The 2nd of December marks National Day in the UAE. This celebrates the day that the 7 Emirates became the independent modern day country that is the United Arab Emirates. This is a wildly celebrated event, celebrated every year since 1971. Perhaps as this is my first experience of it and I am also not from here, this did not really mean a great deal to me on a personal level although I appreciate that this means a lot to the natives of the country.
There are various celebrations all around the country. This includes many fireworks and also lots of partying. I took a walk around Dubai Marina where I knew there was going to be an all-day boat parade for National Day by the Yacht Club. For some reason, I was expecting a bit more than what I saw. There were around 8-10 different boats dressed in National Flags, with locals waving to everyone from the deck of the boat. Maybe I didn’t stay around for long enough (around 1 hour) but as Dubai always seems to try and outdo everywhere else I was expecting more of a show rather than boats and yachts going back and forth and those on them waving to people on the land.
After leaving the Marina feeling a bit disappointed, I headed to the beach, where there wasn’t much going on either. A few locals were doing some sort of dance in local dress, involving spinning around holding what looked like mini walking sticks. Other than that and there being a load of national flags dotted around, the beach was still the same beach, but 20 times busier than normal! I think next year I’ll make a bit more of an effort to see what is going and make some bigger plans for National Day.