Spirit of the Union: The UAE’s 41st National Day

December 4, 2012

Excitement spread as celebrations for the UAE’s 41st National Day commenced, an abundance of UAE flags draped the homes and vehicle’s of thousands of residents across the Emirates. The jubilation also saw the likes of Hotels, construction sites and even the Dubai Mall Aquarium sporting the UAE National flag.  On Sunday, the hype of the 41st National day transcended to a series of parades, fireworks and folk shows which demonstrated the culture and heritage, as well as highlighted the wide -spread delegation of Emiratis and UAE residents across all seven Emirates. Not even the heavy rainfall experienced over the weekend could dampen the spirit of the UAE citizens.

Each of the 7 Emirates came alive with a wealth of amazing activities, fantastic firework shows, and captivating concerts. Google also joined in on the celebration, with a customized doodle on its homepage on the 2nd of December.  The doodle depicted flying falcons carrying banners in the colors of the UAE flag.

Google UAE 41

In this Buzz Report, we took a look at social media reaction to the 41st UAE National Day focusing on the UAE. The following analysis is based on approximately 11,000 mentions of the event, captured in both English and Arabic during the period November 28th – December 2nd, 2012.

Scope Note

Social media users expressed their devotion and gratitude towards UAE. A day leading to the National Day, there was a sudden increase in the number of mentions on Twitter. Users showed their eagerness and enthusiasm towards the celebration. They shared pictures of decorations and poems but most of all demonstrated a sense of pride towards their country.

A substantial amount of organizations and companies celebrated this special day on the 29th of November, before their long weekend. Many of which have shared those memorable moments on social networks, where they posted pictures and comments about their respective events. Some wanted to share the joy of this special day and offer special promotions through their social media accounts.

Organization comments

A minimal amount of tweets were captured on the 30th of November pertaining to the 41st National Day, as heavy rain engulfed parts of the UAE. Given that rain is a rarity in these parts, social media users posted and tweeted images and updates about the weather conditions and flooding.

On another note, despite the warnings of fines and vehicle impounding that was sent across in the weeks leading up to National Day; many residents insisted on decorating their cars with stickers, flags and pictures of the UAE’s rulers.

However, on the 1st of December, Sheikh Mohammed sent a celebratory text message to thousands of residents in anticipation of the 41st National Day celebration, which created a significant amount of buzz on social networks, and was very well received and valued. Many were overwhelmed to obtain the message from such a significant person; and just over 40% opted to express their contentment and gratitude to his highness through social media.

Shk Mohd SMS

People posted pictures of decorated cars, houses, buildings and streets. One of the most popular pictures that went viral on Social Media that day was of a camel placed inside a decorated 4-wheel vehicle and the UAE flag tied around it’s neck.

National Day Vehicle

Some of the key highlights of the UAE 41st National Day include Abu Dhabi raising the “Largest Traditional UAE Flag” (41 Feet), Sharjah hoisting the UAE flag to a 123-metre tall pole which is considered to be the seventh tallest in the world. Thousands of residents attended the first large-scale National Day parade in Dubai, and Ajman’s successful attempt to beat the Romanian world record of 12,740 hot-air balloons with 15,000 hot-air balloons taking to the UAE sky.

Social Networks were embellished with the colors of the UAE flag and mentions of the National Day. Users couldn’t be more proud and pleased of the events that were happening. People were tweeting live, and salutes were being sent to the rulers. Even the country’s rulers were equally excited about the big day and used social media as a medium to express it.

National Day Comments

In conclusion, the sentiment of celebration has shown a significant increase throughout the years. The flagships and autographix on several cars across the country are in clear notice. Residents were treated to one-of-a-kind celebrations that have showed them the spirit of the union. Not only did Emiratis express their joy to this eventful day, but based on our research, expats as well have showed solidarity and devotion to the country based on their social media activity.