DUBAI// More than 25,000 people are expected to help celebrate the relationship between the UAE and Pakistan ahead of National Day.
Poetry readings, cooking competitions and cricket matches are among activities being organised by the Pakistan Association Dubai (Pad) ahead of official celebrations on December 2.
"The Pakistani community is one of the largest and both our nations have such close ties with one another that we felt it was natural to show our solidarity with the UAE," said Dr Faisel Ikram, Pad general secretary.
There will be two events tomorrow, including community cricket at Sharjah stadium. The cricket boards from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah will all take part.
In the evening, two Pakistani Urdu poets, Amjad Islam Amjad and Anwar Masood, will recite their work from 7.30pm at Pad's premises on Oud Mehta Road in Bur Dubai.
On November 27, Pad members will visit elderly residents in Dubai and Pakistanis at Al Aweer Prison.
"We want to help people who have difficulties and are using these celebrations to do that," Dr Ikram said. "Pakistan was the first country to recognise the UAE when it gained independence from the UK in 1971. Since then we have always been close and we wanted to reflect that during these celebrations."
The climax will be a four-day cultural and food festival from November 29 to December 2 running from 5pm to 11pm each day. It will feature music and food contests and stalls with items and games.
"We will have coverage from Pakistan television stations that will be hosting events live on the day." Dr Ikram said. "On November 30 we will have free health check ups for needy people in the community. On the same day we will also have a human solidarity chain at the Pakistan Education Academy to show our support to the relationship between the countries.
"We expect about 25,000 people from the community to take part and attend the various events."
Celebrations will conclude on December 2 with a 1.5-kilometre solidarity walk from the Pakistan Education Academy to the Pad centre.