Page 10 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine IV

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Celebrating the Nation – the sky’s the limit
Complementing these events was the UAE Experience
Pavilion – a world-class exhibition celebrating the Nation.
Much of the content consists of exclusive artefacts and
photographs never before seen, which explore exciting
themes from the country’s past, present and future. This
temporary exhibition was located in the stunning UAE
Pavilion, which has been brought back from the 2010
Shanghai World Expo, located on Saadiyat Island.
The National Day Fireworks, which took place on the
Corniche in Abu Dhabi in November, led the UAE into
an all-encompassing and resounding celebration. Visitors
from all over the Emirates gathered in their masses to
enjoy a breathtakingly dramatic fireworks display as it
animated the horizon in front of the Emirates Palace.
Awash with colour, the illuminated night sky was an
enchanting spectacle indeed. Combined with live music
and national anthems sung with gusto by the patriotic
crowd, there could hardly have been a more fitting
dedication to the Spirit of the Union.
Bigger, better, sumptuously extravagant and more
opulent than anyone could possibly have ever imagined,
the Official Ceremony hosted in the Zayed Sports
City Stadium on December 2nd, was a larger than life
explosion of dance, acrobatics, animation, song and
theatrical puppetry. Utterly breathtaking, the show saw
traditional Arabic dancers sharing the stage with the
world’s finest multidisciplinary aerial artists and acrobats
in a veritable feast for all of the senses.
Best of the ancient and modern worlds
While performers balanced grace with bravura, the
audience were immersed in three dimensional animations
that journeyed across scorching desert sands, untamed
oceans and futuristic cities. The design incorporated
ancient and modern-world elements, with the carefully
selected and highly trained athletes performing nuanced,
spellbinding feats, leaving all of us spectators on the edge
of our seats and clamouring for more.
In the days following, folk dances, poetry readings, dog
shows and parades took place throughout the Emirates,
crowned by several breathtaking world-class theatrical
performances. A particular highlight for us was the
hauntingly beautiful Union Fort outdoor operetta in
the parklands of Abu Dhabi – an opera of national
importance presented by the government. The Great
Hall in the Crescent Building, meanwhile, played host
to A Rhythm of Now and Loyalty – another high-
class operetta, which contained emotional musical and
poetical scenes depicting the achievements of Our Father
Sheikh Zayed, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed
Al Nahyan, and their Highnesses, the Members of the
Supreme Council. One could not help but offer a standing
ovation to the promise and loyalty shown by the dedicated
leaders over the last four decades.
Artists and artistry from across the Emirates
As if that wasn’t enough to indulge the artistic spirit,
the fantastically flamboyant National Day Concerts
celebrated the diversity of Arab music and entertainment
– and showcased many well-known talents. This popular
series of high-class concert performances took place in
venues across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and included
stunning performances by UAE and Gulf Cooperation
Council singers and artists.
Having gained iconic status for the general population,
the annual Corniche Festival, as ever, offered the perfect
location for friends and families to come together to enjoy
a more carnival-like atmosphere. With street performers,
traditional foods, live music acts and sports shows
galore, the action-packed shoreline became a beacon of
With a new, expectation-exceeding event taking place
every day, the last few weeks have easily showcased the
most action-packed and culturally significant National
Day celebration the UAE has ever seen.
And there’s more to come...
Yet to be seen but high on our list of expectations is
Emirati Expressions, which is showing at Manarat Al
Saadiyat until January 28th 2012. Arguably the most
fitting culmination of a spectacular forty days, the
exhibition unites ten Emirati photographers under the
artistic direction of renowned photographer Stephen
Shore, and reflects on the ‘movement of thoughts’;
particularly on Emirati cultural heritage. The collection
has received rave reviews and is marked firmly in our diary.
As lavish as the celebrations have been, and still promise
to be, they have served to remind us that our history is
comprised of millions of stories – inspirational to each
passing generation. In telling these stories, we keep them
and our nation alive while creating new chapters that will
add to the journey of the United Arab Emirates.
The Spirit of the Union has been and will continue to be through
the collective strength of many.