UAE National Day celebrations: Hatta's grand show takes centre stage; as it happened

Fireworks and projections dazzled the crowd

By Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Thu 2 Dec 2021, 5:14 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Dec 2021, 7:09 PM

The mountain enclave of Hatta will stage the UAE's grand show to celebrate 50 years of the country’s union.

The UAE is in the grip of unparalleled patriotic fervour as citizens and expatriates alike brace to watch a livestream of the Golden Jubilee celebrations from the Hatta mountains, a site that delineates the country's past and future.


And it promises to be a spectacular affair. There will be a 'floating lake on a lake' and drones that will set off fireworks to tell the UAE story.

Watch the full video below.

Latest updates:


Show comes to an end

The emotionally gripping show of the UAE's past, present and future comes to an end, marking the beginning of a new era for the UAE.


Breathtaking performance wows crowds

The sculpture reveals complex data networks in a stunning light display of the possibilities of our future.


Celebrating UAE's nature

A falcon appears moving with its shadow on the sculpture, while it turns to reveal the rich flora and fauna of the UAE.


Women dreaming for the future

Three young girls take centre stage, representing the young versions of accomplished Emirati women writing letters to their future selves.

The girls are young Nora Al Matrooshi, today’s UAE's first Arab woman training to be an astronaut; Maitha Bu Ghunoom, PhD candidate focusing her research on Dugongs in Abu Dhabi; and Tufool Al Nuaimi, leading data scientist who uses machine learning to provide data automation services to companies worldwide.


Dazzling fireworks light up the sky

The giant sculpture projects images of today's UAE as dazzling fireworks light up the skies of Hatta.


Key moments of UAE story highlighted

Rare archival images are projected on the sculpture, marking key moments in the history of the nation until the present moment.

Black and white footage project early pearl diving, ports and bridges and move forward to highlighting recent achievements, including Hope Probe’s arrival to Mars and Expo 2020 Dubai.


Leaders honour the nation's anthem

UAE’s leaders stand for the UAE national anthem as part of the 50th National Day celebrations in Hatta.


Zayed transformed a nation

Projections of desert and oases, punctuated with palm trees, transform into modern landmarks of the UAE including Burj Khalifa, Museum of the Future, forts and and towers.


Zayed’s silhouette makes an appearance

Silhouette of late UAE Founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan overshadows the signatures of the seven founding leaders as engraved in the accord of the union.


Key women in UAE history celebrated

Profiles of five powerful women are projected on the giant sculpture in tribute of their integral role in the UAE’s story as a nation.

Among the women are Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s grandmother Sheikha Hessa bint Al Murr Al Falasi, the wife of Sheikh Zayed’s grandfather Sheikha Maitha bint Salmeen Al Mansoori and ending with the Mother of The Nation Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.


Crown Prince of Dubai among attendees

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, was one among many others in attendance at the 50th National Day celebrations in Hatta.


Giant sculpture shines with tribe marks

Lines shine on the surface of a giant egg-shaped sculpture centred on a floating lake on the deep teal water of the reservoir at the Hatta Dam, representing the marks old tribes used to mark their livestock.


Men chant across mountains

Male performers chant Nadbat Al Shihuh, an ancient mountainous and cultural ceremonial cry native to the UAE tribe of Shihuh, setting the scene for the grand 50th National Day celebrations in Hatta.


Grand show begins

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, arrive to Hatta Dam for the official National Day celebration that will take the audience on a mesmerising journey through the UAE’s ancient past leading up to the union and the 50 years of progress that followed.


15 minutes left until the grand celebration

The sun is setting on Hatta Dam as the UAE gears up for a stunning spectacular in celebration of its 50th National Day, a historic milestone that paves the way towards an extraordinary future.

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