Friday 2nd December 2011 marks the 40th National Day of my beautiful country, the United Arab Emirates, and I cannot express how excited I am to celebrate.
I am overwhelmed with pride and joy at everything we have achieved in this time, and would like to thank and congratulate our inspirational leaders for putting the UAE on the map as a globally recognised nation of hope, opportunity and positivity.
It really is an honour and a blessing to be able to say that I come from such an incredible country and I am sure that all my fellow UAE nationals feel the same way.
I would love to hear what makes you proud to be from the UAE, or what you love most about this wonderful place – please share your thoughts with me as a comment on this blog.
All that remains for me to say is that I hope you all have a truly enjoyable 40th National Day, and here’s to many more years of successes that we as a nation can be proud of.
Please read on to find out what some of my friends, family, followers and industry peers love about the UAE.
“To me, the UAE is a shining beacon of hope in this world. Every time I visit, I feel inspired by the people I meet and by all the positive activity and promise the country displays. I love the culture and traditions, the warm and respectful nature of the people, and of course the beautiful landscapes and architecture. But most of all I love the way the UAE makes me feel: welcomed, accepted and completely at home.”
Lauren Doble – Harrods, London
“I love the UAE especially living in Dubai because I lived all over the world and this is the only place I truly felt like home in. It’s beautiful, it’s safe, and there’s a chance for everyone to accomplish their dreams here.”
Zubaida Ali – Fashion blogger www.butterhotshoes.com
“There are so many great things about this diverse country, full of history… but mainly for me it is about the friendliness and diverse group of human’s living across this beautiful land. The international experience means in a matter of minutes, you can hear Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Tagalog, Tamil, Sinhalese, French, Italian, Farsi, German, and some I can’t identify. In addition, you see a vast range of beautiful and striking national dress. This makes the UAE a unique and wonderful place to live.”
Shahrzad Jafari – Clinique brand manager for the Middle East and India
“I love the UAE for a number of reasons particularly as it is different from my life in London. One can hear the azaan pretty much everywhere; wherever they are in the UAE, with mosques within close proximity. The UAE has a mix of the old and the new – from modern malls and unique buildings to deserts and market stalls with the hustle & bustle. I also love the UAE as I have met a wonderful person Hafiza whom I met 2 years ago in Dubai – we are now close friends. Happy 40th National Day UAE! . See you next month Dubai!” – Rehana-London (DAS SUPPORTER).
“I love the UAE because it is a place where the family unit is still treasured and where I can bring up my daughter in a safe environment with friends from an interesting and diverse mix of cultures.Happy UAE National Day!” Sue Holt-Deputy Managing Director, ITP Consumer Publishing
“They say life begins at forty. Congratulations to the wonderful country I have called home for the last nine years. Anything is possible, especially in the UAE. Here’s to another Forty fabulous years!”
Zoe Brown – ASNstyle
“I love UAE cos of people like Hind Beljafla who are so proud of their country and are making a positive impact to people all around the world”
Hauwa Bako Mohammed -Nigeria
“UAE is a magical place from the desert to the beach to the glamorous building with the most beautiful shopping mall. Besides all this what I do love the most is its people the native one not easy to meet but once u got to know them u love them for their truly warm feelings an welcome in their own land. Wish u an happy celebration day and looking forward to see u sometimes.”
Gabriele - www.ccercle.com
“I’ve visited many countries, not only fancy ones, but many of the developing ones too. The constant thought that has always remained clear to me throughout them all is how truly blessed and fortunate we are to be from the UAE and to be living in this country. We are blessed with the people that make this country what it is; from our leaders all the way to the people you see around you. If you come to think of the strides of achievement that have been taken within the last 40 years and the great potential we see in the upcoming generation you can only smile and say ‘Al-HamdiAllah’.”
Anas Bukhash of Ahdaaf
“I love the peaceful, ambitious atmosphere that Dubai had! This city is full of positive vibes, the moment you entre the airport you will automatically be calm, peaceful & happy wish you all the best on your 40th National day you made us all proud to be part of this gulf region. Nothing is impossible to achieve as long as your determined, this what UAE today teach us !” - Bedour AL-Zankawi- Kuwait
“Having started my life in the UAE in Al Ain, home of the founder Sheikh Zayed, my appreciation and understanding of the UAE goes beyond the commercialism and Western that is first apparent when someone arrives to Dubai for the first time. It is a country steeped in history, culture with an admirable sense of family and community amongst them. Being invited into an Emirati’s home and introduced to their cultures and traditions, enjoying Iftar and Arabic Coffee and extending those traditions to my family when they visited shows the openness, generosity and wonderful hospitality that this country’s foundations have been built on.Given the enthusiasm and pride on such a milestone for this country, there most definitely is ‘A spirit of Union’ as all nationalities come together to celebrate the 40th National Day.”
Rachel Duggan – www.classicwithcolour.com
“Today is not only a celebration for the union of the Emirates. Today we celebrate the union of people!”
