UAE National Day celebrations: Hatta’s dazzling spectacle brings down the curtains for the past 50 years – News

Stunning storytelling feat took viewers through the UAE’s tribal history, ancient technologies and the advancements that followed

By Sherouk Zakaria

Posted: Thu 2 Dec 2021, 19:30

There was no better way to start the UAE’s journey into the next 50 years.

The spectacular official Hatta ceremony gripped the nation on Thursday evening.

UAE leaders gathered in the majestic natural landscape of Hatta, a historic connection point for tribes and caravans, to mark the country’s 50th National Day, as they confidently lead the way for the next five decades .

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates; and several other rulers, deputy rulers, and crown princes were present.

The story of the UAE’s progress since uniting the country unfolded before the eyes of leaders in a moving visual landscape that paid homage to the nation’s founding fathers.

On the starry and windy evening of December 2, eyes were fixed on a giant egg-shaped sculpture in the heart of a lake floating in the deep teal waters of the Hatta Dam, sheltered by the Hajjar Mountains.

Right in front of the spectators, the sculpture turned into a masterpiece, painting the powerful history of the young nation in a 40-minute show that befits the historical stage.

Stunning 3D projections, light shows and performances synchronized to captivating specially composed music adorned the sculpture in front of water screens and a colorful explosion of fireworks launched by drones that lit up Hatta’s sky.

The mind-boggling feat of storytelling took viewers through the UAE’s tribal history and ancient technologies, leading to the time of union and the 50 years of advancement that followed.

Thousands of citizens and locals, glued to their TV screens, watched the UAE journey unfold in its most exquisite form, unleashing unprecedented patriotic fervor among all who call the campaign.

Using cutting-edge technology in a natural landscape, the show, open to the public from December 4 to 12, celebrates the harmonious relationship between humans, nature and technology that has long defined the history of the United Arab Emirates, leading the way to a greater frontiers.

As it happened

The national day spectacle began with men chanting across the mountains, a sign of the early communication of the tribes of the United Arab Emirates.

A single line soon crosses the surface of the rotating sculpture, representing the first marks made by humans on earth and rising in shifting patterns of lines called “Wusoom” used by various ancient tribes to identify their cattle.

A projection of “Deira”, the first compass form of the United Arab Emirates, and “Deirat Al Duroor”, the ancient astronomical system developed by ancestors to determine natural cycles, soon emerge on the sculpture while folk poems echo through the mountains.

Animated calligraphy-designed projections of five powerful women who have played a pivotal role in shaping UAE history adorn the back of the rotating sculpture.

Viewers discover the profiles of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s grandmother, Sheikha Hessa bint Al Murr Al Falasi, wife of Sheikh Zayed’s grandfather, Sheikha Maitha bint Salmeen Al Mansoori, and end with the mother of the nation Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

A moving moment is the appearance of the silhouette of the late founder of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, atop the sculpture amidst the fog, reminding the public of the misty morning of February 1968 in the Al region. Smeih, where the idea of ​​union was born.

The silhouette eclipses a giant projection of the signatures of the seven leaders as engraved in the Union Agreement.

The iconic image of the Seven Founding Fathers taken on December 2, 1971 appears on vibrant water projections.

Zayed embellished it

In a stunning tribute to Sheikh Zayed’s stimulating vision of human development, the sculpture’s 3D projections reveal the transformation of the ancient desert and oases of the United Arab Emirates, dotted with palm trees, into ambitious architectural monuments of today. hui, including Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, forts, wind towers and museums.

The sculpture rotates and features a moving video of Sheikh Zayed telling the tearful crowd, “I assure you and I promise my sincerity and seriousness in everything I do for our citizens, our nation, our children and our brothers.

Rare archival footage is then projected onto the sculpture, marking key moments in the nation’s history so far. Black and white images show the first scenes of diving in pearls, ports and bridges as well as recent achievements, such as the arrival of the Hope probe on Mars and Expo 2020 Dubai.


These key moments throughout history represent the collective history of a nation engraved in the memory of citizens and expatriates who have long coexisted and worked together for the development of the nation.

Towards the future

The show’s final chapter sparks the dreams of tomorrow’s youth as the UAE moves into a new era.

Three young girls take center stage, representing the youthful versions of accomplished Emirati women writing letters to themselves.

The girls are young Nora Al Matrooshi, the first Arab woman from the United Arab Emirates to train to be an astronaut; Maitha Bu Ghunoom, doctoral student focusing her research on dugongs in Abu Dhabi; and Tufool Al Nuaimi, a leading data scientist who uses machine learning to deliver data automation services to businesses around the world.

This unforgettable splendor is the result of a year of conceptualization, research and meeting with the elders to capture the rich history of the UAE, build the stage, implement sophisticated technologies and train artists.


More than 1,400 people of 100 nationalities took part in the show.

The show brings together people who have been at the heart of the UAE’s success towards a technologically advanced future, guided by the glory of the past and the legacy of the early dreamers. It sparks people’s imaginations for a better future.

Thursday’s official ceremony was by invitation only. Tickets for the must-see National Day show, open to the public from December 4 to 12, can be purchased on the official website

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