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The grand show held at Hatta, as part of the official celebrations of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, was nothing like we’ve witnessed ever before. It was a throwback to a collective history – even decades before the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971 – as much as it is a projection of the future, as the country prepares for the next 50 years. The UAE Golden Jubilee show is now open to the public, starting from December 4 -12. Tickets are available on

Here’s how the spectacular show unfolded on Thursday, December 2, 2021:

Mesmerising fireworks

The UAE Golden Jubilee show concludes with an amazing fireworks display using drone technology. Drones lift the fireworks higher in the air - reducing the use of pyro materials and creating a more breathtaking illusion and mesmerising experience.

Image Credit: Screen grab
Image Credit: Screen grab

UAE in the future

First girl is Nora Al Matrooshi, who pens a letter to her future self talking about space, stars and planets. Second is Maitha Bu Ghunoom, who writes to her future self, asking about the future of our planet and how to protect our animals and marine species. Last one is Tufool Al Nuaimi, who is asking about the possibility of counting every grain of sand in the UAE. Her idea is about Big Data and innovation in digital technology.

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Letters to future

In the last part, the show focuses on the UAE’s future. Three girls write letters to their future selves. These letters represent the dreams and vision of the nation – with particular focus on space exploration, environmental protection and information technology.

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Bringing the world together

The show is also showcasing how the UAE is bringing the world together, culminating in the hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai.

UAE in space

UAE’s voyage into space exploration is also being highlighted – with the nation sending its first astronaut in space – and deploying Hope Probe, the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission to Mars.

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UAE at present

In the seventh segment, the ancient time-keeping tool, Deira, evolves into a complex and innovative contraption. Archival footages are being projected on the floating stage – from the dredging of the Deira Creek, various developments in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, and other key moments in each of the seven emirates.

Ishy Bilady

A heartfelt rendition of the UAE national anthem starts the sixth part of the programme. ‘Ishy Bilady’ is being sung with patriotic fervour to pledge a strong commitment to the unity of the UAE.

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From desert to a green oasis

In the fifth part of the show, Sheikh Zayed is shown as saying: "Give me agriculture, and I will give you civilisation”.

The show highlights how what was once a barren and harsh desert, is now transformed into a green oasis, with palm trees and native foliage thriving across the UAE.

Modern mega cities also bloom from the desert landscape – from the humble Al Shaabi houses, through wind towers and ancient forts, to the most fascinating and skyscrapers that have become famous across the world.

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The Founding Fathers

The seven Founding Fathers appears in the iconic photograph taken on December 2, 1971, signalling the beginning of the United Arab Emirates.

Sheikh Zayed delivers an emotional and inspiring message addressing the nation: “I assure you and pledge my sincerity and earnestness in everything I do for our citizens, nation, children, and brethren.”

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Coming together

The show now brings us to the momentous events that have led to the formation of the UAE. Using multi-media and laser technology, the accord of the Union is being projected on stage, with the ink of the Founders' signatures, drying together in the December sun.

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Father of the Nation

The fourth part of the show begins with a silhouette of Sheikh Zayed on the horizon. As the Father of the Nation is shown standing over the hill in Al Smeih area, on a foggy morning in February 1968, the idea of the Union comes to his mind for the first time.

Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak

Concluding the tribute to UAE’s pioneering women is the celebration of the life of the Mother of The Nation Umm Al Emarat, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.

Sheikha Hamama bint Obaid Al Teneji

Tributes are also being paid to Sheikha Hamama bint Obaid Al Teneji. Her story as a famous healer who used ancient therapeutic techniques, including 'body branding', has been immortalised in Arab film and literature. A botanist herself, she possessed great knowledge of the medicinal uses of local plants.

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Sheikha Shamsa bint Sultan Al Marar

An exceptional pearl diver and fisherwoman in her youth, Sheikha Shamsa bint Sultan Al Marar, is being remembered for her courageous efforts in preserving and promoting the rituals and traditions of the sea.

Sheikha Hessa bint Al Murr Al Falasi

We now remember the life of Sheikha Hessa bint Al Murr Al Falasi, the grandmother of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Sheikha Hessa is recognised for her wise counsel and financial advice, and influence in the growth of Dubai.

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Sheikha Maitha bint Salmeen Al Mansoori

We hear the life of Sheikha Maitha bint Salmeen Al Mansoori, wife of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa, the grandfather of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Known for her courage, Sheikha Maitha rode to stand against a group of men approaching her settlement. She even impersonated her own brother to protect her village. Her bravery continues to inspire a generation of women today.

Pioneering Emirati women

The third part of the show is a tribute to UAE’s five pioneering women – four of them are told for the first time

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Emirati compass

The second part of the show focused on Emirati ancestors, who were innovative engineers of time and space during their times.

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The show featured an ancient sundial that evolved into the earliest form of Emirati compass, known as Deira. The skies above Hatta were illuminated with 200 stars to draw the connection between the skies and land; while the revolving disc in the middle of the floating theatre was transformed into Deirat Al Duroor – the ancient astronomical system used by Emirati ancestors to determine natural cycles and seasonal livelihood, including farming, fishing and pearl diving.

Tribes united

As the chants rose to a crescendo, a single line appeared on the surface of the revolving sculpture, representing the first marks made by early human settlers on the land. From these early traces, the story of the UAE was revealed.

The singular line then transformed into numerous Wusoom, the marks or insignias used by various tribes to identify their livestock. Then, the various tribes and their wusooms united to become one.

Hymns from the mountains

The eight-part 50th National Day show commenced with 50 drummers standing around the periphery of an oval lake floating on the deep teal water of Hatta Dam.

With percussive rhythms echoing around the mountains, the performers chanted Al Nadbah, a traditional ceremonial cry native to Shihuh, the Arab tribe that inhabits the mountain regions of the UAE.

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Traditional and innovative

The show has started. Using a floating theatre, in the middle of the Hatta Dam, the history of the UAE and its distinguished figures, including pioneering women who shaped the country, will be told through celebratory music dance, orchestra performances, traditional poetry, as well as light show and fireworks display with drone technology.

A remarkable milestone

We are now only few minutes away from the grand celebrations of the 50th UAE National Day. This is a remarkable milestone for the UAE - a culmination of 50 years of progress, inclusivity, innovation, tolerance and humanity. This is a golden moment of jubilation as is looking at the next fifty years with a definitive plan of action.

Celebrations across the UAE

Fusion of traditional and global music

A fusion of Emirati traditional songs and international music will be the highlight, said music composer Mohammed Al Ahmed of the UAE 50th National Day team. He added that this year’s celebrations will include orchestral performances and the tribal chants of Al Nadba and Al Ruwah, traditionally performed on national and celebratory occasions.

The show will also include music from traditional dance performances such as Al-Ayala, Al-Harbiya and others traditional dance. Emirati poetry will also feature prominently during the multi-media show.

People and their homeland

Eisa Alsubousi, Head of Communications of the UAE 50th National Day Executive team, said: “(The Golden Jubilee) show will focus on the relationship between the people and their homeland by emphasising aspects related to the UAE’s agricultural, desert, mountain and marine environments."

He also noted that the show will include stories heard for the first time about some of the distinguished figures, including women, who played a role in shaping the history of the UAE.

Mark of respect

The show will include stories of distinguished UAE figures, including women, who have shaped the history of this great country. And more than 1,400 individuals from 100 nationalities have worked over 142 days to prepare for this momentous evening.

Image Credit: GN Archive