Residents across the UAE typically cover their cars with elaborate decorations to celebrate National Day. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: Police have published new guidelines for the 49th National Day celebrations as residents this year will have to celebrate the occasion amid strict COVID-19 safety measures.

The upcoming three-day holiday marks Commemoration Day and National Day, which means UAE residents will benefit from a five-day-long weekend from December 1-5.

In a statement, Abu Dhabi Police said gatherings are strictly prohibited and reminded motorists that a Dh2,000 fine and 12 black points will be issued against those driving in a manner that poses a danger to others, or if they race on the roads, which will also result in the confiscation of the vehicle for 30 days.

Fines will also be imposed on motorists if they are caught driving a noisy vehicle, or if they modified the vehicle’s engine to either enhance its speed or noise level.

In Abu Dhabi, motorist have also been given a clear deadline as to how long they can keep their decorations up. Police confirmed that this year, car decorations should only be put on display from November 25 to December 6.

COVID-19 preventive measures

As part of the authority’s efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus, only three people are allowed per vehicle. The use of face masks is mandatory at all times for the driver and both passengers.

Passengers and drivers should remain in their vehicles with their seatbelts fastened, and must avoid sitting or standing on rooftops and hanging out of car windows. Car owners should not change the colour of their vehicle, and not blur the license car plate in the front or the rear. It is also not permissible to spray cans of Silly String or snow foam on public property.

According to the rules, motorists should not obstruct traffic, park in unauthorised areas, drive in a reckless manner or perform stunts. Decorations, such as flags, are also not allowed to cover the windscreen or licence plates.

Seeds of the Union

The official 49th UAE National Day celebration will be held on December 2 in Abu Dhabi, under the theme “Seeds of the Union”. The spectacular show will take the form of a moving sculpture surrounded by sea and illuminated by digital visuals portraying themes inspired by the UAE’s history and values.

Staged in Abu Dhabi, the show will be broadcast live to an audience of millions in the UAE and beyond, ensuring residents can unite in celebration from the safety of their homes, official news agency Wam reported.

In line with the UAE’s precautionary and preventive measures, the organising committee of the Official 49th UAE National Day Celebration follows the highest standards of health and safety to ensure everyone taking part is safe. This includes a COVID-19 testing policy for all teams and cast members involved in the show, and supports the decision of emphasising the TV broadcast in place of live public attendance.

National Day is the annual celebration of the UAE’s formation on December 2, 1971. It is an opportunity to recognise 49 years of unity between the seven emirates and to embrace the country’s spirit and values.