National Day show in Abu Dhabi: “epic” and “unprecedented”

The largest and most complex stage ever built for an Official UAE National Day Celebration event will serve as a fitting metaphor for the country’s role in today’s globalised world, according to the press release from the Organising Committee of the Official 48th UAE National Day Celebration.

The one-night-only show is a high-tech AV spectacular called ‘Legacy of Our Ancestors’ that promises “to highlight how traditional values continue to underline the UAE’s heritage and culture”.

The counter-argument that the ‘Legacy of Our Ancestors’’ might be better served by something less organised and more spontaneous has obviously been superseded. Ten years ago National Day was celebrated with joyfully disorganized, haphazard and largely unplanned gatherings of crowds on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche with over-decorated cars, impromptu trick skaters, much genial mischief-making with spray foam, and no admission charges.

Instead this year will see an “epic” theatrical show. The Organizing Committee says it has used “a large group” of designers and production specialists to “take the audience on a journey which has never been witnessed before” with the predictable “cutting-edge visual and audio technology” to deliver “value-rich stories passed down through generations”.

It will undoubtedly be spectacular, both in content and form – Saeed Al Suwaidi from the Organizing Committee talked of “a unique architectural marvel” and rolled out the numbers:

“We have constructed a stage that occupies an area of 10,000 square metres; equivalent to the size of eight Olympic pools … The stage is equipped with 22 HD screens rising 12 metres high, weighing a total of 37 tonnes, which will produce the visuals assisted by 2,500 LED units and 1,000 light fixtures. This vast network of visual equipment required 60 kilometres of cabling to ensure that all units are synced to produce the stunning imagery and videos on display.”

‘Legacy of Our Ancestors’ takes place at Zayed Sports City Stadium from 4pm on 2 December. A limited number of tickets are available from the website at AED 60.


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