'Proud to serve': Meet some of the UAE residents who will work through National Day holidays

Doctors, nurses, delivery drivers and cleaners are among those who will be on duty so others can celebrate the golden jubilee

By SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 4:31 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 4:44 PM

While most UAE residents will have a chance to unwind and catch some stunning fireworks over the next few days, others will work through the National Day holidays.

Though they're sad to miss out on the celebrations, these residents are also proud to serve the nation as it marks its 50th anniversary.

Khawaja Iqbal, who has been working with the Dubai Municipality for more than 25 years, will be on duty on UAE's National Day. He has witnessed the country's silver jubilee and is keen to do his part for another momentous occasion.

"I am a part of the workforce that helps keep Dubai clean and I will continue to do so for the country. This has been the bread and butter for my family," said Iqbal, who keeps the streets of Deira clean.

"The UAE is my second home and I congratulate the people of UAE on this 50th National Day," he added.

Iqbal, a resident from Chennai, India, said it is his privilege to play a tiny part in keeping the city clean as it celebrates a significant milestone.

Nishad Afridi, a delivery executive at noon, is delighted to be working on National Day. By being out and about, he said he will have the unique opportunity to witness several different celebrations across the city.

"Being on duty, I will be able to capture and witness many celebrations across the city. I am a very active social media user and will post celebrations I witness on my handles," he said.

Doctors are no strangers to working through the holidays. Whether it's a pandemic or National Day, they are always at the forefront, working tirelessly to serve the country.

Dr Slavica Vukovic, an internal medicine specialist at RAK Hospital, said: "I take it as a pride, working on the most important day for the country. It's my privilege to serve the people of this great country."

Another doctor at RAK Hospital, Dr Vidya Shendre, an OB/GYN specialist, said doctors must be prepared whenever duty calls.

"Many babies are born during this time, and it's a joy to be a part of the mother’s joy when they deliver during the national holiday break,” she said. "Now that the country is celebrating its 50th anniversary, I feel proud to be a small part of it."


Deepti Dsouza, an Indian expat from Karnataka, has been working as a nurse at Dr Ismail Day Care Centre in Karama for more than 12 years. She is one among many others who are honoured to be a part of the workforce that keeps the country going.

"Working in healthcare comes with a lot of responsibility and taking care of my patients will be a part of my celebration on the National Day," she said.

Even though she will miss the festivities, Dsouza said she is filled with pride and gratitude for the UAE, a country that has supported her and countless others in pursuing their ambitions.

Somya Kurian, Dsouza's colleague, added: "Missing the 50th National Day celebrations will make me sad, but what will make me delighted is that I will serve the humanity on that day."


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