Dubai: Australian expatriates across the UAE celebrated their country's National Day on Monday with a host of original and unique events.

Staff at Ski Dubai also got into the spirit of Australia Day by taking part in a cricket match on the slopes of the city's famous tourist attraction with snow carvings of the iconic Sydney Opera house and Sydney Harbour Bridge acting as a backdrop to the action. The day's events also involved staff and visitors racing down the slope in cardboard boxes as they replicated the famous dry river boat race held in Alice Springs every year.

Mike Mahoney, General Manager of Ski Dubai, said: "We wanted to tie in the experience of Australia Day with that of winter sports as the Australian Alps attract residents from the main cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra."

Elsewhere, residents attending the screening of Baz Luhrmann's epic movie Australia, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, at Dubai Festival City received free popcorn upon providing proof of their Australian nationality.

Thousands of other Australian expatriates celebrated at venues across the city including the Irish Village, Bidi Bondi on the Palm Jumeirah and Aussie Legends at Rydges Plaza Hotel in Satwa.

The Australia New Zealand Association (ANZA), a Dubai-based community organisation set up to provide support for the Australian and New Zealand community in the UAE, held a coffee morning at the Lime Tree Cafe on Jumeirah Beach Road with a similar event taking place in Sharjah this morning.

Janet Bryan, Vice-Chairman of ANZA, said their main event this year was a picnic in Al Awir on Friday, February 6.

Your comments

Happy Australia Mates, I would like to correct the reporter here, Australia day is not a national day but the day when Australia opened its doors for migration. Australia does not have a National Day, as it is till now under the Queen.
Sufian Shah
Posted: January 27, 2009, 15:36

I had the pleasure of visiting Australia last month. What a beautiful country, and what fun-loving, creative, and welcoming people. Congratulations on Australia Day and I wish Australians and their wonderful country all the best. Cheers!
Posted: January 27, 2009, 12:06