Sultan Al Midfa presents a certificate to Khadija Al Housani, winner of the letter-writing competition. Image Credit: Emirates Post

Sharjah: The UAE’s first landing of an aircraft on October 5, 1932, was celebrated on Tuesday to mark World Post Day.

The historic moment was celebrated by Emirates Post with staff at Al Mahatta Museum to mark the landing 86 years ago of a Hanno H 42 (Hannibal Class) built by Handley Page, a plane owned by British Imperial Airways.

The aircraft had four passengers on board plus its British captain, Horsey, when it landed at Al Mahatta which means “the station”, a new airstrip that was built within two months at the time after the British Government inked a deal with the Sharjah ruler at the time Shaikh Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sultan Al Midfa, acting on behalf of Group CEO of Emirates Post Group, said: “We have chosen to celebrate World Post Day through the celebration of a significant moment in postal and aviation history. HANNO was the first-ever aircraft to carry passengers and Air Mail to the UAE; a significant moment in the social history of the emirates. Not only did this service open the UAE up to the rest of the world, but this was also a key moment in the economic development of the country.”

Khaled Omaira, Vice-President of the Emirates Philatelic Association, listed the history of postal services in the UAE and its contribution to the long-term development of the emirates.

World Post Day — which celebrates the creation of Universal Post Union in 1874 — marks the occasion by conducting its International Letter-Writing competition.

The annual competition recognises student talents from each participating country and awards winners with a cash prize and a chance to compete at the international level.

The winners of this year’s competition held in UAE were: First place, Khadija Mohammad Abdullah Hassan Al Housani and Abdul Rahman Ali Bitaar followed by Yasmina Taher and Basmalah Mohammad Ahmad Zayed, in second and third place respectively.