Every year, the UAE’s National Day celebration is one of the most important dates in the region’s live events calendar. With 2021 marking the country’s Golden Jubilee, the UAE National Projects Office pulled out all the stops, calling on most of the same team behind the hugely successful 49th National Day celebration in 2020 – which centred around a unique kinetic sculpture installed in the Abu Dhabi mangroves – to ensure that the extra-special anniversary would be celebrated in style. Reprising her role as Artistic Director and Designer, Es Devlin once again worked with LarMac PROJECTS Executive Creative Producer, Jo MacKay in leading the creative team, producing a spectacle that charted the country’s history in the lead-up to its inception in 1971 and throughout the subsequent 50 years.
“Following the success of the 49th UAE National Day, the client decided that they wanted Es to design the 50th. It was to be a big celebration of how the UAE has developed over the years,” began MacKay.
“This year, Es’s creativity was the most technically audacious and emotionally ambitious in order to deliver a country’s attitude to its past and future.” The show on 2 December was performed in front of an invited VIP audience and broadcast to key locations around the UAE, followed by 10 additional daily shows from 3-12 December – all featuring specially composed songs and poetry, drone-launched fireworks, a light show, water displays and 5.1 surround sound to convey the relationship between people and nature, and the ties between Emiratis, their homeland, and the environment.
Photos: D&D / Nicolas Chavance
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