UAE National Day and its significance to expats

UAE flag

This weekend has been an eye-opener for me about how diversely international we are and how enriched our lives are because we live in a nation that has so many nationalities who are bound by one thing – the fact that they have chosen this amazing country to be their home over anywhere else in the world.

We had the biggest party on the planet at the Dubai Rugby 7s this weekend which is one place where we Fijians congregate and meet each other in the UAE once a year. I was watching my daughter who is half British and half Fijian cheering for both countries with equal vigour. Today it is equally beautiful to see her flying the UAE flag from the car as we go out and about because UAE is where she was born and has lived in all her life so she sees this as her main home. We have a home in Spain but we don’t feel the same way for the place the way we love UAE because our memories are all here. I am glad that my child has chosen to embrace all 3 cultures of Fiji, UAE and the UK instead of having an identity crisis that some half-baked psychologists once told me she would have because of the way I was exposing her to the world. (Sometimes I reckon the psychologists just manipulate people’s minds into believing negative stuff so they can serve their own needs or make a living without having to do much)

Anyway, while I bombarded the world with my Fijian tweets etc over the weekend, today I want it to be all about the UAE. Since the UAE was founded in 1971, it has succeeded in many arenas despite facing many difficult circumstances and many challenges. I am proud to be living in a country where the union has resulted in a successful federation that continues to grow from strength to strength. As my child treasures the UAE flag today in respect of the country she was born in, I see the colours of the flag as a symbol that represents this strength,  inspiring the citizens and the residents of the nation to keep the momentum in moving ahead in all spheres of life.

The celebrations we see today serves as a constant reminder to us of where UAE was 4 decades ago, where it is today and where it intends to go in the future. It helps to fully appreciate the momentous challenges the various Emirates and the nation has overcome to obtain records of achievement that is impressive by all standards…. I don’t know any country that has achieved what UAE has or any nation that takes such good care of its people the way this country does.

The rulers of this nation have also made sure the successes have an impact on everyone by improving basics like better living standards, infrastructure development, welfare-state entitlements, health and education. It is amazing how the various Emirates have grown from palm-huts coastal towns to modern buildings and then to iconic buildings that host businesses that make it a vibrant trade centre of the Middle East.

Keeping the ideals and values of the union intact is one of the most fundamental goals all UAE government leaders and while every UAE national day is reminder of what it has achieved as a nation, the celebrations today is one way to look back at history and marvel how technical developments have guided the embryonic UAE to its present prosperity, becoming the ultimate salute to the unification. As expats, we are privileged to enjoy the prosperity the unification has brought to this blessed country we are so attached to….and as my daughter’s birthplace, UAE will always be cherished in our hearts and minds – for the exposure Tash has had to so many cultures and nationalities here is the reason why she is growing up as an amazing and knowledgable young woman.