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Powered by, one of the most popular daily English language newspapers in the United Arab Emirates.

Expats mark Canada's 142nd birthday

07/04/2009 11:04 PM | By Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter

Dubai: Canadian expatriates had a fun time celebrating their country's birthday on the Dubai Marina beach on the weekend though it was a hot day and humidity was at a record high.

July 1 is Canada Day, but the organisers decided to move it to a Friday for families and children to take part in the celebrations, said Richard Seguin, Consul and Trade Commissioner. "We are celebrating Canada's 142nd birthday," he said.

There are about 23,000 Canadians in the UAE and the majority are in Dubai, said the consul. The Canadians are mostly in teaching and medical services and many of the landmark buildings (in Dubai ) have been designed by Canadians, he said.

Tiny red and white flags were placed around the grass and some children had Canada's striking colours painted on their faces as the music played in the background. About 150 people turned up for the open barbecue at the Ritz Carlton beachside.

D'andre Ma, executive director of the Canadian Business Council, said a number of fun activities had been planned for members of the Canadian Business Council and expatriates.

It is a double celebration for the Canadians as the country is preparing to host the forthcoming 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, bringing the Games to Canada for the third time.

Roger Shreenan from Halifax, who was enjoying the barbecue with his wife and child, said, "We love Dubai. But we miss home mostly because of family and friends we have left behind."

Canada Day celebrates the July 1, 1867 anniversary of the enactment of the British North America Act which established the unified country of Canada by combining the four colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Province of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec) into a federation.

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