Multi-coloured wigs, flag scarves and buttons displaying leaders of the UAE are party favours to National Day celebrants. But to shops in the Emirates, they are big business.
"It's a great time to celebrate, this holiday is really about the school children," said Anamari Gangan at Arty in Abu Dhabi's Marina Mall. The store sells National Day paraphernalia.
Other businesses have given the holiday their own twist. In 2007, Kitsch Cupcakes opened a few days before the festivities. Customers immediately requested specialised cupcakes, said Dalia Dogmoch, the company's co-founder and head baker. This year, the cupcakes, decorated with the UAE flag, were almost sold out by yesterday.
"We love the spirit," she said.
National pride is an important industry.
Cityman Department Store, in Satwa, Dubai, ordered 5,000 of each of their items, including flags, pins, hats, headbands and buttons. It has sold more than 80 per cent of its stock in the past week and a half.
"The best time of the year for selling is National Day," said Cityman Khalid, the managing director of the store. He estimates that the sales have netted about Dh50,000.
Shani Manaf, of Al Manar Satwa, supplies dresses in red, green, white and blackto more than 220 schools throughout the UAE for their celebrations. This year, he has sold 15,000 dresses, at between Dh85 and Dh110, he said.
"Every year, there are more and more celebrations," he said.