First look: UAE's mangroves to be the star of grand National Day show

Staff Reporter /Abu Dhabi Filed on November 18, 2020

Supplied photo

Supplied photo

Supplied photo
(Enyo Manzano Photography)

Watch the epic live production from the comfort of your home on December 2.

Mangroves, which cover swathes of the UAE’s coastline, will be the star of this year’s epic National Day show, organisers revealed on Wednesday. These water-dwelling trees serve as the main visual inspiration for the spectacle that will narrate how the ‘seeds of the Union’ blossomed into the world-class nation that the UAE is today.

The grand production will be held in Abu Dhabi on December 2 and broadcast live to millions around the world. It was particularly designed as an event that people can enjoy from the comfort of their homes, as Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings remain in place.

Khalfan Al Mazrouei, member of the organising committee of the Official 49th National Day Celebration, said: “The mangroves are a big piece of our heritage and are part of our country’s natural beauty. It was decided that they would aesthetically be a wonderful inspiration for the visuals of the event.

“The title of the show is ‘Seeds of the Union’ and our mangroves represent the growth of the UAE — from a seed at the formation in 1971 into a full bloom we see 49 years later.

“We do not want to give away too much of the story, but we are extremely excited to share a truly beautiful production that reflects the UAE’s natural environment, history, values and hopes.”

Why mangroves?

Mangroves, which are small trees that grow in saltwater, are an important part of the UAE’s ecosystem. They protect the coastlines from erosion, provide a breeding ground for various fish species, and help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

In the 1970s, massive mangrove plantation programmes were put in place by the UAE’s founding father, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Today, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi works to rehabilitate and protect mangrove forests and in the last decade has been actively involved in leading a rehabilitation programme, planting 3.1 million mangrove saplings on the coasts of Al Gharbia, Saadiyat, Jubail and Habitat Island.

Historically, mangrove trees have been used by local populations as a source of fuel and building materials for houses and ships, due to their durability.

Curtain-raiser for Golden Jubilee

National Day is the annual celebration of the UAE’s formation on December 2, 1971. It brings together a multitude of nationalities in united celebration of inclusivity and tolerance.

Al Mazrouei added: “This year more than ever we have seen a spirit of togetherness in line with the UAE’s long-held values and we want to make sure everybody can be a part of National Day despite the challenges the world is currently facing.”

Accompanying the live performance will be a moving tribute to the UAE’s Founding Fathers. The event will act as a curtain-raiser for celebrations for the 50th UAE National Day Golden Jubilee.

In line with the UAE’s precautionary and preventive measures, the committee follows the highest standards of health and safety. This includes a Covid-19 testing policy for all teams and cast members involved in the show.

Staff Reporter

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