Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 August 2019

First UAE baby of 2019 arrives seconds after the stroke of midnight

Baby Omar, born to Syrian parents living in Abu Dhabi, was welcomed into the world following an emergency cesarean section

Omar is the first UAE baby of 2019, born at the stroke of midnight in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National
Omar is the first UAE baby of 2019, born at the stroke of midnight in Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National

The first baby of the New Year was born in the UAE on the stroke of midnight.

Mohammed and Sajeda Joha welcomed baby Omar to the world at Bareen International Hospital in Mohammed bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi. He weighed 3.53 kilograms.

Omar was due on January 2, but arrived early following an emergency cesarean section operation.

Dr Mohammed Embabi, a paediatrician at Bareen, was on call last night and part of the team who delivered the baby.

“Fifteen minutes before the delivery, they called me and I came from home to attend,” said Dr Embabi.

Mr and Mrs Joha, who are from Syria, have been living in the UAE for the last seven years and have a seven year-old son, Farzad.

Mr Joha said his family was grateful to the medical team for ensuring baby Omar’s safe arrival.

“Both my wife and our baby are in great health and are now resting,” said Mr Joha, 35. “This is the best New Year’s gift to our family.”

Dr Hala El Sayed Ali Hassan, a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology who led the medical team, said bringing a child into this world is momentous enough, but giving birth to the first newborn of 2019 was “truly extra special”.

“We wish the new family healthy years ahead, happiness and prosperity on the birth of their new child,” she said.


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Other New Year’s Day babies quickly followed Omar’s arrival in hospitals across the country.

Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children in Abu Dhabi welcomed six newborns in the first few hours of the new year. Another seven babies are expected before the end of the day.

They included baby Khalifa, who was born at 2.12am, weighing 3.3kg, two days before his due date.

“Our newborn is the sixth in the family and we named him Khalifa, after His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, the UAE president,” said the father, Ali Khalfan Al Mansouri, a UAE national.

Another baby, also named Khalifa, was born at Danat Al Emarat , weighing 2.8kg, in the early hours.

“Joining us on the first day of 2019 was a memorable surprise and our joy is now doubled,” said his father, Ahmed Saeed Al Marzooqi, who has four other children.

Elsewhere in the UAE, a baby girl weighing 3.77kg was born to Muna Hamed and her husband, from Oman, at Zulekha Hospital in Sharjah at 6.02am.

Updated: January 1, 2019 05:18 PM