x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

National Day salute from a UAE expat

A Canadian expatriate in Abu Dhabi expresses solidarity with the people of UAE as they celebrate the nation's 41st anniversary.

Canadian Tyson Ellerby, an Abu Dhabi resident, broke his wrist and had the cast made in the colours of the UAE flag. Fatima Al Marzooqi/The National
Canadian Tyson Ellerby, an Abu Dhabi resident, broke his wrist and had the cast made in the colours of the UAE flag. Fatima Al Marzooqi/The National

A Canadian businessman has shown his support for National Day by having a cast made for his broken wrist in the colours of the nation's flag.

The Abu Dhabi resident, Tyson Ellerby, broke his right wrist playing ice hockey last week and was taken to Sheikh Khalifa Medical City for treatment.

After surgery to treat the injury, doctors applied a fibreglass wrapping with patients given a choice of colour for the cast.

"There are tonnes of different colours; you can have whatever you want, so I asked if they had red, green, black and white and they did," says Mr Ellerby, a 31-year-old from the town of Coronation in the province of Alberta.

"They grabbed a bunch of them and wrapped my wrist with all the colours."

Mr Ellerby, who moved to the Emirates in March, says he decided to have the tribute cast because he "loves living in the UAE".

"It's great to live here," added the business development consultant for the oil and gas industry, who lives on Reem Island with his wife, a teacher. "I'm set up pretty good over here and I don't plan on going home any time soon. The UAE has treated me well and the people have treated me well. It's a beautiful country and I feel safer than I feel on my own streets in small-town Canada."

Since leaving hospital, Mr Ellerby says Emiratis have given him the thumbs-up sign to show their appreciation for his unusual cast.

He adds that he decided to go ahead with the colourful cast because he will be visiting Abu Dhabi's American International School on National Day - a school where he briefly taught upon arriving in the UAE.

"I just wanted to show my support for their culture and their lifestyle. I live in their culture and I want to embrace it."

* Alice Haine