One of the most amazing events I have ever seen in my life was the 40th anniversary of the UAE. The Sheikh announced a few days in advance that there will be a bank holiday that week. This shows already how life works in the UAE.
If Sheikhs decide something, it’s final and is done as soon as possible. Most of the cars were ridiculous; decorated head-to-toe in the colours of the flag (white, green, black and red), many with pictures of the forefathers of the UAE. People went crazy, there were 40’s everywhere, even on the huge buildings, they put lights on everything, hung up pictures of their president and “father” Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. At the actual evening there was a firework display planned at the Corniche, but no clear time was announced.
People were walking down the Corniche with silly spray and spray snow in their hands spraying it at each other. Everyone seemed so peaceful, excited and happy. No music was on the streets, but the atmosphere was still unbelievable. The streets were packed with cars, hooting and backfiring to make as much noise as possible.
Everyone in the country was very polite and helpful, and the crime rate in general is very low. The Sheikhs aim is it to have satisfied and happy citizens which is why they have raised their income in 2011, particularly those jobs in the public sector. All in all it was a very exciting holiday with lots of experiences. Definitely worth a visit, but if you are looking for a serious cultural dipping, I would choose another destination.