we made national day celebrations feel local
Design a ceremony celebrating the UAE’s heritage, achievements, culture and aspirations
For the UAE’s 51st National Day – in honour of the country’s founding in 1971 – we were asked to create a one-day VIP showcase, followed by nine days of public performances, to celebrate this important annual event.
Bringing local values, heritage and people into focus
We wanted to highlight the values of the UAE by bringing its local culture, people and heritage front and centre, while also looking towards the country’s bright future.
And as this year’s event was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), we also wanted to make the most of this historical venue.
More than 90% of the props used for the ceremony were designed and built in the UAE, with local artisans showcasing their skills from puppets to props and scenery, many of which would be donated to local charities after the event.
The ceremony stage was designed as a time tunnel, with the performers arriving from the past at one end, then departing into the future at the other. The show took the audience on a visual timeline of the UAE, from the country’s founding to its latest innovations in energy, farming, transport and space exploration.
Parades, puppetry, music and films made the guests feel immersed in the uniqueness of the UAE throughout the ceremony. Young local performers led the way in highlighting the country’s hopes for the future.
All props were donated to UAE schools to help educate schoolchildren about marine conservation and sustainability.
98% of props sourced and built in the UAE.
10,000 mangroves plants have been planted since the ceremony.