It’s all about spreading a message of tolerance and peace.

2018 is the Year of Zayed here in the UAE, and this has got to be one of the coolest ways we’ve seen so far to celebrate.

Over the weekend, a hot air balloon printed with an image of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Founding President, floated above the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.

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The balloon was launched by a team from Sharjah’s Al Qasimia University, The National reports, and was named Year of Zayed 2018.

News agency Wam shared two pictures of the launch on Twitter.

How stunning is that? What a setting.

The balloon will be in Jordan until March 14, The National reports, flying over Karak Castle and Wadi Rum’s desert village.

Piloted by Captain Pilot Abdulaziz Al Mansouri of the UAE Hot Air Balloon Team, the balloon was meant to spread a message of tolerance and peace, the site reported.

Of course, it’s not the only move of late made to celebrate the legacy of HH Sheikh Zayed.

February saw the opening of Abu Dhabi’s Founder’s Memorial, which includes a portrait of the UAE’s founding president made up of hundreds of suspended points of light.


Called The Constellation, it’s the work of artist Ralph Helmick. We think it’s stunning.

At the memorial’s inauguration, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, reflected on HH Sheikh Zayed’s spirit.

“When we mention giving, we have to mention Zayed. His name will forever be associated with generosity and humane leadership in the annals of history,” he said at the time.

“Zayed sought to spread good across the world and make the Emirates a beacon of hope.”

Wise words.

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Images: Wam News/Twitter