DUBAI // In crisply pressed khaki uniforms proudly accentuated with scarfs and berets in the national colours of red, green, white and black, 600 UAE Scouts marched in celebration of their country’s 39th birthday yesterday.
The scouts from across the UAE congregated at al Mamzar beach and then marched on for 600 metres to al Mamzar Park where prizes, competitions and games in sports and trivia were waiting for them.
Often working in the background doing volunteer work such as cleaning up rubbish or visiting the elderly at senior citizens homes, National Day is one of the few days in the year that Emirati Scouts get to enjoy the spotlight.
Members as young as four, wearing light-blue uniforms, to older members in their 20s in khaki, have been participating in the "national walk" ever since the unification of the country in 1971.
Waving flags and marching against a backdrop of drums and traditional music played by their musical team, the Scouts walked united in form and vision.
Besides singing the national anthem, they annually renew their "scout oath" to the country, where they promise, upon their honour, to do their duty towards "Allah and country, and help others in all situations, and to know and obey scout law".
Established first in Sharjah in 1954, the Emirati Scouts are present in each emirate, with members from all walks of life including royals, ministers and army officials.