History of the National Day of the UAE:
National Day (Arabic:اليوم الوطني;Al Yawm Al Watani”) is celebrated on 2 December each year in the United Arab Emirates. It marks the UAE’s Union Day between the seven emirates which was followed by the joining of the seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, in 1972.The holiday commemorates the United Arab Emirate’s formal nationalisation from the British Protectorate Treaties as a result the expiration of a British treaty on 2 December 1971.
This lead to the eventual, federal unification of seven sheikhdoms in the former Trucial States in 1971 to form the modern-day country. The first president of the federation was Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Schools in the U.A.E. celebrate National Day by holding national events and celebrations where local children will dress up in the cultural “thoub and “kandoora” and perform the “youlah” and folkloric dances and organize cultural contests.
The United Arab Emirate’s Flag
The United Arab Emirate’s flag was also adopted on 2 December 1971 and hoisted by the first president to formally declare the establishment of the United Arab Emirates as an independent country.
It was designed by a young Emirati, Abdullah Mohammed Al Maainah, who entered a competition to design the new flag. His flag was chosen from over 1000 entries.
The flag displays three equal horizontal bands of green, white and black respectively from the top downwards, while the vertical strip of red is next to the mast.
The four colours are meant to reflect Arabian unity inspired by an Arabic poem by Safiul Din Al Holi. The poet wrote about the hard-fought historical battles of the land, with deeds and intentions that were benign (white), but the vigour of the battles were strong (black), while the lands were vast and green, and the gallant swords were stained with red blood.
National Day is just around the corner. While some will use the time to travel, others will stay in the country they now call home to enjoy the holiday festivities.Long weekends are great, and we all enjoy the extended time off, but what exactly is the significance of National Day in the UAE? And what is happening in the country to mark the occasion?We break down the origins, the interesting facts and the best places to mark the country’s 47th anniversary.
What is National Day?
National Day in the UAE is celebrated on December 2 each year. This holiday marks the day the emirates banded together at Union House (now Etihad Museum) to form the United Arab Emirates in 1971.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan was the country’s first president.
What are the names of the seven emirates?
Abu Dhabi … the capital of the UAE has many attractions including Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and some of the world’s best roller coasters and theme parks.
Ajman … an emirate that has many cultural attractions including the Ajman Museum.
Dubai … home to the world’s tallest tower – for now. Burj Khalifa is 828m in height, 830m to tip.
Fujairah … houses the UAE’s oldest mosque, Al Badiyah (Ottoman Mosque).
Ras Al Khaimah … an emirate boasting one of the highest peaks in the country. Jebal Jais is 1,934m above sea level and is part of a mountain range on the border of the UAE and Oman. It also is home to the Alma Retreat, perfect for a getaway.
Sharjah … Unesco designated Sharjah as the Cultural Capital of the Arab world in 1998. So attractions such as the Sharjah Arts Museum, the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation and the Eye of the Emirates Wheel are all well worth a visit.
Umm Al Quwain … the emirate where the world’s oldest pearl was discovered.
What is the UAE’s national anthem?
The UAE’s national anthem or Ishi Bilady, translated into English is Long Live my Nation. The anthem was initially composed by Mohammed Abdel Wahab. In addition to the UAE’s anthem, the Egyptian singer and composer is also credited for the Tunisian and Libyan anthems too.In 1986, Dr Aref Al Sheikh was given just three days to write the lyrics.
The poet and columnist was commissioned by the Acting Minister of Education, Ahmed Humaid Al Tayyer, to write the lyrics. In an interview with The National, he recalls the process of writing the lyrics.
“I kept replaying the music of the anthem over and over again, waiting for the words to come to my mind,” he said. “You can’t imagine how beautiful and amazing it feels to be part of history and to remember you had a role in the words every time you hear the national anthem sung by its citizens”.
میرا ملک زندہ رہو، ہمارے امارات کے اتحاد زندہ رہتی ہے
آپ ایک قوم کے لئے رہ چکے ہیں
اسلام کون کون مذہب ہے اور ہدایت قرآن ہے
میں نے آپ کو خدا کے نام میں اوہ وطن میں مضبوط بنایا
میرا ملک، میرا ملک، میرا ملک، میرا ملک
خدا نے آپ کو وقت کی برائیوں سے بچایا ہے
ہم نے تعمیر اور کام کرنے کا قسم کھایا ہے
خلوص سے کام کرو، مخلص کام کرو
جب تک ہم رہتے ہیں، ہم مخلص، مخلص،
حفاظت ختم ہوگئی ہے اور پرچم اوہ ہمارے امارات رہتا ہے
عرب کی علامت
ہم سب آپ کے لئے قربانی دیتے ہیں، ہم آپ کو اپنے خون کے ساتھ فراہم کریں گے
ہم آپ کے لئے قربانی دیتے ہیں ہم آپ کو اپنے خون کے ساتھ فراہم کریں گے
ہم آپ کو ہماری روحوں کے ساتھ قربانی دیتے ہیں
Who designed the flag?
The designer of the UAE’s flag is Abdullah Mohammed Al Maainah. More than a thousand entries were submitted into a competition to design the country’s flag, and after a process of elimination, it was his design that was chosen as the winning entry.
The flag was hoisted above Mushrif Palace in 1971.
How Al Maainah reacted to the news of him winning the competition.
How many days off do we have?
Government offices will be closed on Friday, November 30, and reopen on Tuesday, December 4 in celebration of the country’s 47th birthday. Private sector employees will have a three-day weekend, with work commencing on Monday, December 3.
What can I do on National Day?
Most schools and businesses are closed for two days over the National Day period, depending on whether they belong to public or private sector. During this time, many choose to travel, but for those staying in the country, there are a whole host of festivities, activities and entertainment on offer, including concerts, parades and firework displays.
Use the weekend to learn more about the country; its history, people, food and culture by visiting this historic landmark on 2nd of December Street, Jumeirah 1, Dubai. Check the website for opening hours.
Al Wahda Mall in Abu Dhabi
The mall has a host of exciting activities and events in the build-up to and during the National Day weekend. Some the entertainment includes mini golf, bubble soccer, and National Day-themed exhibitions for the whole family to enjoy.