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A burst of colour and national pride

Expats and Emiratis share smiles and quality time on the special day at the Corniche.

  • Sharing the excitement
    Children get into festive spirit at the parade along the Abu Dhabi Corniche on National Day.Image Credit: ALEX WESTCOTT/Gulf News
  • Sharing the excitement
    Dhows at Abu Dhabi Port, adorned with national flags,depict the spirit of the occasion.Image Credit: ALEX WESTCOTT/Gulf News
  • Sharing the excitement
    A car decorated with national flags and balloons andpainted with pictures of UAE leaders in Abu Dhabi.Image Credit: Alex Westcott
  • Sharing the excitement
    Emiratisgather at Abu Dhabi Corniche carrying a huge national flag to take part in the celebrations yesterdaImage Credit: ALEX WESTCOTT/Gulf News
  • Sharing the excitement
    National Day celebrations after the parade along the Abu Dhabi cornicheImage Credit: Alex Westcott, Gulf News
  • Sharing the excitement
    Children at the Birds of Hope Nursery in Abu Dhabi celebrate 39 years of the UAE on the eve of National Day.Image Credit: Alex Westcott/Gulf News
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: One could not escape seeing the UAE flag with every blink as over a thousand people gathered on the Cornish to commemorate the momentous occasion of the UAE's 39th National Day.

The pride and love for the UAE, as real or adopted homeland, was prominently displayed, whether on a face paint, printed on scarves, or worn as a dress where Emiratis, expatriates, adults, children, men and women all assembled for a carnival parade.

The event, that was planned by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach), kicked off under the watchful eye of Abu Dhabi police on the Cornish by Al Hilal Bank and went all the way to Shaikh Zayed's big portrait facing the Hilton Hotel.

The parade was led by Abu Dhabi Police Cavaliers, seven cavaliers representing the seven Emirates, accompanied by the Abu Dhabi police band that played its trademark tunes adding to the extravaganza of the carnival.

Children enjoyed having their pictures taken holding falcons. Beautifully decorated cars with feathers and UAE flag were roaming the Cornish.The National Folk Dance Group put on a series of dances, and entertained the crowds.

People of different ethnic backgrounds reflecting the rich cultural diversity of the UAE came together to enjoy the festivities celebrating the UAE ‘s history. Gregory, a 51-year-old program manager from Great Britain said he was awaiting the festivities.

"December 2nd provides an opportunity for me to reflect on my time in Abu Dhabi. I love living in the UAE and each year, I wait to celebrate the passing of another momentous year for my adopted country," Gregory said. This year will be a rehearsal for the ‘Big 4 - 0' celebrations of 2011. I can't wait," he added.

Mohammad, a 12-year- old student wearing this National dress was happy and proud. "I am happy to be an Emirati," he said.