In the days leading up to the UAE's 41st National Day, the NYUAD community and its neighbors gathered on the University campus to celebrate. NYUAD was visited by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Excellency Riyad Al Mubarak, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority; and the Authority's staff for a special performance by the Abu Dhabi Police Band.
Two days later, on the eve of National Day, members of the University community gathered in the garden of the Downtown Campus for an evening of commemoration and celebration. Hosted by NYUAD's Office of Intercultural Affairs and the Cultural Ambassadors, as well as the UAE Council, the event included Emirati food and music, traditional dancing, poetry, henna, falconry, and the opportunity to learn about the country's culture, history, and the importance of the holiday. Reflecting on what she enjoyed most, UAE National and NYUAD freshman Maitha Al Mansoori spoke of the diverse cultural activities — those like the recitation of poems and the Harbiya dances that "showed the liveliness of my culture in times of celebration."
For Freshman Jad Mahmoud, the event allowed him to experience Emirati culture. Mahmoud, who also enjoyed the capital's creatively decorated buildings and fireworks displays, said, "It was a celebration of a new country that has welcomed me, so I felt the duty and pride to celebrate this day as well."