UAE National Day holidays: Expo 2020 to have fireworks, marching bands, horses

Stellar performances to take place to mark Golden Jubilee from December 1-4


Nandini Sircar

Published: Wed 24 Nov 2021, 5:26 PM

Expo 2020 is gearing up for a stellar lineup of events as the nation celebrates 50 years since the birth of the UAE, promising visitors' emotional days' bursting with surprises.

Fireworks and several shows across four days with over 150 performers will start entertaining audiences from December 1, paying tribute to the country and its people - right from acknowledging the visionary character of its great leaders to the endeavours of its people who are the nation's soul.

During a media briefing on Wednesday, Amna Abulhoul, Executive Creative Director of Expo 2020, says, "We have a festive weekend, which is the Golden Jubilee weekend, that starts at 9am and goes on till 2am. The country reaches 50 years only once in a lifetime, and we want to make sure that from the time the gates open to the time till the gates close, everyone will be celebrating 'emotional' days."


Abulhoul underlines that Emirati events, attractions and performances, and fusion shows by different world artists will pay homage to the people of this land and the persons who narrated the UAE's story from the beginning until now.

On December 2, the UAE National Day Ceremony will commence at the Al Wasl Plaza on the Stage of Nations with a flag hoisting. Children from around the world will sing the National Anthem.

She adds, "Every day there will be a surprise, every hour there will be another surprise. This is the first time in the world that a country is celebrating their big day with the world."

"It's really exciting to see the fusion performances and how they are integrated with us as one. This golden jubilee weekend is not only a celebration of the UAE turning 50 but the world turning to one."

A headline talent will be on the main stage of the Al Wasl Plaza and will be accompanied by 50 men from different tribes across the seven emirates. The colourful World Parade will then come in with National Day elements like horses and a marching band; the national anthem choir will lead this parade.

Visitors are also invited to Expo's Jubilee Stage and Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre (DMA) to watch a live broadcast of the UAE National Day Ceremony, broadcast from Hatta, from 1730 GST.

DMA will host 'Journey of a Thread', a live performance of Emirati craftsmanship that dives into the heart of Emirati culture, followed by a not-to-be-missed fireworks display at 2000 GST and a headline concert by Emirati singer Eida Al Menhali at Jubilee Stage from 2030 GST.

The diamond in the crown of Expo 2020's Programming will be Al Wasl Plaza's immersive theatrical show, 'Journey of the 50th'. Set to take place from December 1-4, the show will push the boundaries of what is possible in Al Wasl Plaza, featuring a blend of human performance, theatrics and the unique capabilities of the venue in a never-before-seen way. Over 200 hundred performers, including participating countries, will take part of this theatrical show.

"Visitors can also enjoy the 'story of the thread'- created purely by us- story of a boy listening to his grandmother. So we want to bring nostalgia with modernity in all that we do. We want to create celebrations that are different from anywhere around the world", highlights Abulhoul.

"In the spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai, the story of 'Journey of the 50th' embodies the meaning of the quote 'We are not a country in a world - we are world in a country' by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai."

"As the show unfolds, we will learn about the origins of the Emirati people, the people of this land, who follow the current of the sea, know the language of the stars and hear the wind as it speaks. Their true connection to the Earth and how the values of our forefathers still continue to push us forward today."

The Al Azi performance, which consists of rhymed verses in the style of traditional Arabic poetry, will sum up 50 years since the nation's formation into 10 lines of poetry.

Meanwhile, giant screens at different stages in Expo 2020, will broadcast the nation's official 50th National Day celebrations across different sites at Expo 2020.

"Till now, we have 95 participating countries and are expecting much more by the time the National Day show starts. What makes the show very unique are these participating nations. Visitors will never get bored. I guarantee this will be one of the best festive weekends anyone would have enjoyed with their families", says Abulhoul.

Expo organisers also insinuate at a different ticket price during December, while the visitor numbers at the world fair crossed four million in November. Over 120,000 visitors took advantage of the Dhs45 November Weekday Pass offer.

In addition, December 2021 at Expo 2020 is packed full with unmissable Emirati events, attractions, and performances in celebration of the UAE Golden Jubilee, from calligraphy to pearl diving, the Bedouin lifestyle to the Dubai story, abayas to camel milk cafés. Further details of which can be found here.

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