Anti-clockwise from top left: A 40-minute spectacular show featuring the UAE’s past, present and future was held at the Dubai Festival City to celebrate the 41 st National Day. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan and Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Dubai: Hundreds of Emiratis and expatriates on Monday night travelled back in time and into the future in a one-of-a-kind show detailing the country’s journey through time in celebration of the 41st UAE National Day at Dubai Festival City on Monday.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, attended the National Day celebration at Dubai Festival City, organised by the National Day Committee.

The celebration featured a spectacular show on the Spirit of the Union, during which sound and visual effects and the 3D technology were used to exemplify the concept of the Spirit of the Union and portray the landmark achievements made under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayn, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.

The celebration began with the national anthem performed by the Emirati military band, followed by 3D performance on the desert life and tough challenges that faced the Emirati grandfathers in the pre-Union era. The show aimed to portray the social life of the UAE people and their traditions and customs.

Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture, other Shaikhs, senior officials and thousands of people attended the spectacular show.

The 40-minute show depicted in a surreal way the UAE’s journey from its early beginnings, its glorous present, and its promising future.

Real-life tents, bon fire, greeted the audience at the start of the show. This was followed by projections of camels on the desert, and the early life of the country’s forefathers. A breath-taking simulation of a real-life storm surge experienced by early Emiratis captured the audience.

The show likewise looked back on the country’s engineering feats, including when UAE launched its first statellite to space, and the country’s young film industry.

The show involved approximately 200 cast and crew including specialist aerialists, skaters and acrobats for the live acting and 300 production staff. It utilized Immersive Projection Technology (IPT) that enables viewers not only to witness the show but also ‘experience’ it thru immersive environments and live props that fully surrounded viewers. IPT also used multiple back-projected surfaces, lights, to make the brain believe that what it was experiencing was part of the world around him. A 3D animation projection complimented the show.

“It will also show the aspirations of the UAE for the future, and how it aims to stay as a global leader in innovation, green revolution, and other aspects,” the organiser said.

“The show aims to remind everybody that it takes each and everyone--be it a construction worker, office worker--to bring the UAE to where it is now,” he added.

The show concluded with a segment on products being made in the UAE as envisioned by the country’s leaders. Magnificent fireworks display punctuated the show, leading audience members in amazement.

“I’m amazed, the show was magnificent. It produced or made me feel a special connection for the UAE,” Khaled Roumieh, who witnessed the show, told Gulf News.

“It’s very nice and it’s something I haven’t seen before. I’m from Syria but the show made me feel as if I’m from here,” Farah, an audience member, said.