The 48th National Holiday, its History and Meaning to Residents of UAE

  • December 03, 2019

About the National Day

It’s that time of the year again, where the seven emirates commemorate their union on the 2nd of December which formed the United Arab Emirates in 1971. The citizens and residents of the UAE look forward to the long holidays, festivities and sales. It has been decades since the country enjoyed its sovereignty and gave birth to the place, we all know as the UAE. Let us revisit the history, the celebrations and its relevance to the people living in the UAE.


History of the UAE

It was after the British declared withdrawal of colonies in the Middle East in 1968 that the idea came for a unified of UAE.  The idea for a unification was laid down by the rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai and they had a vision to invite other leaders of the Gulf Emirates to come together for a union.

The celebrations of the national day began three years later when the Rulers of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Al Ain, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain agreed to unite, and the Emirates Federal Constitution has been approved on 1st December 1971.

On the very next day, the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah joined the union comprising what we know now as the Seven Emirates of the UAE.

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi was the first President of the UAE and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum of Dubai was elected Vice President. Since then, every year, 2nd December commemorates the Union Day of the seven emirates and marks the festivities of the National Day.


Week-long Celebration

Both citizens and residents of the UAE are filled with enthusiasm, looking forward for a weekend-long celebration following the Commemoration Day.

The Cities are teeming with national colours of black, white, green and red. The buildings all over the country are decorated with flags, and so are cars decked with national symbols and colours. Celebrations are held across the country with fireworks, parades and car rallies.  

Dubai created another proud moment as they set the National Flag in the skies with a world record of largest flown flag in a free fall. Numerous events were in place around town and the world’s largest building was boasting in UAE colours.

Abu Dhabi hurled an exciting one-hour Air show where friends and families were brought together parading in the streets as the UAE Air Force aerobatics demonstration team do a flyby. The Capital also hosted “The Legacy of our Ancestors”, a large 50-minute historical show highlighting the struggles and achievements of Emirati forefathers, at the Zayed Sports City Stadium to mark the 2019 National Day event.

One of the most exciting sights during national holiday are the fireworks displays in various cities across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. And with the New Year’s just around the corner, citizens are already looking forward to the next long weekend.



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