x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Sharjah prepared for National Day

Celebrations in the emirate include a national costume contest while roads and bridges are being decorated.

SHARJAH //Municipality officials are getting numbers-specific when it comes to decorating roads and bridges to celebrate National Day on Thursday.

To mark the 39th annual holiday, the municipality is decorating 39 roads and bridges in the UAE colours. Special decorations have also been set up in the 39 parks where most ceremonial activities will be held, and where 39 cakes will be provided for visitors.

"Every decoration has been done in 39s," said Sultan Abdullah al Mualla, the municipality's director general. "All the major roads have already been decorated and given special festive lights."

The theme will also extend to the number of balloon flights in the chosen parks, in addition to the competition to choose the most beautiful national costume. Government buildings have also been decorated with lights that depict the national flag, said Rashid bin Humaid, the chairman of Ajman Municipality.

The municipality was organising a number of cultural and entertainment activities in different shopping malls, parks and entertainment hubs, Mr bin Humaid said.

"There are chances for juniors, seniors and elderly participants in all our activities, games and contests," he said.

New innovations in roads and government decorations seem to appear for every year's celebrations and they become more striking with each passing event, said Emirati Abdullah al Kandi, a resident of Ajman.

"Five years back it was not as colourful as it is today," he said. "Every year we are taken by new decorations and our national pride just gets stronger."

Businesses were also gearing up. One Indian salesman at an abaya store at the Rolla market is selling abayas decorated with the UAE flag for Dh500.

Flag sellers were showing the colours everywhere in an attempt to drum up business. Zahid Khan, a Pakistani who owns a shop in Sharjah, was among those trying to get ahead of the curve after stocking 1,500 flags on Sunday.