Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid leads Flag Day celebrations

The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai said the raising of the flag was symbolic of the country's success in lifting the aspirations of its people

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid raised the UAE flag high as celebrations were held nationwide to mark a vital chapter in the country's success story.

The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai was surrounded by a sea of green, white, black and red as he lifted the union banner in honour of Flag Day on Sunday.

Crowds waved UAE flags in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa at a joyous ceremony led by Sheikh Mohammed.

Flag Day, which has been held annually since 2013 on November 3, commemorates the ascension of Sheikh Khalifa as President of the UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed said the raising of the flag was symbolic of the lifting of aspirations in the country.

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"Today we have simultaneously raised the UAE flag with thousands of our workforce teams across all our institutions. It was lifted in our hearts then into the sky," said Sheikh Mohammed.

"We have risen the level of our aspirations and our flags rose everywhere. Our citizens’ pride of their country has risen and the UAE’s flag will remain grand and flap high with the endeavour, determination and allegiance of the UAE’s sons [citizens]."

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the national flag was a source of pride for generations of Emiratis.

"On Flag Day, we celebrate the reputation of our union and the symbol of our identity and pride," said Sheikh Mohamed.

"We renew our patriotic pledge and pertinence. We shall keep our flag raised and waved just as we received it from our parents and ancestors."

The pomp and patriotism was on show in all corners of the Emirates, from schools, universities and even theme park attractions, to offices and homes.

As the clock struck 11am on Sunday, flags were lifted all over the country, offering citizens and residents alike an opportunity to reflect on what the Emirates has meant to them.

In honour of the special occasion, Flag Garden at Kite Beach is back in bloom for a sixth year.

The garden is comprised of 4,500 UAE flags arranged to create portraits of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, shared footage of the impressive park portraits to millions of his followers on Twitter.

Many people in Abu Dhabi were also keen to be part of the show of pride.

4,500 flags create the portraits of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Courtesy of Dubai Media Office
4,500 flags create the portraits of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Courtesy of Dubai Media Office

Students and staff at New York University Abu Dhabi held their own Flag Day event, while the national banner was flown proudly from Warner Bros Abu Dhabi in Yas Island.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, spoke of the importance of Flag Day, saying it "reflects our national identity, symbolises our national cohesion, embodies loyalty and belonging to our wise leadership, and reaffirms the principles of our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed.

"This occasion drives us to redouble our efforts and work, so that the UAE remains an example of comprehensive development in all walks of life."

Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, offered congratulations to UAE leaders on the occasion.

"Flag Day commemorates the ascension of the President, Sheikh Khalifa, and therefore demonstrates our unswerving determination to work together for the highest good of our beloved homeland, " said the crown prince.

"Our celebration of Flag Day is a translation of our patriotic feelings toward the UAE Flag, which we hold in high esteem, being a symbol of unity and Arabism, the foundation of which was laid down by late Sheikh Zayed."

Updated: November 4, 2019 08:29 AM

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