“Happy 40th UAE, a great 5 years of my life grown here as well since Dec ’06, seen remarkable achievements since then & before by a thriving & striving young Emerging Country!”
“UAE has been my home ever since I was a child and I feel connected to its soil. I have the same patriotism for my adopted home that a National would have for the country. May Allah bless and protect the country.”
Ambreen M Ahmed-HIA Magazine
وطننا رخاء..فالنستمر نحن بالعطاء
“Having resided in the UAE for 6 years it has given me nothing but the best life has to offer, comfort, security, peace and a place for my business to thrive, so much so that I feel a small sense of ownership and immense loyalty & pride to place which I call home today, especially when I am travelling abroad. Long live brand UAE and its visionaries. To the next 40 years and more. Mabrook UAE”
Mona Mirza- Biolite Clinic Director
“UAE proves that a Utopia can exist in our time. We just have to have faith in our people.”
Tasneem Alsultan, Saudi living in Dubai (Tasneem Photography)
“The UAE is the country in which I truly discovered the essence of me. It’s where I found myself. Arriving there with a suitcase and no clue what to expect, everyday was a pleasant surprise. Sometimes bad but mostly good. Emiraties are deeply hospitable people. Their warmth and generosity cannot go unnoticed. They still value and indulge the simple things in life – family, appreciation, support, time spent together, taking care of your elders, playing with kids… The things that matter. The things that make us human. The things that the “1st world” seems to be forgetting more and more of each day. The things that keep one balanced and grounded. As a solitary traveler, I was honored to be invited to experience local culture through Islamic weddings, Ramadan family dinners and I even got to work with a national company ADNH. To be honest, open arms cannot describe the welcoming I received. That kindness made me feel obliged to take the time to understand the religion, the people, the culture and even the natural environment. I explored the UAE from north to south, east to west – city to towns and mountains to oceans. There is beauty everyone. Beauty no books can describe and stories only movies are made of!
It is all this and the discoveries that I made which shaped who I am today.
The desert taught me how to breathe again.
The people taught me how to love again.
The religion taught me how to forgive again.
And the Leader taught me how to dream again!
Sadly, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is not with us anymore but his vision, his kindness, his people and his country are keeping his dream and his values alive. And thanks to the time I got to spend in the UAE, he too touched MY life and for that, I am eternally grateful.Happy National Day UAE. Thank you for all that gave me.I miss you.”
Veronique Breugelmans – Johannesburg
“I have been fan of UAE since 2007 when I first visited. I fell in love with the country and the region for its religion, culture, food, originality and the ideology of its rulers. Also me and my husband are connected with UAE through our jobs. All the best and Happy 40 Birthday”
Michaela – Slovakia
“UAE is not United Arab Emirates to me, it is United Nations Integrated.
I have travelled the world several times over in the last 30 years, but nothing compares to Dubai and UAE. Dubai and UAE is the showcase on peace harmony and integration which the rest of the world dreams of…every citizen is a shining example of a cultural ambassador..Happy 40th birthday UAE.I am proud to be part of this wonderful nation for the past 26 years. I wish all leaders take a leaf of this nation’s book.God bless and LONG LIVE the leaders and the country”
Padma Coram – owner of The Talent Brokers
“For me the UAE is my home, my safe haven of peace, my heart, my mom, my dad, the reason for so much. Lessons, love, memories, success and family. It’s a very special place, that has done many special things, and each one of us is part of it directly or indirectly.The 40 years of Union is indeed a deep union we all share and carry with pride.”
Leila Al Marashi – Founder www.sugarvintage.com
“Worlds could not explain my love to UAE and for its people. The hospitality of every Emarati house I have ever visited was over the top. You Emaraties were welcoming us with all passion and love, there for it was very hard of me when I left to Saudi. All the way from America, I always speak highly about Emaraties and you will always be in my heart. Happy 40Years UAE.With more success and more accomplishment. Love”
“40 years ago, my parents moved to the U.A.E in search of a better place to live and raise their children. 24 years ago I was born, and this is the only home I have ever known. I grew up singing 3eeshi Biladi’, being proud of every accomplishment of the country and loving it and representing it everywhere I go. I don’t need any documents to tie me to the U.A.E, it is in my heart and I am so proud to have been born and raised here, and to see the 40th anniversary of the country I call my home that gave me and my family the best years of our lives. A7ibich ya Emarati ”
“I just wanted to Wish you a very Happy 40th National Day! And May God bless plenty of people like you to this country who would take this country at a higher level… Well I was a tiny winy baby boy when I came to this country and have been since here and LOVE this country from my heart! I get so proud to see people like YOU and Your sister taking this country to the next level. Unfortunately living all my life in this country I don’t know the Arabic language. But can understand a bit and tried to learn it a couple of times but couldnt..but All well I STILL LOVE LOCALS AND UAE … Always wanted to be called an Emirati but unfortunately don’t have the rights hehehe… Well doesn’t make a difference I still LOVE UAE…Well May Allah bless this country and of course it beautiful people… You have a good one! And Keep Rocking” – Ateaf Aminuddin
“I wish you a happy National Day, Also I would like to say : “UAE will remain the land of the justice only so long as it is the home of the brave”
Nawaf Alqahtani – KSA
“I’m UAE national but originally from Russia. I came to UAE 13 years ago.This country in my opinion is the best to live in. I feel here secure to compare to many other countries I’ve lived in and travelled to.I can proudly call it Home and my 2nd motherland.I love local people for their hospitality and generosity and in my opinion local government does very good job by taking care of its citizens and visitors as well. UAE is such diverse place offering many possibilities for many people. Its the only place where so many nationalities can live together in peace and harmony.I LOVE UAE with all my heart and will never even consider to live somewhere else.”
