ABU DHABI // Omani expatriates on Sunday grabbed the opportunity to show their love for their homeland and their ruler, Sultan Qaboos, and celebrate their 46th national day.
Omani heritage and close ties with the UAE were marked in an event at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers on Sunday night.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, was at the celebrations, along with senior UAE and Omani government officials and diplomats.
The ballroom was lit up in red, white and green, the colours of Oman’s flag, as a performance by renowned Omani sand artist Shayma Al Mughairi opened proceedings.
Al Mughairi created images from Omani history, which were projected on to a large screen.
Then popular Emirati singer Aryam showed her talents, followed by traditional dances.
Omani Bader Al Busafi and his children, Salem, 12, and Sarah, 9 attended the event, which paid tribute to the leadership of Sultan Qaboos who has ruled since 1970, making him the Middle East’s longest-reigning monarch.
“Our children are very blessed to witness this,” Mr Al Busafi said. “This is a great opportunity to express our pride for our country. We’re very happy to be here celebrating alongside Emiratis and other nationalities.”
Saleh Al Sharji said he was grateful to the UAE for hosting the event.
“We’re so proud and honoured to celebrate our national day,” said Mr Al Sharji, 28, who travelled from Muscat for the event.
“We’re celebrating with admiration for the accomplishments of the Omani renaissance under the wise leadership of Sultan Qaboos. We’re celebrating what has been achieved so far and we’re working towards a better future.”
Dubai resident Jana Ramadan was joined by her daughters Shireen, 26, and Farah, 28.
“We’re honoured to be invited tonight,” Ms Ramadan said. “We’re originally from Lebanon and it’s a pleasure to celebrate their national day with them.
“We wish their leaders good health and more progress and prosperity to their country. It’s nice to see Omani people remaining true to their traditions, history and culture.”
The UAE and Oman have enjoyed close relations for decades, highlighted by the UAE-Oman Higher Joint Committee, which was set up in 1991 to promote cooperation and coordination in economy, commerce, culture and education.
On Oman’s national day, which was Friday, Yas Mall put on another cultural event.