November 3 is Flag Day in the UAE. This year, the annual holiday will be celebrated a few days early — on November 1.
The event marks Sheikh Khalifa’s accession as president of the UAE after his father’s death in 2004. The holiday has been celebrated every year since 2013.
Flag Day is usually celebrated by hanging the country’s banner outside homes and buildings and holding flag-raising ceremonies at schools and government offices.
This year, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, called on residents to embrace the day and show their patriotism as flags are raised across the seven Emirates at 11am on Thursday.
The flag holds a special place in Emirati culture and is symbol of the country’s unity.
Made up of red, green, white and black rectangles, the colours represent courage, honesty, love and hope. It was designed by Abdullah Al Maainah in 1971 after he saw an advertisement for a flag designing competition in Al Ittihad newspaper.
Mr Al Maainah was just 19 years old when he won the competition.
Strict laws govern how the flag is to be treated. All flags should be made from nylon and weigh more than 122.4 grams per square kilogram.
Flags are to be inspected every 45 days and changed every six months to avoid them from looking worn.