The 10th National Parade, which highlighted Qatar's rich heritage, culture, traditions and military might on the occasion of the National Day celebrations, was attended by His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani on Doha Corniche Monday afternoon.
HH Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, Personal Representative of the Emir; HE Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Khalifa al-Thani, HH Sheikh Abdulla bin Khalifa al-Thani, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani, and HE Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa al-Thani were in attendance.
HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, his cabinet colleagues, and HE the Speaker of the Advisory Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud were also among those who watched the parade from the newly erected special pavilion, along with several other prominent citizens and other nationals.
Several thousands of flag-waving and cheering residents lined up along the scenic Doha Corniche stretch between Qatar National Theatre signal and Emiri Diwan to watch the colourful parade taken out by the country's armed forces.
It was the first-time the parade was held in the afternoon after the National Day celebrations began to be held on December 18 a decade ago.
Simultaneously, an impressive display of the country's military equipment was also held along the parallel stretch of the parade route.
As in previous years, the immaculately dressed soldiers of various contingents, many of them holding rifles and chanting patriotic slogans and songs marched past meticulously along the nearly 1.6km stretch to the loud cheers of those gathered along the route.
The flag waving spectators' rendering of traditional songs and high-pitched shouting of slogans hailing Qatar by the marching contingents created a truly festive as well as patriotic environment throughout the nearly 100-minute parade. Music by the Qatar Armed Forces band enlivened the proceedings.
While the march past was on, the spectators were treated to some awesome aerial sorties and somersaults by the Qatar Air Force fighter jets. Equally spectacular were the dare devil actions of their para jumpers, who landed on a specially made platform in the Doha bay.
The jumpers were cheered by spectators as they weaved formations and combinations in the skies in the national colours.
Fighter plans took turns and flew daringly low over the sea to the crowd's amusement. A batch of helicopters which were spotted carrying the national flags served memorable moments to the numerous spectators.
Earlier the deafening sound of the cannons overlooking the sea signaled the start of the parade. At the vanguard were the armed forces soldiers who led a cavalry of about 250 to 300 horses. A large contingent of camels was closely behind.
Specially drawn contingents from the Army, Air Force, Coast Guards, Internal Security Force, Civil Defence, police and military training centres, and children dressed in military uniforms were also part of the marching contingents.
The parade of armoured vehicles featured a number of advanced battle tanks, personnel carriers, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns, propellers, infantry movers, surveillance equipment, fire extinguishers, coastguards' patrolling vessels, anti-pirate frigates, interceptors and communication vehicles among others.
Last updated: December 18 2017 10:05 PM
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