Emirati story, heritage all aglow at nationwide celebrations of 48th National Day


Events kicked off at 7pm with a short film paying tribute to the late Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed.

Over 20,000 Emiratis and residents were transported into the heart of the UAE’s heritage through the epic National Day spectacle at the Zayed Sports Stadium, the venue for the country’s official celebrations.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates were all present at the event.

Events kicked off at 7pm with a short film paying tribute to the late Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who passed way last month. Then, members of the presidential guard marched across the venue, carrying the national flag and raising it.

It was a proud moment for everyone at the stadium, but what made jaws drop was the spectacular theatrical show that told the story of the country.

At least 900 performers brought Emirati tales to life through the production titled ‘Legacy of Our Ancestors’.

The 50-minute show took the audience on a vivid heritage journey with a series of stories that highlight values of courage, determination, generosity, and tolerance, which have been passed down through generations. Among the major stories that moved the audience showed how the UAE ancestors made the most out of the sea to find food and earn a living – fishing and sailing on boats day and night.

The show also portrayed how the UAE army operated in the ancient days and how leaders valued negotiations that put a peaceful end to conflicts.

Camels also grazed the scene in the form of puppets, manned by 24 puppeteers.

The theatrical masterpiece was staged on a scale not previously seen in the UAE. More than 5,000 experts from 70 countries came together to shape the production.

Early start

Citizens in the Capital started their celebrations early in the morning, bringing out their souvenirs, flags, and scarves and donning their best National Day-themed dresses.

Culture and heritage were everywhere, with several public spaces, buildings and homes festooned with red, green, white and black decorations. Even the sky was painted in UAE colours through aerial performances.

Motorists drove through the streets in vehicles with hoods decorated with national symbols and stickers bearing the faces of the country’s leaders to show their love for the nation.

Everyone celebrated in their own way but the common thread was that they were all united in their appreciation and love for the UAE.

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