40th UAE National Day

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates formation.

Although it’s been a short history, it’s been an amazing story of progress and prosperity.

The local Emiratis celebrate the event through revving the turbos in their hotted up cars to deafening levels, and by covering them with masses of crazy string, and snow in a can.

It was truly a lot of fun. We found a good vantage point on Beach Road, which at 6pm was already pumping with a car park of amazingly decorated cars in all directions. They weren’t literally car parks, just cars not moving.

There were so many amazing cars painted in the Red, Green, White & Black of the UAE flag, or adorned with patriotic stickers of the Nation’s rulers. No expats seemed to take the celebration to such limits, we at least had UAE flags hanging off the windows – like many others had.

It was interesting to see the local guys focus quite a lot of their spraying of crazy string on certain seemingly non-descript cars. We worked out later it was the cars of local Emirati women – which were only able to be spotted through the extremely dark window tinting.

Another trick the guys with snow in a can had was to walk down the line of cars that are stuck in traffic. Then when they reach a car with their windows down, they let the car have it and fill it with as much snow and string until the car’s windows close. I learned this first hand when they got me! I’ve never noticed before how extremely slowly our electric windows go up, when you need them up. It was all a lot of fun.

It made me think though, a night like that couldn’t work in Australia. Here no cars were spared, in Australia I imagine quite a few folks would be protective of their cars and fights would probably ensue. And the partying that we saw on show was totally alcohol-free. In Australia, the addition of alcohol – such as at our own Australia Day celebrations – more often than not eventually turns such large public events into a bit of a disaster, once people become too far gone.

The celebrations started around 6pm, but they’re still going now at 2:15am. We’re not sure what time this will stop.

Happy 40th birthday UAE. Thanks for having us and my family. You don’t look a day over 35. 😉

Here’s to the next 40!