On average, residents spend around Dh100 on car stickers for the holidays, but some are willing to pay up to Dh700 each year
It’s 11pm but Haseeb of Al Warqaa Car Accessories and Upholstery in Satwa is still busy sticking National Day decorations on his customer’s cars. “At least 50 cars have arrived every day,” the Afghan national said. “The people coming in are of various nationalities, including Emiratis, Indians, Pakistanis and Canadians.”
Every time UAE National Day rolls around, celebrations are never complete without elaborately decorated vehicles hitting the roads. Sporting decals and decorating everything from photos of the country’s sheikhs to the national flag and quotes, many residents carry their UAE pride on their cars.
“Most residents ask for photographs of the sheikhs, especially Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” Haseeb said. “Some people prefer to put stickers only on the back window, while others want to decorate the entire back of their car. We also do hood and mirror decorations. The demand continues till December 6. After that, people come get the stickers off. We do it for free for our customers.”
The store offers several varieties of stickers for car owners, here are some:
The cost of the decoration varies according to the design. “The rear window sticker for a sedan car is Dh50,” Haseeb said. “Decorating the entire back of a four-wheel drive is about Dh150. Most people spend an average of Dh100 on decoration.”
The competing couple
Britain’s Kelly Harvarde and her husband Alex Jeffries have had a healthy competition for years about who decorates their car better for National Day.
“There’s always mild competition,” Kelly laughed. “But we have similar tastes, so I always love what he picks. He drives a bright green Dodge Charger, so he has a natural advantage when it comes to standing out.
Having lived in the UAE for more than 15 years, Kelly says decorating the car for National Day is an annual family tradition. “I have been proud to call the UAE home,” he said. “He is full of dynamism, energy and positivity. It never stops, it’s always growing and developing and celebrating with the community around us is pure joy.”
This year, he has chosen a decoration that he really likes. “I chose a full-color illustration of Sheikh Zayed with a falcon,” he said.
“It’s so beautiful and joyful. It’s important to me to represent the founder of this amazing country and it makes my heart sing every time I get in the car.”
This year, her husband also chose a design that features the founding father of the United Arab Emirates.
Love for the United Arab Emirates
Indian expat Saud Saeed has been decorating his car every year for at least a decade. “I grew up in the UAE and I love this country,” he said. “Ever since I was old enough to have my own car, I’ve been decorating my car for National Day.”
The resident of Dubai spends an average of 500 to 700 DH every year on their decoration. “I take pride in fixing my car,” he said. “I do it from Qusais or Abu Dhabi, where I grew up. I make sure I have some unique designs every year.”
According to him, it is best to do the decoration at least a few days before the National Day. “In the days leading up to December 2nd, most stores are very busy, so I do it a few days early.”