An emirate within the United Arab Emirates, known for its official ties with Israel, has opted to forgo New Year’s Eve fireworks this year as a demonstration of solidarity with the people of Gaza. Sharjah police conveyed this decision in a Facebook post on Tuesday, emphasizing that legal actions would be pursued against those disregarding the ban.
The ban, described as “a heartfelt expression of solidarity and humanitarian collaboration with our brethren in the Gaza Strip,” was articulated in the post by Sharjah police.
Sharjah, the third-largest emirate in the UAE in terms of both size and population, follows Abu Dhabi and Dubai among the seven emirates. The UAE established ties with Israel in 2020, influencing other nations to also form relations with Israel.
Despite these diplomatic ties, the UAE has consistently called for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza war, condemning Israel’s actions in the region. The UAE has criticized both Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza while also condemning Hamas for initiating the conflict on October 7. The country has advocated for the release of hostages taken into Gaza by Hamas on that day.
The decision to ban New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sharjah appears specific to that emirate, as public celebrations continue to be promoted in other emirates. The UAE’s prominent New Year’s Eve fireworks display usually takes place in Dubai, the country’s most populous emirate and a key tourism hub, featuring landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa and the Palm Jumeirah.