By Lily B Libo-on

Burj Khalifa’s top observation deck was filled with people on Thursday and Friday as part of the DTCM’s two-day celebration to mark the UAE’s 39th National Day.

For the third year in a row, the Department of Tourism and Commerce (DTCM) organised events to mark the country’s National Day, in line with the directives of the Dubai Government that all government departments should coordinate to organise the National Day celebrations.

Nasser Juma, Head of the Organising Committee for National Day Events and Activities, told Khaleej Times that the DTCM had planned to hold the National Day festivities on top of Burj Khalifa from the moment it decided to prepare the agenda for this year’s celebration.

“Accordingly, we contacted the management of the tower and they readily welcomed the idea and agreed to extend their total support to the DTCM to make this event a reality and offer something new and exciting to the public,” he said.

The commemorative programme covered a wide variety of activities that involved active participation from the public, said Nasser Juma. “This year’s event agenda included a presentation on the UAE’s culture and Arab hospitality depicted through mockup traditional houses, and also traditional furniture, clothes and jewellery. There was also a dedicated calligraphy corner.”

Other events included a number of activities at Jumeirah Beach Residence (The Walk), where the DTCM held the National Day celebrations for the second year running.

“Last year’s celebration featured a miniature traditional village in which details of the UAE’s history and past lifestyle were depicted. Various competitions and activities were also held on the sidelines which were appreciated by the public,” added Juma.

This year, he said, the DTCM decided to repeat The Walk experience but in a different way. It had mock-up traditional houses displayed along The Walk, in addition to Yola dances and national dance performances. Also, visitors could enjoy henna painting and calligraphy, while the ‘Ask about my Cultural Heritage’ enabled visitors to find out more about the country’s culture and traditions, both in Arabic and English.

The DTCM’s Aisha Mohammed bin Taye, Events Executive, said as part of the celebrations, the DTCM was supporting families under the Dubai Women’s Association’s National Day programme, held recently in cooperation with Hoor Centre for Girls.

“We coordinated with the management of Burj Khalifa to ensure that all our events turn out as planned. All the activities held at Burj Khalifa will complement the public perception of the tower and will befit its status as the world’s tallest building, which also offers panoramic views of Dubai,”
added Aisha.

Sabiha Majid Al Youha, committee member, said that at the Burj Khalifa the public can enjoy the fastest elevators in the world, use special telescopes, get a bird’s eye view of Shaikh Zayed Road from the observation deck, take great photos and buy souvenirs for friends and family.