Abu Dhabi: The Organising committee of the 51st National Day Celebrations has just released its first briefing, revealing some aspects of the upcoming 51st National Ceremony on December 2, and the subsequent celebrations that will be open to everyone who calls the UAE home from December 3 to 11 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
Rawdha Al Qubaisi, Creative Executive Producer, starts the briefing by introducing the main concept of the upcoming National Day show, inspired by UAE’s rich culture and its present-day ambitions. She notes that the show will offer a glimpse into a bright future that brings together everyone who calls the UAE home, noting that this year’s ceremony would be the most significant post the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, Al Qubaisi reveals in the briefing that the ceremony will see the participation of one thousand students from different nationalities in a special children’s parade.
The research carried out for the show looks into the narratives of generational pioneers – their stories inspiring the concept of the show, explains Reem Mohammed Al Mansoori, Co-Founder of Bani & Al Culture.
Additionally, the show is informed by examples of how the country has contributed to the environment as well as draws inspiration from how traditional costumes are a significant part of Emirati heritage. Al Mansoori, along with her partners Saeed Al Suwaidi and Randa Omar Bin Haider, has worked closely with the content development and creative teams to ensure that all visual material is aligned with the UAE’s culture and values, and draws inspiration from the country’s natural environment. The researchers also include Arwa Abdulla Al Nuaimi and Noora Abd Al Aziz Khamis.
Speaking about the show’s creative direction, Artistic Director Ayesha Hadhir Al Mheiri reveals that the show will take the audience on a generational journey of pioneers who have made significant contributions to seven main fields: marine sciences, environment, agriculture, space, transportation, solar energy and education. These narratives aim to inspire the next generation, and hope to instil a strong sense of national identity.
This year’s brand, developed by Tinkah, is inspired by Al Sadu, the traditional form of weaving. Hadhir explains that the visual identity features several variations, including elements inspired by the ceremony and those representing the key themes of this year’s show.
Preparations for the celebrations in Abu Dhabi started in June 2022, says Butti Al Muhairi, Head of Operations. More than 6,900 individuals from over 100 nationalities, including top engineers, creatives and technicians from around the world, are working together on the much-anticipated 51st National Day ceremony.
Poetry’s prominent role
Signifying poetry’s prominent role in UAE’s culture, this year’s show features 11 new poems paying ode to the UAE’s accomplishments and inspiring stories. The show features works by Juma’a Bin Mane’e AlGuwais, Ali Al Khawar, Saif Al Saadi, and Salim Bin Kadeh Al Rashidi. Abdulla Al Qubaisi from the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee notes that the ceremony will also include a poem from the anthology of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
This year, the musical direction of the show presents a fusion of traditional Emirati songs with international music. Music Director and Composer Mohammed Al Ahmed said that the celebrations will see The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Emirati composers present a live musical show. Furthermore, Al Ahmed details that the show will also include a military performance mixed with the traditional art of Taghrooda, in addition to Al-Ayyala – an important traditional performance art and an essential element of Emirati culture.
The music line-up
It is worth noting that the music team also includes Music Director Pierre Mussche from Musicom, and Adam Miller, who directs the show’s music output. In addition, Engineer Ali Al Amir and Maestro Nicholas Dot will lead the orchestra. The Maestro Haitham Sa’adoon leads the Arabic recording of the chordophones and solo instruments. The Emirates Choir plays a significant role as they will sing all the scenes and orate the poems in this year’s 51st National Day official ceremony.
Speaking about the role of communications, Mariam Al Meraikhi highlighted the importance of local media outlets, government entities and private companies in making the celebrations befitting for the nation’s milestone.
Broadcast from 50 locations
More than 50 locations across the seven emirates will broadcast the much anticipated 51st National Day official ceremony on December 2nd.
People around the UAE can watch the live stream of the ceremony starting from 6pm on National day from different locations across the UAE. In Abu Dhabi, citizens and residents can watch at Majalis Abu Dhabi, located in Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain, Al Dhafra, in addition to Qasr Al Hosn, Sheikh Zayed Festival, The Founder’s Memorial, and Liwa Festival. In Dubai, people can join the celebrations in Al Wasl Plaza at Expo City and Hatta Dam. As for Sharjah, the ceremony will be streamed at the Sharjah National Park, Al Dhaid Fort and Khorfakkan, while Ajman residents can enjoy watching the show in Flag Park and Marina Ajman.
In addition, different cinemas across the UAE, including Novo Cinemas, VOX Cinemas, Roxy Cinemas, Reel Cinemas, Star Cinemas, and Oscar Cinema, will broadcast the live show on December 2 at 6pm.
This year’s show will feature moving vignettes across generations through breathtaking performances, unique technologies, and exceptional storytelling inspired by the UAE’s rich culture and present-day ambitions. Audiences across the UAE will be able to also watch the official celebration live starting at 5:30 pm on the official website of the UAE National Day and all local TV channels. The spectacular show is open to the public at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), starting from December 3 to 11.