x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Weather will not put dampener on UAE's big day

Emiratis and expatriates across the country will to come together today to mark the UAE's 41st National Day, despite the uncertain weather.

National Day celebrations continued today on the Corniche. The country celebrates 41 years of independence today.
National Day celebrations continued today on the Corniche. The country celebrates 41 years of independence today.

Emiratis and expatriates across the country will to come together today to mark the UAE's 41st National Day, despite the uncertain weather.

In the capital yesterday, early morning showers were replaced by cloudy skies, allowing people taking in the events on Abu Dhabi's Corniche to walk around with ease - despite the threat of a downpour.

The bad weather is expected to continue today - but come rain or shine, there will be plenty to do in Abu Dhabi.

Just outside the city, drivers can compete in the Abu Dhabi Yas Island Leisure Drive, where the 10 most flamboyant and creatively designed cars on show at the Union Car Parade will share a total prize money of Dh100,000. Although the show - which is expected to attract thousands of drivers - begins at 5pm, visitors should plan to arrive well in advance. Winners will be called at 9pm.

Those in the mood for more cultural activities can head along to the Abu Dhabi Theatre for the fourth and final performance of a series of Emirati shows.

While in Al Ain, the Al Qattara traditional market will be open from 9am until 8pm. Later in the evening people can choose between catching the firework displays at 8.30pm - along the Abu Dhabi Corniche or in Al Gharbia - or the Khaleeji Concerts performances, taking place at three separate locations: the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Delma Island beach and Madinat Zayed.

In Dubai, Emaar Properties will usher in festivities with the Downtown Dubai parade from 3pm on Emaar Boulevard.

Today's parade, which will highlight the country's progress in the past four decades, will be punctuated with traditional and international floats, live entertainment and cultural activities.

Laila Mohd Suhail, chief executive of Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, said: "National Day is a true celebration of the achievements of the UAE and brings together public and private sector entities to pay rich tribute to our visionary leadership."

The opening ceremony of the ongoing World Parachuting Championships Mondial 2012, which was initially due to be held two days ago, will now take place at 7 tonight at Sky Dive Dubai, Palm drop zone.

Similarly, the Dubai Committee's Spirit of the Union National Day celebrations set to take place on Saturday at Dubai Festival City had to be postponed to another day because of the weather conditions. A new date is yet to be announced.

However, the uncertain weather hasn't dampened people's spirits. Many turned to Twitter to send good wishes to the nation on its special occasion while some expatriates acknowledged how the UAE had become their home away from home.

Government buildings are also resplendent with colourful lighting resembling the colours on the UAE National Flag.  Dubai's Burj Al Arab has also joined in the festivities with a projection of National Day logo on its sail. The longest UAE flag measuring 110metres is displayed inside the hotel lobby.

zalhassani@thenational.ae

pkannan@thenational.ae