ABU DHABI // The UAE's 37th National Day will spark three days of celebrations as diverse as the people who make up the country. Organisers have promised a feast of fireworks, concerts, dance, opera and poetry starting Dec 2 - the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Federation in 1971. National Day festivities have been marked by increasingly lavish shows and spectacles each year.
Fireworks will light up the sky for three nights at the new public beach on the Corniche, starting at 8.30pm on Tuesday with a show synchronised with the national anthem. There will be displays at 9pm on Dec 3 and Dec 4. Arab musicians will give concerts at the garden of the Emirates Palace hotel, including the Lebanese singer Elissa, local rising stars such as Al Wasmy, Ahlam and Al Jassmi, and Sherin, who is known as the "Voice of Egypt". The garden has a capacity of 7,000 and admission will be free on a first-come, first-served basis.
During the three days, the Khalifa Oil Complex Park next to the Corniche will be transformed into a heritage village, with cooking and handicraft demonstrations, and performances by dancers and students from government schools and colleges. The country's Micro Aviation Team will perform death-defying stunts over the Abu Dhabi Corniche beach in their micro-lite planes from 4pm onwards. In Dubai, National Day has started early with a programme of more than 46 events starting this week and continuing until Dec 4.
On Dec 1, a parade will be held from the Jumeirah Centre to Union Square, while the next day one will be held along Dubai Creek. Poetry evenings will be held on Dec 2-3 at times and places yet to be announced. The Executive Council has promised air shows in Hatta and Dubai between Dec 1 and 3. There will also be events in Dubai at Heritage Village, Mamzar Park, Al Safa Park, Jumeirah Park, Zabeel Park and Musharraf Park.
Nightly fireworks displays in Al Ain will start at 9.45pm in the desert at Bida Bint Saoud. Free concerts for 2,500 people will be given there by Iraq's Kadim al Sahir, the Emirate's Harbi al Amery and Egypt's Angham, among others. The Tunisian singer Latifa will also perform. The Western Region Municipality will also put on events between Dec 2 and 4. Firework displays will begin in Al Gharbia at 8pm, followed by concerts at the Cultural Centre Theatre in Bida Zayed.
Meanwhile, Lebanon's Caracalla Dance Theatre will perform Zayed and the Dream at the National Theatre in Abu Dhabi for three nights from Dec 2. Tickets can be obtained through the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. A theatrical opera portraying the history of the country will be performed at Zabeel Park in Dubai on Dec 2 and 3. Watch for more events in The National's National Day supplement, to be published on Dec 2.