Dubai – Google celebrated the UAE’s 46th National Day on Saturday with a doodle on its homepage on the UAE domain.
A click on the doodle leads to a page that explains the National Day, celebrated on December 2 each year in the UAE.
The doodle is then linked to a page which states: “On this day in 1971, the six emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ajman came together at the historic Union House to form a federal union. Ras Al Khaimah joined three months later, thus giving birth to the modern day UAE – a young country with an ancient history.
Today’s doodle marks this historic day with a depiction of two young children in national dress, interacting with an oryx and a falcon – the national animals of the UAE. The Arabian oryx is a type of antelope with long straight horns. Because it lives exclusively in the Arabian desert, it has developed the ability to detect rainfall. Entire herds migrate to such locations.
The oryx went extinct by the 1970s, but private breeding helped re-introduce the animal into the wild a decade later.
The falcon, the other national UAE animal, also has deep roots in local culture.
Falconry is a beloved sport, its origins dating back to the ancient hunting tradition of the desert nomads. Falcons are so revered, in fact, that they are the only animals allowed to travel in the main cabin of commercial aircraft in the region. Happy national day, UAE!