Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 29 November 2020


Coronavirus: UAE to deliver spectacular National Day celebration as safety is put first

Organisers have taken an ambitious approach to this year's festivities as safety measures require the public to watch from home

The UAE will embrace technology to ensure the traditional National Day show goes on amid the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Officials have vowed the Emirates will mark its 49th year in spectacular style – but with safety in mind in a year disrupted by the rise of Covid-19.

While tens of thousands traditionally pack into a stadium to soak in the patriotic fervour, this year's celebration will be staged in Abu Dhabi on December 2 without a public audience.

But it promises to be anything but a muted affair as a visually stunning production is beamed to homes across the seven emirates and beyond.

Dubbed "Seeds of the Union", the show will take the form of a moving sculpture surrounded by sea and illuminated by striking digital images representing key themes from the UAE's history and inspired by its values.

The nation will watch on television and online instead of filling seats inside a stadium as a live visual extravaganza honours the heritage and vision of the UAE.

The production was designed by a team of Emiratis and artistic director Es Devlin, known for creating large-scale performative sculptures and environments that fuse music, language and light.

She designed the closing ceremony for the London 2012 Summer Olympics, the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics and the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

"The Covid-19 pandemic required us to approach the official 49th UAE National Day celebrations in a new and ambitious way – one that uses digital visual technology to inspire an audience watching from home," said Khalfan Al Mazrouei, member of the organising committee of the Official 49th UAE National Day Celebration.

"The overarching theme of the live show is one of hope and optimism. Embracing the country’s rich legacy and traditions, it looks ahead to a vivid future in which we remain true to our values.

"The narrative of the show artistically revolves around the growth and transformation of a seed into a shoot and then finally into full bloom, mirroring the journey the UAE has taken in the last 49 years."

National Day pays homage to the landmark occasion the UAE was formed on December 2, 1971.

Emiratis and expatriates alike have joined together - just as seven emirates did 49 years ago - each year in a show of national pride in their homeland or land they have come to call home.

The Organising Committee said it was working to create a memorable live event that would capture the imagination of a public watching safely at home.

Strict Covid-19 measures will be in place to ensure the ambitious project is delivered safely.

A testing policy will be enforced for all crew and cast members involved in the elaborate production.

More details of the show’s content will be revealed in the weeks to come.

Updated: November 10, 2020 07:59 PM

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