“There is so much love in me. I want to share it to everyone in the UAE. From our elderlies till our children. To the people who worked around us and to the ones who helped raise us. To the people who build our country with their blood and sweat. To My family and other families that contributed to the UAE and made history. To Our Fathers and great leaders Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and to Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum (allah yir7amhum) who cherished us and our country as much as we cherished them, and our fathers and leaders today Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum may they shine our country everyday (allah yi7afith-hum).I want to pass on the love I had growing up to my daughters so they learn to value their country as much as I did.UAE is my heart. UAE is my blood. UAE is my past, present and future. UAE is my home! A7ibich ya biladi!”
Noora Sutlan Al Habtoor
“The UAE has such a wonderful spirit that “everything is possible” Its amazing to see this city develop day by day and I feel fortunate to witness to the wonderful buildings such as Burj Khalifa, Ismali Centre and Palm be built. Great weather and warm people. I feel lucky to call the UAE home”
Rosemin Manji of RR & Co.
“I love UAE, because it has given me so much inspiration and drive. I love the attitude & spirit of this country. “The word impossible does not exist in our dictionary”, like Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has said. I truly believe that anything is possible, and that’s why this country has such a special place in my heart. I love being surrounded by people who have big dreams, and even a bigger drive to make them true.Dubai has offered me great opportunities & amazing experiences. I feel blessed to be here, every single day, and enjoy my life. I am not exaggerating when I say that moving to UAE changed my life, and made my dreams come true. And I will be forever grateful.GOD BLESS UAE! HAPPY 40TH NATIONAL DAY!”
Satu – www.mylucky9.com
read her blog post on the UAE 40th National day
“My second home and my favorite place on earth. May allah keep it safe.”
Happy 40th National day.”
“Just wanted to share how welcoming the UAE is to young creatives, offering the ideal environment to nurture and develop their vision.”
Azza Al Hujairi – La Boutique 92
“Looking back, to me, UAE is the history of the Dukkanah, the Sahari & Oman chips, the Chocki chocolate, the shillag (fireworks) on Eid, the childhood friendships that last a lifetime and the classroom benches that armed us with knowledge to face life’s challenges.
Looking forward, UAE is a promise of a better tomorrow, a bright future, a vision to be realized, and the dreams come true.
No matter how you look at the UAE, it is the beauty that will leave you speechless!”
“For me every day in UAE is a celebration. Celebration of weather, celebration of food, of friendship, of family, of culture.
But the 2nd of December is a celebration of unity, of vision, inspiration and achievement.
Being able to live here means that I can sleep with my window open and wake up smiling. Come across at least 7 different nationalities a day, learn at least 2 new words in various languages, celebrate at least 3 different religious Ceremonies in a month, eat at a different restaurant 365 days a year. Happy birthday UAE and thank you for everything u have given me.
Wishing u many good and prosperous years to come. Stand united, raise your flag with pride and celebrate for all the extraordinary things you have achieved in just 40 years!”
“I personally think it is just an amazing place full of development, I have been travelling for holidays over the last 10 years and it has grown from strength to strength.Fashionable, vibrant, lively and a very high quality of life.
The safety and the service which your country provides for tourists is second to non and it is always a pleasure to be there.”
Fashion TV’s UK Country Head, Amanda Rudin
“I am so proud of what the UAE has achieved. I am neither Emirati, from the Gulf nor even an Arab. But i am proud. Mostly because as a Muslima in this new age of technology and globalization, i identify with the mix of modern and traditional. As a Nigerian, I’ve seen first hand what dedication and commitment to a vision and a nation can be like (contrary to the plundering of my nations wealth by our ‘leaders’).
I am also proud of what the women there have achieved and are achieving. I haven’t met any of them but i am inspired by quite a few of them. Eg; the DAS sisters. I love how they’ve made modesty hip again and their savvy business style . I admire how far they’ve come and also the support they get from their peers and country. I only wish Nigeria would learn a few lessons from the UAE.
To visionary leadership, inspiring & committed citizens of the UAE, i salute you all and wish you many more years of prosperity and unity.”
Fatima Fantis Muhammed – Nigeria