x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Emiratis in UK full of pride on 42nd National Day

Emiratis living and studying in the UK gathered together to celebrate National Day and Dubai's recent Expo win in London.

Emirati students Fatima Al Dhaheri, left, and Mona bin Hussain at the National Day party in London. Stephen Lock for The National
Emirati students Fatima Al Dhaheri, left, and Mona bin Hussain at the National Day party in London. Stephen Lock for The National

London // From adults in traditional costume to children waving the national flag, hundreds of Emiratis transformed a London hotel suite into a little corner of the UAE on Sunday.

Nationals studying and working in the UK gathered for the colourful social and cultural event in the presence of Abdulrahman Ghanim Al Mutaiwi, the UAE Ambassador.

Many described their pride in the 42nd anniversary of the unification of the country, and its record of rapid development and progress.

Dubai’s victory in winning Expo 2020 was also in the thoughts of guests at the Millennium Gloucester hotel.

“I’ll be there in 2020,” said Fatima Al Dhaheri, a media and communications student from Al Ain who is studying for a master’s degree at Brunel University in west London.

Already experienced as a news presenter and economics correspondent for Dubai TV, Miss Al Dhaheri said Dubai’s success gave all Emiratis additional cause for celebration.

Her friend, Mona bin Hussain, 31, who works for the Sharjah Museums Department and who is studying for her PhD in Leicester, said the evolution of successive generations of Emiratis since 1971 was a source of special satisfaction.

“So much has been done in all aspects of life,” she said. “I am overwhelmed by the UAE’s development and determined to return after my studies to give my country something back for all the opportunities it has given me.”

Juma Al Falasi, 18, from Dubai, is taking a business foundation course in London.

“I want to make my country as proud of me as I am of its achievements in every field of human activity,” he said.

A poignant note was struck by the healthy smile of one of the youngest participants, two-year-old Mohammed bin Suroor, perched with his sister, Amna, 3, on the shoulders of their father, Saud.

They are living in London so that Mohammed can continue his treatment after having a liver transplant in January. His father was the donor.

“He’s doing well,” said Mr bin Suroor, 31, who studies in Glasgow. “But without all my country has done in the past 42 years, we could not have been here.”

newsdesk@thenational.ae