Dubai: The skies over part of Dubai were illuminated as hundreds of lanterns were released at Meydan to mark the 40th National Day celebrations.
People cheered as celebrations went on at the Racecourse which included a parade of hot air balloons.
A spectacular show of traditional dances and music was organised for the celebrations marking the 40th year of the founding of the UAE.
Residents and tourists also flocked to the Dubai Heritage Village yesterday to watch the celebrations.
Just before sunset, 14,600 balloons representing the number of days since the UAE was formed, were released and they floated off into the pink sky as hundreds of spectators watched.
The creekside came alive for the second day of the National Day festivities. A mini amphitheatre was set up to host performances of traditional songs and dance.
During the day thousands of people were treated to a number of activities at the Dubai Heritage and Diving Village, including a fine art exhibition by the Emirates Fine Arts Association, a traditional souq and a handicraft market.
Visitors also got a chance to get a taste of traditional food and enjoy henna painting, take photographs of themselves in traditional attire and enjoy a falcon display, horse riding, and other activities.
In the evening, visitors were treated to a show about the UAE's history with a sound and light show that was displayed on the sails of a dhow sailing up and down the creek. The grand finale was a display of breathtaking fireworks across the Creek.
As a special tribute to mark the 40th National Day, the Dubai Fountain danced to the music of the UAE National Anthem. Parks
Residents took advantage of the long weekend and headed to the parks for a day of relaxation and barbecues. Elsewhere in New Dubai, the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) witnessed an unprecedented crowd yesterday to watch a Ferrari parade with 68 participating cars started off from the Union House at 10am to reach The Walk.
The route was through the Jumeirah Beach Road, Al Sufouh and then across the bridge near the Grosvenor house to The Walk.
The Dubai Municipality staff joined in the celebrations as Director General Hussain Nasser Lootah released unity balloons.
A photo exhibition, Our Golden Past, was also put up by the municipality staff.
Meanwhile, Dubai's Community Development Authority held an all-day celebration with live music and dance shows from a traditional Emirati band, a Russian band, an Indian band and others.
Visitors took part in a cultural competition about the UAE history, geography and society and got to answer questions, win prizes and learn interesting facts about the country.
A board was dedicated to visitors who wished to express their sentiments on the occasion of the National Day, and hundreds wrote about their love and appreciation of the UAE and their wishes on the anniversary.
— With inputs by Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter