UAE National Day show inspired by nature as lush mangroves take centre stage

The 49th National Day celebrations will honour the country's rich natural resources

The UAE's National Day show will be inspired by nature as the country's majestic mangroves take centre stage.

The sprawling forestry of the water is estimated to cover more than 150 square kilometres of the UAE coastline and is heralded as the green lung of the Emirates' cosmopolitan cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Now the vital role played in the country's delicate ecosystem by the lush greenery will be celebrated in front of a global audience.

The 49th National Day show will be beamed to homes across all seven emirates and beyond on December 2 as Covid-19 restrictions mean this year's spectacular event in Abu Dhabi will go on without crowds.

In a year like no other, organisers have got creative to ensure the elaborate visual production lives long in the memory.

Khalfan Al Mazrouei, member of the organising committee for the 49th National Day celebrations,  said the show will celebrate the UAE's rich natural resources.

“The mangroves are a big piece of our heritage and are part of our country’s natural beauty and it was decided that they would aesthetically be a wonderful inspiration for the visuals of the event," he said.

"The title of the show is Seeds of the Union and our mangroves represent the growth of the UAE – from a seed at the formation in 1971 into a full bloom we see 49 years later.

“We do not want to give away too much of the story, but we are extremely excited to share a truly beautiful production that reflects the UAE’s natural environment, history, values and hopes.”

Mangroves, small trees that grow in salt water, are an important part of the UAE’s ecosystem.

They protect the coastlines from erosion, provide a breeding ground for various fish species, and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

They have long been viewed as a crown jewel in the nation's heritage.

In the 1970s, large-scale mangrove plantation programmes were iniated by the UAE's Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed.

Abu Dhabi's Environment Agency continues to work to rehabilitate and protect mangrove forests.

In the past decade, the authority has overseen the planting of

3.1 million mangrove saplings on the coasts of Al Gharbia, Saadiyat, Jubail and Habitat island.

Historically, mangrove trees were used by local populations as a source of fuel and building materials for houses and ships, because of their durability.

National Day marks the forming of the UAE on December 2, 1971.

Each year, it unites the country's multicultural melting pot of residents drawn from more than 200 nationalities.

"This year more than ever we have seen a spirit of togetherness in line with the UAE's long-held values and we want to make sure everybody can be a part of National Day despite the challenges the world is facing," Mr Al Mazrouei said.

Alongside the live show will be a tribute to the UAE's founding fathers as the country gears up for its Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2021.

Strict Covid-19 measures will be followed to allow the show to be held safely.

Protocols will include a Covid-19 testing policy for all teams and cast members involved in the show.