The Madinat Jumeirah, Emirates Palace, and Jebel Ali International Hotels are among the many success stories of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who have been celebrating the UAE’s 40th anniversary of independence this week.
Themed ‘Spirit of the Union’, the seven emirates which joined to form the Gulf state on December 2nd 1971, have much to celebrate as the UAE now boasts the second largest economy in the Arab world.
UAE residents have been taking to the streets with flags and face paint in a show of solidarity to honour those who initiated and influenced the development of the nation. Celebrations have ranged from the Emirates Classic Cars Festival, to a cycle tour between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A commemorative car coated with UAE coins called ‘Pride of the Emirates’ has even been dedicated to the UAE for its 40th National Day.
Yesterday’s official opening ceremony in Abu Dhabi, dubbed as ‘a royal affair’, is brought together government members, citizens and residents of the UAE in a spectacle designed to mesmerise the masses, that included fireworks and over 100 performing artists, with Khaleeji singers, traditional Arabic dancers, skaters, aerialists and acrobats from 25 countries.
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayan addressed the nation on Thursday and remarked on the remarkable achievements of the UAE which have catapulted the region to the ranks of advanced nations.
To mark the 40th anniversary, an increase of all salaries of federal government employees will take effect from January 2012. Meanwhile a fund of 10 billion dirham (2.7 billion U.S. dollars) has also been established to help pay the loans of low-income citizens.
The UAE, which owns 8% of the world’s oil reserves, has been diversifying it’s offering in recent years with a large focus on travel and tourism. With its distinctive Arabian hospitality, mystique and world-class infrastructure, the emirates combine to make an enchanting destinations for travellers from all over the world – with unrivalled opulence, architectural splendour and the warmest of hospitality.
Some of the world’s leading success stories in travel and tourism have emerged from the UAE in recent years, including Jebel Ali International Hotels, Etihad Airways, Emirates Airline, the Jumeirah Group and the Emirates Palace – each have been named World Travel Awards winners.
Jebel Ali International Hotel Group, which manages a unique portfolio of luxury Dubai hotels, has been pulling out all the stops this week with a number of celebrations.
Earlier this year, the Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa picked up two World Travel Awards including Dubai’s Leading Golf Resort
To mark the UAE National Day celebrations, earlier this week, the Jumeirah Group returned six green turtles back into their natural habitat following several months of rehabilitation at Burj Al Arab and Madinat.
The largest of the turtles, weighing 40kgs, were fitted with a satellite tag which will monitor the movement of the turtle for up to two years. Members of the public will be able to follow the turtle’s journey online from a public forum.
As a result of the DTRP, which launched in 2004, over 400 rescued sea turtles have been released back into Dubai’s waters. This year alone, over 350 sick or injured sea turtles have been treated by the DTRP’s team of marine biologists after washing up on the region’s beaches.
Dubai’s only turtle rehabilitation project is a collaboration between Jumeirah’s Aquarium team and the Wildlife Protection Office, with essential veterinary support provided by the Dubai Falcon Clinic and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory.
Meanwhile Emirates Palace – which won 7 World Travel Awards this year, including UAE’s Leading Resort, have organised an impressive of events to celebrate national UAE day including “Pearls: UAE’s Natural History” which showcases the culture, heritage and history of the pearl. A unique one day exhibition of the famous Red ball project by a US artist named Kurt Perschke is also taking place at the Palace.
Bugra Berberoglu, the GM of Emirates Palace explains “We are honored to host a program of exciting events this week at Emirates Palace to recognise the incredible progress made by the Emirati people over the last 40 years, and to celebrate the rich UAE history. The iconic Emirates Palace is the perfect place to showcase the rich traditions of the Emirates and to celebrate Arabian culture, international cuisine and hospitality at its finest.”
Celebrations will extend into the weekend with an action packed calendar of events, ranging from the World Top DJs Festival, to the Khaleeji Musical Nights bringing together local and regional musicians.