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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Timeframe: The UAE's first National Day parade in 1972

Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, presided over the festivities in Dubai, which included a parade and the performance of the new national anthem by Egyptian singer Nagat Al Saghira

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan attending the first celebration of UAE National Day on December 2, 1972. Courtesy Al Ittihad
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan attending the first celebration of UAE National Day on December 2, 1972. Courtesy Al Ittihad

Forty-six years ago this Sunday, the UAE celebrated its first National Day.

Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, presided over the festivities in Dubai, which included a parade and the performance of the new national anthem by Egyptian singer Nagat Al Saghira.

The union had a lot to celebrate in its first year, including membership in the UN; the joining of Ras Al Khaimah in February, two months after the country was established; the creation of the Federal National Council; and even the founding of the Emirates Scout Association.

Several emirates had their own chapters in the association from as early as 1957, and in this image, a scout from the Al Ain chapter carries the club’s flag as part of the inaugural ­National Day celebrations.

One year later, the Girl Guides established a national chapter, and today, children participate in Scouting and Guiding activities across the country.

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