The National Day of the United Arab Emirates is celebrated on the 2nd of December each year. The significance of the National Day is that it marks the day of the unification of the emirates into a common federation. Of course, residents of the UAE may look forward to a justified break from their hectic corporate lives, and they may enjoy an extended break from all responsibilities from December 1 to 4. The country shall observe Commemoration Day on the 1st of December, followed by the UAE National Day holidays, on December 2 and December 3.
In order to appreciate the significance of integration of the emirates into a federation, we may quickly look into the concept of what a federation is. The formation of federal states has, of course, been a complicated affair in different international circumstances. In modern international state formations, the United States of America should legitimately be considered to be the oldest federation in the world.
The region has had a long and chequered history. In the early modern period, the region came to be controlled by the dominating colonial actors of the time, including the Portuguese, then the Ottoman empire, and finally the British. In the nineteenth century, a series of agreements were signed with rulers in the region which sought to regulate the region in order to prevent piracy, and allow for peace. Prior to 1971, the Sheikdoms of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah,and Ras Al Khaimah were held in the form of a British protectorate.
After assuming power on August 6 1966, the then ruler of Abu Dhabi, Shaykh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan declared the importance of having a union. In 1968, the British Government, with the decline of its imperial sovereignty, understood the need to devolve power and withdraw its hold from the Trucial States, and leave the Gulf by no later than 1971. This very decision initiated a political vacuum, that contained within it the seeds of a potential federation being formed in the future. The need was felt to have a socio-economic establishment that was more binding in nature than the existing Trucial States Council. Sheikh Zayed, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, along with the then ruler of Dubai initiated the move towards establishing a federation.
This finally culminated in a meeting at Al Sameeh in 1968, where the two Sheikhs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi agreed to bring their respective Emirates together in to a union and to jointly conduct foreign affairs, defense and security. Eventually, the rulers of the six Trucial States decided to form the United Arab Emirates at a meeting in July 1971. It was finally institutionalized with the adoption of the Provisional Constitution, specifying the powers that were to be vested in the new federal institutions.
The National day events that are supposed to be held shall be added in spectacle this year, as the UAE is celebrating its golden jubilee in 2021. Plenty of fireworks have been planned across the UAE.
In addition to the fireworks, there are several other programmes that have been lined up too:
In addition to the government initiatives, several private companies have also joined the bandwagon, and have some exciting offers to commemorate the special day. Carrefour, operated by the Majid Al Futtaim in the UAE, is treating the members of the UAE community to giveaways for the celebrations. Carrefour will be serving free ice creams on UAE National Day to neighbourhoods in the Sharjah, Dubai, Ajman etc. The flavours shall be representative of the colours of the UAE flag, which include vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and pistachio. Carrefour is also offering takeaway hampers of AED 2.5 million to over 5000 loyal customers of the brand. In addition, sale of 500 products will be up for offer with discounts of up to 50 per cent being offered on categories such as food and beverage, electronics and much more.
Citizens of the UAE may also indulge them in other forms of festivities and indulgences as mentioned below:
Flower displays: FreshtoHome is providing options for fascinating new bouquets, comprising freshly picked flowers that shall be made available specially for the 50th anniversary. These shall be available from a beginning range of AED 35 onwards, and they can be delivered straight to your doorstep.
Shopping fiestas: Kibsons is providing offers to clients in order to honour the Spirit of the Union. If the order is placed within a delivery date between December 1 to 3, a substantial discount of up to 50% may be enjoyed on more than 100 brands. The offer will go live from November 30.
Picnic at the palace: Families as well as groups of friends can collect at the Emirates Palace’s lush gardens with views of the National Day Air show. The National Day Picnic Experience shall experience a spread of gourmet dishes, and non-alcoholic drinks that shall begin from AED 400 per guest.
Cake Cutting: The Lapita Dubai Parks and Resorts shall hold celebrations for its esteemed guests, who shall be invited to join a National Day cake cutting ceremony which shall happen at the time of breakfast. Guests can partake of Emirati treats, or they may go to Kalea, where a special Emirati band performance shall be held.
Thus, the 4-day period represents a good opportunity to not just take a break from the hectic corporate schedules, but also to engage in festivity, as well as view the spectacular fireworks, and auto events. This UAE public holiday should be observed as an important landmark in the development of the Emirati community as a whole.