Etihad Airways participated in the United Arab Emirates’ 44th National Day celebrations by hosting more than 2,000 staff and their families at a special marquee event held yesterday at the airline’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
The cultural activities commenced with the UAE National Anthem performed by the UAE National Symphony Orchestra. This was followed by a Harbiya traditional dance.
Etihad Airways employees form a ‘44’ outside the airline’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi to celebrate the UAE’s 44th National Day.
Family entertainment included face painting and games, henna hand painting, a falconry display and a UAE-themed photographic exhibition. An Emirati food truck and live traditional Emirati cooking also featured at the event.
Khaled Al Mehairbi, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President of Government and Aero Political Affairs, said: “In a few days, we will mark one of the most important dates in the country’s annual calendar – the 44th year since the unification of the seven Emirates.
“Today we remember the founders of the UAE, who came together on 2 December 1971 to witness the birth of our nation. I am delighted to see both Emiratis and expatriate colleagues and friends drawing inspiration from ‘the spirit of the Union’.”
(left to right – Etihad Airways executive team) Vice President Corporate Safety and Quality Captain Majed Al Marzouqi; Senior Vice President of Government and Aero Political Affairs Khaled Al Mehairbi; Senior Vice President Corporate and International Affair Hareb Al Muhairy; and Vice President Abu Dhabi Hub Ali Al Shamsi cutting the commemorative UAE National Day cake.
Departments based at the airline’s headquarters decorated their office spaces to celebrate the UAE National Day throughout the week, embracing the national spirit and participating in the festivities and celebrations.
A number of staff competitions were also arranged as part of the celebration including an Emirati-themed talent show, best decorated department, and best dressed Emirati.
Winners received complimentary brunches and dinners at the capital’s finest restaurants and hotels.
“Our national airline and the government of Abu Dhabi work hand-in-hand to develop the Emirate as a hub of hospitality, aviation, culture and commerce between the East and West. Today we celebrate this collaboration and recognise the economic, social and cultural gifts that the UAE have given us,” Mr Al Mehairbi added.