Dubai: Have you ever seen an Emirati living statue? Those who attended the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)’s UAE National Day celebrations this week just did.

Living statues are street artists who dress up like statues, usually in gold or silver coloured make-up, and don’t move for a long time.

Their stillness and inanimate looks make them appear like real statues.

At the National Day celebrations at the RTA’s headquarters in Dubai this past week, such artists posed as statues of Emiratis from the olden days to showcase the country’s cultural heritage.

The authority has posted videos of the celebrations on social media which depict living statues in golden costumes showcasing the lifestyles and traditions of yesteryear with Emiratis who were fishermen or dhow makers.

Dubai Media Office has also retweeted the videos.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA and other senior officials attended the celebrations.

Al Tayer was seen interacting with the Emirati living statues.

Legacy of Ancestors

This year’s RTA celebrations are themed Legacy of Ancestors, in veneration of the true heritage of the UAE and unique features of Emiratis.

“This year’s celebrations echo the identity of traditional Emirati homes with stylish touches replicating the theme,” the authority said.

Al Tayer attended an event organised by children of RTA employees, inspired by the good old days of Quranic Teachers ‘Mutawaa’, traditional braiding done for kids, and face-painting reflecting the identity of Emirati girls.

He also attended the Golden Occupations show, which included divers, falconers and traditional neighbourhood vendors. Other highlights included a traditional singing performance, a pottery workshop and a Burqa making workshop by Emirati women.

RTA officials, employees and staff were later treated to a number of breathtaking activities reflecting the UAE’s ancestors’ legacy and replicating the ‘heritage of ancestors’, including traditional dishes, Harbiya dance, folklore games, henna application etc.

Safety campaign

As part of the National Day celebrations, RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency (TRA) staged an awareness event entitled ‘For the UAE, We Celebrate in Love and Safety’.

Awareness posters were distributed to 230 schools, in addition to 10,000 messages from students to their parents entitled ‘To Mum and Dad’, reminding them to abide by traffic safety rules when driving their loved ones to and from schools.

TRA’s campaign also included theatrical and awareness-raising performances held at Dubai School for Modern Education, where scores of students from different nationalities delivered speeches, epitomising the value of tolerance, the authority said.