This year marks the 50th anniversary from the foundation of the UAE in 1971. In 1968 the British, who had protected the Emirates for 150 years, announced their intention to withdraw from the region.

That was when Sheikh Zayed Sultan Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, decided to unite the Emirates under a single nation. On the 2nd of December 1971 the UAE were born and Sheikh Zayed became the first President.

Since then, the UAE grew setting an example of economic, social and political progression not only in the Middle East, but in the whole world. The country can count many impressive accomplishments since its inception, and now stands among the most advanced globally.

Sheikh Zayed is remembered as the Founding Father of the Nation; his wisdom, benevolence, humility, and tolerance were legendary. He cared about people’s right, women’s particularly, and helped transform the Arab desert into an oasis for agriculture.

“There is nothing that can’t be achieved in the service of the people if determination is firm and intentions are sincere.” —Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.


No wonder that this year the celebrations for the National Day will be spectacular. Many events and fireworks are planned around the country, including Expo site, between December 1st and 4th.

The official celebrations though will take place on December 2nd in Hatta, a town in the Emirate of Dubai, next to the Omani border, surrounded by the Hajar mountains.

A theatrical show will be performed on a floating stage in the middle of Hatta Dam. The show will take visitors on a storytelling journey through the land’s history, from its inception to the present.

The realization of the stage represented a technical challenge: the dam is so deep that the team had to build a floating lake on top of the water!

More extraordinary features include state-of-the-art techniques that have never been seen before, as the use of water screens and drones to lift the fireworks higher in the air, thus reducing the use of pyro material and creating a new breathtaking illusion.

Celebrations will also include poetry, dance and orchestral performances to express Emirati culture.

The preparations started 142 days ago, more than 1,400 individuals from over 100 nationalities worked for a total of one million- and 500-thousand-man hours on site.

The show will focus on the relationship between people and nature, emphasising aspects related to the country’s agricultural, desert, mountain and marine environments.

Emiratis and the planet have been coexisting as instinctive engineers from the very beginnings of time” said Es Devlin, one of the artistic directors of the UAE 50th National Day Executive team.

“So a symbiotic relationship with the weather, with the time of year, with the constellations, with the tides has always been something that’s been at the heart of Emirati culture and practice”.

The show wants to commemorate the nation’s past and its transformation journey across 50 years, while also looking ahead to the continuous development of a modern and progressive country, able to face future challenges with determination and confidence.


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