, water conservation, and renewable energy sources,” which has been a continuous focus for this nation.

Four-day weekend for Sharjah students

Meanwhile, Sharjah’s Private Education Authority (SPEA) announced that private schools in the emirate will be closed from Friday, December 1 to Monday, December 4, making it a four-day weekend for pupils.

Pramod Mahajan, Principal, Sharjah Indian School, said, “We are celebrating the National Day over two days in our school which is today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday). All students are dressed in the colours of the UAE flag. In the morning flag hoisting took place and the school leadership delivered speeches. Students who have taken up Home Science are preparing Emirati culinary delights. Our Arabic teacher distributed traditional sweets in the school.”

“It is a joyous occasion and everyone is in a festive mood,” he added.


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