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The Spirit of the Union-themed digital doodle tribute created by Indian artist Sijin Gopinath. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Indian expats in the UAE have come up with various creative ways to pay their tributes to their ‘second home’ on the occasion of its 49th National Day.

While community groups are organising modest flag-hoisting ceremonies, online events, blood donation camps and mask distribution as part of the celebrations — while maintaining social distancing — several expats have brought out their best in creativity to salute the UAE.

India's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abubakr Ahmad hoists the flag to mark the 49th UAE National Day at the Markaz Dubai Centre on Wednesday.

Indian associations and community groups in some emirates illuminated their buildings and held flag-hoisting ceremonies with limited number of officials and members present.

“Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) is organising blood donation camps across the UAE. A directory of all blood donor volunteers will be presented to the UAE health authorities. We are tying up with health entities to offer free COVID-19 screening also. Dubai KMCC is hosting a massive online celebration on Friday. Other KMCC units are organising online competitions for children,” said Dr Puthur Rahman, president of KMCC UAE.

A group of Indian expats under the aegis of Sheikh Zayed Peace Forum in Kerala and UB7 Foundation in Karnataka have organised a mask distribution campaign in the UAE and India in collaboration with the Fujairah Cultural Association. “The campaign will see the distribution of 10,000 three-layered protective masks with the design of the UAE flag,” said campaign coordinator Muneer Bin Mohiyadeen.

Mask campaign
A group of Indians in Dubai distribute 10,000 three-layered protective masks with the design of the UAE flag.

Art works on leaders, frontliners

Some Indian visual artists have created art works of UAE leaders and COVID-19 frontline workers to pay tributes to them on the occasion.

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An acrylic painting by Indian Saji Varghese, paying tribute to the services of frontline workers in the UAE during the COVID-19 pandemic. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah’s famous watchman artist Vijesh Vijil has made a portrait of the UAE’s founding father late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, using thousands of stencil stamp impressions of Sheikh Zayed’s face. “I drew the UAE’s national flag by writing ‘UAE’ several thousand times and also painted the Spirit of the Union image of the Rulers in tribute,” said Vijesh.

Known for his art installations, art director Nisar Ibrahim has made a unique art installation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Titled ‘The Leader’, the art piece with dimensions of 120x100cm comprises four-inch screws and weighs 49kg. After completion, the image looks like as if it is made up of 6,800 dots formed by the screws. “It was brought into life in 49 man-hours. It will be on display from December 2-6 at Dubai Outlet Mall,” said Nisar.

Artist Sijin Gopinath, who has been organising painting events for National Day, said he chose to make a digital painting of the Rulers of the UAE with Sheikh Zayed.

Another expat Saji Varghese, who has not formally learnt painting, came up with an acrylic painting on canvas as a tribute to the COVID-19 warriors of the country. “I decided to make paintings of frontliners shouldering the map of the UAE and the landmark buildings here to symbolically honour their invaluable services to the country during the pandemic,” said Saji, a floor supervisor with a car service centre.

Saying it with songs, videos

Record-winning singer and Dubai student Sucheta Satish has once again worked with famous Emirati poet Dr Shihab Ghanem to release a music video. Titled Fi Hob Al Emarat (In love of the emirates),” the special song dedicated to the UAE is written by Dr Ghanem and composed by Indian expatriate Dev Chakraborty. The Arabic song is sung by Sucheta, accompanied by Chakraborty. The music video features the country’s excellence in various fields.

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What if it snowed in Dubai? That was the dream that came to the mind of photographer Nishar Mohammed when he thought about a tribute to the UAE. He has released a unique video of snowfall in Dubai on YouTube by using amazing photographs of Dubai clicked by him. “I added moving fog and snowfall effects in Final Cut Pro,” said Nishar who used the UAE’s national anthem for the audio.