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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Orchestra representing Expo 2020 countries celebrates UAE National Day with anthem 

The performance was part of Dubai Expo 2020's celebrations to mark the 47th UAE National Day on December 2

A choir made up of people from the 190 countries committed to taking part in Expo 2020 sang Ishy Bilady - the UAE national anthem. Courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai
A choir made up of people from the 190 countries committed to taking part in Expo 2020 sang Ishy Bilady - the UAE national anthem. Courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai

Musicians from around the world - and one Emirati musician from the seven emirates - came together in the Dubai desert for a rousing rendition of the UAE National anthem.

The performance was part of Dubai Expo 2020's celebrations to mark the 47th UAE National Day on December 2.

Organisers said 190 musicians came from all the nations that have pledged to participate at the Expo in two years time.

The performance of Ishy Bilady - which translates as Long Live My Country - was filmed by the UAE's first female director, Nayla Al Khaja.

"The film was on a completely different scale than anything I’ve ever worked on, Ms Al Khaja said. "The sheer size of the production was astounding. I absolutely loved the challenge."

The video begins with a shot of Dubai's desert landscape where, nestled between the dunes, sits an empty stage.

The choir. Courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai
The choir. Courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai

The seven Emirati musicians take their position before being joined onstage by a choir made up of a diverse group of people from across the UAE, and the rest of the orchestra, who begin to tune their instruments.

“Watching this beautiful rendition of our national anthem was so moving," said Hayat Shamsuddin, Vice President of Arts & Culture Content at Programming for Expo 2020.

She said the Expo team wanted to create something special and impactful to mark the Year of Zayed and to showcase the UAE's hospitality.

"This production is a wonderfully fitting ode to our great nation,” she said.

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