Today marks the UAE’s second Commemoration Day, remembering those who sacrificed their lives in military and humanitarian fields both at home and abroad.

HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan brought Commemoration Day into effect last year, stating that November 30 would become an annual public holiday to honour the UAE’s martyrs.

Sheikh Khalifa said in a statement this week: “We vow this day to be loyal to our martyrs and to be like fathers to their sons. We vow that as we continue on our path, we shall always be grateful for their sacrifice and we shall preserve their memory forever.”

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The first UAE serviceman died for his country on November 30, 1971, which is why the holiday is held on this day.

This short yet touching film created by ImageNation Abu Dhabi, titled The UAE Remembers, serves as a reminder to the meaning behind Commemoration Day, and the lives that were sacrificed to protect the nation that many of us call home.


You may have received a text yesterday from the Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office (MFAO) detailing today’s events.

Here’s what will happen:

– The UAE’s flag will be lowered at 8am at all government and government subsidiary premises and will remain lowered until the minute of silence has been observed.

– There will be a minute of silent prayer from 11.30am to 11.31am to honour the country’s heroes.

– The flag will be raised at 11.31 along with the national anthem.

commemoration day

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HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, released a statement shedding light on Commemoration Day, saying: “Today, we gather as leaders and peoples of the nation to salute our heroes, to honour their memory, and to also remind everyone that their sacrifices will forever be remembered in our hearts and minds.

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“Our martyrs’ loved ones are just as precious to use as our own, and their noble goals, for which they have sacrificed their lives, will be held as a badge of honour until the end of time.

“We, today, also greet and express appreciation, pride and gratitude to our valiant security and relief forces, and civil protection personnel, for all their efforts and vigilance in ensuring the security of the citizens, residents and visitors of this country.

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“Today, we also fondly and very proudly remember our peoples’ embrace of their nation’s martyrs and that of their families, a very powerful depiction of the strength of this nation and its national identity, as well as its unity and solidarity against adversity.”

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Images: Dubai Media Office