UAE internet users were seized by patriotic fervour yesterday, as hundreds tweeted their love for Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The hashtag #We_love_Sheikh_Mohammed_bin_Zayed was "trending" throughout the day on the Twitter social network as some people retweeted it dozens of times.
Among those tweeting it were Emirati Alanoud Madhi, who said it was the simplest way of expressing love.
"It's very important to show love for the Sheikhs," she said. "National Day is not only a way to celebrate the country but also to celebrate our leaders.
"We are trying to give back and be grateful through hard work, at our work places and at school, and in addition to that a most simple way would be tweeting love, which is simple and most widely spread."
When asked why she loved Sheikh Mohammed so much she said she could go on answering.
"But the most simple answer and the shortest answer would be saying that he is exactly as Sheikh Zayed was, his smile, his modestly, I mean everything, his wisdom."
Thabet Alqaissieh, an Emirati from Abu Dhabi, also retweeted the message. He said Twitter was only one extra way for people to express how they felt about Sheikh Mohammed.
"It's a trait he has and all our Sheikhs have since a long time, being close to the people, regardless whether it is National Day or not," said the 30-year-old when asked why he retweeted it.
He spoke of the way Sheikh Mohammed mixed with the people.
"On a regular basis it's also heartwarming when you walk into Jones the Grocer for lunch and you see him sitting over there enjoying his lunch or coffee among everybody - young, old, female, male, local, foreigner, everybody. It's a sight you don't really see in many countries around the world," he added.
#We_love_Sheikh_Mohammed_bin_Zayed was not the only National Day-related hashtag to have gained momentum in recent days. #proudtobeemarati and #spiritoftheunion have also both racked up hundreds of retweets.