This is why you’re seeing so much red, white, black and green today…

Why have so many UAE flags suddenly popped up around the city? Today is UAE Flag Day!

What is Flag Day? The day is a national campaign that was launched in 2013 by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to honour the country’s past, present and future.

Flag Day is usually celebrated on November 3, the anniversary of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan becoming the president of the UAE in 2004, but this year the Ministry of Cabinet and the Future announced it would take place on November 2.

10 great photos from UAE Flag Day
Here are the rest of the UAE public holidays to look forward to in 2017

While Flag Day isn’t a public holiday (no day off work – sorry guys), it’s still a very special occasion, and marks one month until the National Day public holiday. All government departments have been asked to raise the UAE flag at 11am, but you’ll be able to see flags all over the place – in shopping malls, on people’s houses and cars.

For the last two years, Dubai’s Kite Beach has transformed into a stunning Flag Garden for Flag Day, with thousands of flags in the sand – and this year is no different. Don’t worry if you can’t get down there to check them out today – they usually remain hoisted until mid-December.

The diving men at the Dubai Mall waterfall are getting involved…

Don’t forget to look up – you’ll see flags on lots of buildings today…

Construction sites have been decorated, too…

You might even spot some floral flags…

We love this umbrella arrangement in Media City…

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What do the UAE flag colours mean, anyway?

Red symbolises the sacrifices of previous generations who laid the foundations for the union, and of the nation’s martyrs who safeguarded the UAE, its achievements and gains. Green symbolises growth, prosperity, and cultural renaissance. White displays the nation’s charitable contributions and support for security and peace in the world. Black reflects the strength of Emiratis, and their rejection of injustice and extremism.

Remember, UAE National Day is also coming up soon – it falls on December 2 every year. As it’s a Saturday this year, it’s likely we’ll get a day off on the Sunday (when releasing the official list of public holidays in 2017, the government wrote down National Day as December 2/3, perhaps acknowledging that the Sunday will be a holiday).

2017 will mark the UAE’s 46th birthday.

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