Dubai: People of all ages and nationalities were treated to a 45-minute Downtown Parade yesterday that featured five themed floats representing the traditional UAE culture and heritage and various cultural performances from around the world.
The parade, organised by Emaar Properties in collaboration with the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, was held in celebration of the UAE's 40th National Day. The country's achievements through its 40 years of solidarity became the main theme of the parade.
Starting with a group of Harley Davidson riders, the parade featured traditional Emirati performers, various groups including jugglers, performers on stilts, dancers and musicians from China, India, Great Britain, Africa and other nations. The rich cultural performances marked another feat of Dubai as it is home to almost 200 nationalities.
"I think the parade was really fun, it's really good. And it's very Dubai in that there's so many cultural groups in the parade, there's music and dance mixing with each other, so it's fun. It's a ‘Parade of Dubai' for me," Laura McNabb, an instructor at Dubai Women's College, said.
Various government agencies also participated in the parade.
The Civil Defence contingent, which came with its fleet of fire trucks and rescue vehicles, received loud cheers and applause from the crowd throughout the parade. Some onlookers shouted ‘thank you', to the firemen as they marched along, among them was seven-year-old Yasmine Thurley.
"I love the firemen because they save us and they keep us safe," Thurley, a Lebanese-English expat, said. "The parade was very good because they had all the things of the UAE and we got to see the horses and camels on the road. I liked the people in the floats when they waved the UAE flags to us," she added.
The graduates of the College of Communication and Media Science (CCMS), Zayed University, have launched a campaign to recycle flags used in the UAE's 40th National Day celebrations.
The move is aimed at recycling used items and helping to preserve the environment.