Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed led the way as thousands marched in celebration of national unity at a UAE heritage event.
Tribes from across the seven emirates came together for the Union March at Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, on Monday, with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces on hand for the traditional celebration.
He was one of a host of dignitaries in attendance at the cultural extravaganza, a day after the country united once more for the 47th annual National Day.
The annual march pays tribute to the legacy of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, who united the tribes of the seven emirates to establish the UAE in 1971.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said that the march represents a message of love and pride in the UAE's history and heritage, as well as the values embedded in UAE society by the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed.
"The march of our tribesmen is an honorable national image where they express their loyalty and belonging to homeland, their faith in their unity, their cohesion and their national values, which they continue to carry forward in the nation's journey of progress and excellence," Sheikh Mohammed said.
"Our nation has its own identity, culture and heritage, of which we are proud. We cherish the UAE's heritage, and the inherent values embedded within our community, and we continue to strive to preserve our unity and progress for future generations."
Tribesmen from all across the Emirates turned out in force to renew their loyalty to their homeland and offer best wishes to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa and the rulers of the UAE.
Before the patriotic event got underway, each tribe gathered in their own tents, performing poems and traditional poems in keeping with the joyous mood.
The Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2018, which runs until January 26, pays homage to the UAE Founding Father's vision to preserve Emirati roots while building a more prosperous future.
This year's installment of the annual event is being held under the theme "The UAE: Where World Cultures Meet".
The free festival is held under the leadership of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
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Visitors can enjoy an array of daily activities, including a horse and camel show, international folk shows, an Arabian horse beauty contest, military heritage music shows, and individual art performances, while well as an international theme park, horse and camel riding, and an outdoor cinema for the children take pride of place at the venue.
The Department of Transport’s (DoT) Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) in Abu Dhabi will provide transport for visitors throughout the festival.
The free bus services are available weekly, from Sunday to Thursday, with the route taking in the Main Bus Station Abu Dhabi to Bain Al Jessrain Co-operative Society Supermarket to Bani Yas Bus Station and finally to the venue of the festival.