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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Celebrations and congratulations on Oman's National Day 

Messages from across the UAE have been extended to the Sultanate of Oman on its 47th National Day

Omani residents takes picture of Mercedes Benz model 1929 vintage auto, with decals bearing the image of the country's leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said, during an annual classic car show in the capital Muscat. Mohammed Mahjoub / AFP Photo
Omani residents takes picture of Mercedes Benz model 1929 vintage auto, with decals bearing the image of the country's leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said, during an annual classic car show in the capital Muscat. Mohammed Mahjoub / AFP Photo

Oman marked its 47th National Day on Saturday with celebrations across the country including a spectacular fireworks display and traditional songs and dances.

Celebration fever was evident with flags waving in the wind and posters of the Sultan in the streets and buildings lit up in the green, white, and red colours of the Omani flag and an impressive line-up of events.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai both extended their best wishes to Oman on its National Day.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed took to Twitter to extend his congratulations to Sultan Qaboos bin Said:

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum shared his message too:

In Muscat, the famous troupe from Sur in the eastern coastal town took to the streets with song and dance displays. Residents across the country also enjoyed a televised performance by Al Hawaalif, a famous musical band from Al Batnah province in northern Oman. In the afternoon, Qaboosbin Said, the Sultan of Oman, attended the military parade in the National Stadium in Muscat which was also televised. The parade was followed by songs and dances from different regions of the country.

Tourists all over the country were also entertained with ‘war games,’ a traditional sword-fighting dance in Muscat and other areas of Oman, camel and horse races in major towns of the Sultanate.

The night sky all over the Sultanate then lit up with magnificent fireworks displays lasting ten minutes and watched by thousands of people.

Business was good all week for shopkeepers with booming sales of souvenir flags and scarves, many of them bearing the Sultan's image.

Shopping malls also hosted cultural events depicting Oman’s way of life with displays of dhows, frankincense and crafts such as pottery and carpet weaving.

Oman’s television showed continuous programmes of poetry recitals, drama and music.

Especially affected by the celebrations were elderly Omanis who remember the days before Sultan Qaboos came to power.

“It is an emotional day for us. We remember when Oman had nothing 47 years ago. There were only three schools, three asphalt roads and three hospitals. Now, we have everything a modern state should have. We are proud of the Sultan’s achievement and what he did to this country,” Abdulla Mahfoudh, 83, a resident of Muscat, told the National.

To 68-year old Sara Al Habsi, a retired civil servant, the National Day meant something different. “The Sultan is the defender of women’s right. We were not treated the way we deserved to be treated in those days. But Qaboos has changed it for the better. We now have a voice and the same rights as like men,” she said.

Poorer Omanis also paid special tribute to the Sultan, after his announcement last week of a special $250 million hardship fund to be distributed to those on low incomes who are affected by the rise in petrol prices.

“That is a gift to us for this National Day. It will help us a lot to pay for our travels to work or on our normal routine. The gift came at the right time, just when we needed it,” Naif Al Balushi, a van driver in Muscat, told the National.

Messages from across the UAE have been extended to the people of Oman:

The Adnoc Group lit up their headquarters to mark the occasion:

Dubai Airports created a video for the people of Oman:

The Abu Dhabi Sports Council had some fun on the ice rink too:

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