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A giant leap of progress

My husband and I owe it to this great nation for developing our careers and helping us start our married life. The standard of living has gone up drastically, compared to the late 1990’s when we moved here. The country has made economic progress at rocket speed, and our hearts swell with pride when we travel abroad and people there ask us about the UAE, be it about the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, or the theme parks and resorts the country can proudly boast of. From fewer cars to unlimited ones on the road, the only tallest tower I remember when I came here in 1996 was that of the World Trade Centre, which is now dwarfed by the skyscrapers around. The shopping mall we frequently visited back then was Al Ghurair Center. If you need to see the sand today you can only see it while dune bashing. Though the country is not naturally endowed with rainfall due to its geographic location, it is always ready for new plans and the government makes every effort to develop green areas, which is commendable. As far as the UAE National Day celebrations go, we celebrate it with as much fanfare as we any other Indian festival. My children love to decorate their car with the flag colours and we make it a point to drive through the Sharjah corniche to take part in the car parades done specially for national day. Where can you find such amazing melting pot of cultures? We all live in perfect harmony synergised and connected, irrespective of caste culture or creed. Happy 46 UAE national day greetings to all. Looking forward to this great nation entering the golden years soon.

From Ms Sandhya Shetty

DUBAI

An important day for some

UAE National Day means a lot to me. I came here in 1981. I remember Dubai as a small town where we knew all our neighbours and invariably, everyone on the streets greeted each other happily. The similarities in the cultural and family values among UAE nationals and Indians made settling in a smooth and quick process. The UAE has been our home since then. The progress and growth of this place has been beyond anyone’s imagination. Other countries should learn and take inspiration from the UAE, where people from so many countries live in peace and harmony. Mutual respect, tolerance and compassion for each other, with a strong positive leadership are the key factors in the development of the UAE. I always put decorations outside our house. When my children were young, we always went to see the National day fireworks. For a number of years, dinner on UAE National day was on Jumeirah beach road, watching the cars parade by and sharing this joy and excitement with everyone there. Boys love to participate in the UAE bike ride across the city and other activities. I love to get a special dress for my granddaughter in the UAE flag colours.

From Ms Geetam Kapoor

Development and planning

I have been born and brought up in Sharjah. Despite being an Indian, UAE is my first home. Since I have spent my youth here and am currently working here, I have seen the UAE grow tremendously and steadily, opening doors to all its friends and tourists. The way the Metro has changed our life is to be specially mentioned. The government is very systematic in its development and implementation of its plans. When we have some old relatives visiting us, who were the resident’s years before, they are surprised at how the vast desert has turned into a location where even a Fast and Furious film can be shoot!

From Mr Salim Mohammad

Dubai

A second home

National Day is the commemoration of the unity of all the other emirates of UAE. I have been an expatriate for 10 years and the day means going out to celebrate to other emirates, with my office friends. This is also the time when I look for a commemorative Metro card, which I really keep and treasure. Dubai is really a second home for me as this country has fulfilled my dreams, and has paved a way to a better life for my family back home in the Philippines. I have worked for only one company since I came to Dubai and I share my life with people from different countries. This year, this is the last long holiday for us and there is no better way to enjoy ourselves. I wish the UAE all the best.

From Ms Ma Teresa Sanchez – Edpan

Dubai

Equally patriotic

National Day celebrations is a big part of the UAE. I always feel like a part of this country. I feel proud of this country’s history, culture and prosperity. The UAE National Day gives me the same feeling I get when it is my country’s Independence or Republic Day.

From Mr Imran Khan

Dubai

Lights and decorations

Being here, in my home away from home for the past 30 years, I have several fond memories. When I go back to the initial years, it stops at the festivities that used to happen around the volcano fountain at the Abu Dhabi Corniche. I also remember the long queue of cars that waited patiently at the car decoration shops in Salam Street. In 1991, the city of Abu Dhabi started electrical light decorations on its high-rise buildings, especially on the oil companies and government buildings. The police and army band, the car parade, the air show and the fireworks are some of the memories that will be fondly remembered.

From Mr Ramesh Menon

Abu Dhabi

A place that nurtures you

I have stayed in the country for longer than 20 years. I was born in the same year as the UAE and came here for the first time as a young bride in early January 1994. I was filled with lots of hope, excitement as well as trepidation. As I ventured out of the airport, I was pleasantly surprised to see decorative lights denoting my age, then 22, which later I came to understand was the decorations leftover from the national day celebrations. Little did I know what great influence this prestigious country is going to have on my life. I am really proud to be a resident of this country for the last 24 years and I have grown in many ways, be it academically, financially, emotionally, socially and most important, religiously. As the UAE celebrates its 46th National Day, I salute it’s sagacious leaders and pray to the God Almighty to grant my home away from home great success.

From Ms Sajida Kamal

Abu Dhabi

46 years of grown and development

The national day marks the anniversary of the federal unification of the emirates in 1971 to form the the United Arab Emirates. The country is young, just 46 years old, and has achieved tremendous growth and development that no other country has got in this short span of time. The country is the best in the Middle East and North African Region and is blessed with visionary leaders who are in the accelerated path of progress and development with the vision of making the nation the best in the world. With the admirable present Rulers and a competent line of next generation leaders, the country will keep developing in the right direction and will be in the list of the top 10 best countries in the world. I appreciate the visionary leaders, the citizens and residents who have contributed towards the development of this country. Let us all celebrate and at the same time be committed to contribute more for the continuous development of the nation.

From Mr Manuel Fernandez

Sharjah

Visionary leadership

Every year, December 2 is celebrated as National Day in all the Emirates. Today the UAE consists of seven emirates with Abu Dhabi as the capital, followed by Dubai, known for its trading and tourist destination, Sharjah for culture, Ajman as an upcoming industrial emirate, followed by Al Fujarah, Ras Al Khimah and Um AL Quwain. In the past four and half decades, the UAE has developed remarkably in all areas, particularly tourism and trading. Today, the UAE is on the global map. The credit for this goes to late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s founding father. His philosophy was followed by his son, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. On National Day, various cultural programmes, fireworks and car rallies will be organised. People come in large numbers and enjoy the celebration. It will be colourful on that day. Having spent 16 Years in the UAE I wish the UAE and its people, a very happy, healthy and peaceful life.

From Mr K Ragavan

India

Picture perfect

As someone passionate about photography, I venture to interesting locations in UAE to capture the essence of the land, its people and traditions. The Heritage village and the Boulevard have a festive atmosphere and a great place to be during the National Day celebrations. There are many such locations which provide a good opportunity to interact and learn more about UAE. I prefer to visit different locations during these holidays and enjoy the programs conducted to celebrate the day.

From Mr Mohammad Arfan Asif

Dubai

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