UAE to celebrate rich heritage at mega National Day show

Thousands are set to pack into Zayed Sports City Stadium on December 2 for a dazzling theatrical show telling the story of the country

Children play along the corniche as spectators gather to watch UAE's Al-Fursan (The Knights) National Aerobatic Team performing in the capital Abu Dhabi on December 1, 2017, during celebrations ahead of the 46th Emirati National Day, celebrated on December 2. (Photo by NEZAR BALOUT / AFP)
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The UAE will pay homage to its heritage and shine a light on its growing role on the global stage at the grandest National Day celebration yet.

The nation will come together on December 2 to mark the 48th anniversary of the creation of the Emirates under the leadership of Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father.

Festivities will take over all seven emirates, with tens of thousands set to converge on the capital for a dazzling stadium show telling the story of the country's remarkable rise.

Legacy of our Ancestors, a stunning theatrical production to be held at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, will chart the nation's journey from desolate desert land to a multiculturalmulticultural metropolis through cutting-edge visual and audio technology and a gifted cast of stage performers.

Saeed Al Suwaidi, representative of the organising committee for the show, said it would serve up a fantastic tribute to Emirati culture and tradition on a stage he likens to an "architectural marvel".

Fittingly for a country home to more than 200 nationalities, a large international contingent will be a driving force behind the spectacular event.

A group of leading designers, production specialists, technicians and professional performers from 65 countries are collaborating to bring the ambitious vision to life.

''Legacy of Our Ancestors is a show that embodies the heritage of our forefathers as a beacon to usher the way for future generations," said Mr Al Suwaidi.

"It also represents a unique architectural marvel, given its construction by experienced artisans from across three continents. Together, these elements have helped to produce a first-of-its-kind National Day celebration."


National Day 2018 celebrations


Mr Al Suwaidi said the show promised to be a record-setting success.

"We have constructed a stage that occupies an area of 10,000 square metres, equivalent to the size of eight Olympic pools, in record time of less than 23 weeks.

"The stage is equipped with 22 HD screens rising 12 metres high, weighing a total of 37 tonnes, which will produce the visuals assisted by 2,500 LED units and 1,000 light fixtures.

"This vast network of visual equipment required 60 kilometres of cabling to ensure that all units are synced to produce the stunning imagery and videos on display. The staging also required more than three kilometres of blackout fabric for the gigantic backdrop."

Admission is Dh60 for a single ticket or Dh50 each when part of a group of four.

The limited number of tickets can be snapped up from or by calling 800 86823.

Private and public sector workers have been granted two days' holiday for the National Day festivities, on December 2 and 3.

It will make for a break of up to five days for some in the country, with a day's holiday allotted for Commemoration Day on Sunday, December 1, coming straight after the weekend.