x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Supersized UAE flags glorify leaders' vision

Families pledge to fly flags that are bigger and better each year.

DUBAI // Emirati patriots are honouring their leaders’ drive for everything bigger and better by draping supersized flags from the roofs of their homes this National Day.

At the Shaddad family home in Nadd Al Hamar, a banner billows from the top of the two-storey villa, over the gate and beyond the sidewalk, buffeted by forceful winds from nearby highway traffic.

The family paid Dh1,500 for the flag, and hired a guard to watch it round the clock to make sure it doesn't fly away, said Sakina Shaddad, 38. Her mother and six of the 12 siblings in the family live at the house. "The flag is the most beautiful decoration," she said. "Next year we will do something even more beautiful."

The grandchildren will receive kanduras made of red, white, green and black; the girls, flag-themed rings and earrings.

For Nasr Abdullah, 40, a Dubai Municipality employee, the flag hung across the front of his home is just the beginning.

"Inshallah, it will get bigger and bigger and cover the whole house," he said.

Some 60 relatives and a music band are gathering there today to celebrate.

Mohammed al Awadhi, 50, a retired military general, draped four flags along each side of his house in Al Warqa, then gave one to his friend who said he liked the look.

He recalled shaking the hand of Sheikh Zayed, the founding President of the UAE, while attending university in Cairo in the 1980s.

Mr al Awadhi's youngest of nine children was born a week after the highly admired Sheikh passed away in 2004. The boy was named Zayed.