x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Ajman City Centre comes alive with National Day festivities

Music bands, henna artists, face painters, balloonists and an appearance by the grandmothers from the cartoon Freej have enlivened the Ajman City Centre.

Visitors to the Ajman City Centre have enjoyed music bands, henna artists, face painters, balloonists and an appearance by the grandmothers from the cartoon Freej.

The characters in their colourful outfits waved as shoppers and cleaning staff crowded them to have their picture taken. A few children ran away scared while their parents laughed.

Alia Al Balushi, 20 an Emirati, watched with her one-year-old nephew. “Today is important for all citizens,” she said.

But others shared in the fun, too. Mohamed Khatab, a 15-year-old Egyptian who was born in the UAE, said that the day before his family had watched a parade of cars decorated in national colours.

Nearby, a clown pumped out balloon puppies and swords in UAE colours, while children ran around him swatting each other with their new toys.

Others waited in line for a face painter to draw glittery flags and “I love UAE” with a heart symbol on their cheeks and arms.

Ehtisham, 6, proudly showed his flag painting to his brother and mother. The family, from Pakistan, had driven from Dubai because the father worked as a khatib in a mosque in Ajman.

“It’s very colourful,” said the mother, Tahira, 35, declining to give her last name.