The streets are awash in bright lights and banners in red, white, green and black, as the UAE prepares to celebrate the 44th anniversary of unification. And no celebration is complete without music. We’ve rounded up eight songs commemorating National Day and celebrating what the UAE means to Emiratis and expats.
[ Ya Khalifatna (Our Khalifa) ]
Released in 2012 by twofour54 to commemorate the 41st National Day, Ya Khalifatna is a remix that combines elements from two songs: the 1996 UAE song Zanaha Zayed and the 2011 National Day song Amrak Al Sami, both of which were written by Emirati poet Arif Al Khaja. Al Khaja combined the lyrics to create Ya Khalifitna and singer Fayez Al Saeed composed the music.
• Favourite lyrics: "Zanaha Zayed wa zayenha wa zaad", meaning the late Sheikh Zayed beautified the UAE and made it flourish and more.
Originally a poem by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, Ya Alamna was set to music by Khaled Naser and sung as a duet by Hussain Al Jassmi and Emirati-Yemeni singer Balqees. The song was released last year, a week before National Day, as part of the album Torathana Qudwatona.
• Favourite lyrics: "O our flag, wave high in the sky, you are raised by those who have created the union."
[ Operette Yowm Al Izz (An Opera for the Day of Blessings) ]
The lyrics are from a poem by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, set to music by Fayez Al Saeed. But it’s the performance of the song, by some of the UAE’s most beloved singers, that makes it a favourite. Superstar Ahlam, Hussain Al Jassmi, Al Saeed himself, Balqees, Aida Al Menhali, Hamad Al Ameri and more feature on this star-studded collaboration, with the landmarks of the UAE appearing prominently in the video.
• Favourite lyrics: "And fans of poetry will stand in appreciation by its end. It revolves around the love of this homeland and those who live on its lands."
[ Rooh El Ittihad (The Spirit of the Union) ]
Released last week, the song is a mixture of Arabic and Malayalam. It was written, composed and sung by Iqubal Madakkara from India, who hopes it will be a favourite during National Day celebrations.
It is yet to become popular, but we’re predicting big things for the moving song.
• Favourite lyrics: "Here is a country without any discrimination and with wisdom, the Emirates is galloping."
[ Narzif Laha (We Dance For Her) ]
Last year, telecommunication services provider du released a song and music video to mark the 43rd National Day. The song celebrated the UAE’s international community by bringing together people of many nationalities and filmed them dancing the country’s traditional razfa dance with Emiratis.
Written by poet and television personality Saoud Al Kaabi, composed by Khalid Nasser and sung by Faisal Al Jassim, Narzif Laha was filmed at locations across the UAE and featured many of the country's landmarks. It also features Emiratis in the United States and United Kingdom dancing in front of the Hollywood sign and Buckingham Palace.
Several UAE-based celebrities were also shown dancing in the video, including Arabic-speaking Korean comedian Wonho Chung and City of Life actor Saoud Al Kaabi.
• Favourite lyrics: "This is the UAE, the Emirates of love and union, as it is so precious to us, we are all at her service, we are at her service, to express our love for our UAE, we dance for her."
[ Emirati ]
It would be impossible not to include this song by the UAE’s best-loved and most popular male singer, Hussain Al Jassmi – even though it was released way back in 2009.
This is not his only song dedicated to his country – also check out 2008's Emarat Al Wujood, produced by du and featuring lyrics by Ali Al Fadli and music by Walid Al Shami.
• Favourite lyrics: "I am Emirati and my head is held high, I am Emirati and my name is said with pride."
[ Bahjat Al Ard (Joy of the Land) ]
Also released last year for National Day, Bahjat Al Ard is an ode to the UAE's founders and the country's achievements. The song was the brainchild of the Government Communication Department at the National Media Council and was written by Mohammed Hassan Al Hammadi, from the NMC office in Al Ain.
• Favourite lyrics: "May God bless the soul of our nation's founder, Zayed."
[ Emirati Salam ]
Rising star Ali Al Hashmi – or Allawi for short – is a 14-year-old student at Al Yasmina School in Abu Dhabi. He has been singing for two years, since an Etisalat Ramadan commercial in 2013 thrust him into the spotlight.
With lyrics by Anwar Al Mashiri and music by celebrated singer Fayez Al Saeed, Emarati Salam remains a popular number.
• Favourite lyrics: "O country, you are great, may God keep you and continue blessing you, you are the sultan of all, our pride."