UAE National Day: An epic show offers lessons for the future from a glorious past
An epic show with over 900 performers narrating the story of the UAE will mark the official celebration of the country’s 48th National Day on December 2. Over 20,000 residents will be wowed by the theatrical masterpiece called ‘Legacy of our Ancestors’ that will be showcased at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.
The timeless narrative of the country will be brought to life under the special effects of the moon through live performances, digital art and visual and sound effects. Inspired by local folklore, the show will take spectators on a fascinating historical exploration of the UAE’s values.
“The artistic narrative was developed by national capabilities in collaboration with global expertise to produce an unprecedented show that translates the heritage of the forefathers to usher in the future,” Saeed Al Suwaidi, representative of the organising committee for the show, said during an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the show’s preparations on Sunday.
The audience will be immersed in stories of courage and pride, about people who are resilient, resourceful, honourable and devoted. The performances will encapsulate the greatness of the UAE’s ancestors, a spirit that can be carried into the future.
According to the organisers, the epic theatrical production has been brought together by a monumental amount of manpower and cutting-edge equipment sourced from every corner of the world.
A team of leading designers, production specialists, technicians and professional performers from 65 countries have collaborated to portray the rich UAE stories that have been passed down from one generation to another.
“I have been here for the show since June,” said production designer Micheal Scott. “We have constructed a stage that occupies an area of 10,000sqm – equivalent to the size of eight Olympic pools.
“The stage is equipped with 22 HD screens rising 12 metres high, weighing a total of 37 tonnes, which will produce the visuals. More than 2,500 LED lights have been intricately placed to strategically light up the stage with 1,000 light fixtures connected through over 60km of cabling.”
He said more than 3km of blackout fabric has been employed to create the backdrop for the stage, lending a magnificent theatrical feel to the stadium.
Additionally, 12 camel puppets manned by 24 puppeteers will bring to light the country’s heritage.
Eight composers in collaboration with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have come together to compose the original ‘Legacy of our Ancestors’ soundtrack. More than 80 musicians were part of the recording of the soundtrack.
More than 250 speakers connected through 12km of cabling will heighten the auditory experience in the stadium.
Around 1,700 costumes will be used to dress up the performers – all of which have been produced in the UAE. The designers spent 7,200 hours into the creation of the wardrobe to be used for the show. Over 16,500 square metres of fabric – dyed in 26 custom colours – were used. The show will start at 6.30pm, but gates will open from 4pm. Shuttle buses will be transporting people to the venue from Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) and other locations. Tickets for the show are sold at Dh60. The elderly, people with disabilities and small children will enter for free.