UAE celebrates Flag Day two days ahead of annual date
Flag Day is a major event in Emirati culture. Celebrated annually on November the 3rd, it was pulled back two days this year by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as the date falls on a Saturday.
The holiday has been a staple of UAE culture since 2013, intended to celebrate the anniversary of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan becoming the president in 2004. Flag Day also venerates the Gulf nation’s forefathers and founders, who laid the groundwork for what the UAE would become today. These founders include Sheikh Zayed, Sheikh Rashid and their counterparts from five other emirates.
The flag has always served as the unifying symbol between the seven disparate emirates, reminding them they are a consolidated nation unified by values, culture and loyalty for one united UAE.
“The Union’s banner is a source of pride to every one of us; it embodies the values entrenched in the heart and mind of every Emirati – love, sacrifice, determination, and a yearning for peace with all nations and peoples of the world,” Hamad Al Hurr Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority (ADAA), said in celebration.
Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City said: “The UAE Flag Day is an occasion for both Emiratis and expatriates to celebrate the unity, pride, loyalty and sense of belonging that this nation inspires. In addition to honouring the country’s significant milestones, it serves as a time to look ahead to realising the future aspirations of the country. We are pleased to raise the flag at a special ceremony across all our business parks, and host several entertaining activities for our diverse community to join us in celebrating this national occasion.”
The flag itself holds significant value and importance in the country. There are specific criteria a UAE flag must meet, such as the kind of material used to make it, or its weight. Strict rules also govern flag affairs and treatment, and punitive measures are taken against offending individuals.