Photos: SM Ayaz Zakir/Khaleej Times
Many Emirati and expatriate families embarked on a unique sea voyage to celebrate UAE National Day. As many as 26 traditional dhows set sail from the Sharjah Aquarium, creating a colorful spectacle in the waters.
The celebration, organized by Sharjah Museums, began at 3:00 p.m. and offered participants a delightful three-hour journey along the backdrop of Sharjah’s skyline, moving towards the Qasba Canal, Khalid Lagoon and Flag Island.
Many residents, carrying traditional musical instruments, filled the air with melodious tunes of old songs played through the dhows’ speakers.
“It is a moment of joy. This parade is very special. We are celebrating the most important day in the history of our country. This should be a memorable event,” said Asma, an Emirati who came with her family.
As the dhows glided through the water, residents enthusiastically waved their own UAE flags, while wearing shawls in the nation’s patriotic hues.
The youngest members of the family were seen wearing dresses made in the colors of the national flag of the United Arab Emirates. Among many children was Iraqi national Yasim. “I was very excited to celebrate the national day and I really wanted to wear this dress,” said Yasmin’s father Tamer, a Sharjah resident who came with his family.
Many tourists who came to the United Arab Emirates also participated in the maritime parade. “We came here to visit the Sharjah Aquarium. What fascinated us was the maritime parade, we just got on a boat,” said Ana Cervantis, a Spanish tourist.
“Celebrating National Day was unique. This is the first time in my life that we celebrated a country’s national day differently,” Ana said.
Many members of the rescue staff were on jet skis escorting the decorated abras, ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip for all participants.
The combination of traditional music, decoration and cheerful residents was the icing on the cake of the festive maritime celebration.
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