The UAE Golden Jubilee Committee announces the end of a successful Year of the 50th celebrations. In 2021, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, declared 2021 as ‘The Year of the 50th’ to commemorate 50 years since the nation’s founding in 1971. The ‘Year of the 50th’ officially ran from April 6th 2021 until March 31st 2022, coinciding with the UAE’s hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai. The celebration was an investment in people-building first – using this inflection point to celebrate the UAE’s remarkable journey over the last 50 years and prepare the nation for the transformative change in the next 50.
The committee announced several initiatives for everyone who calls the UAE home throughout the year, including The Early Dreamers, Letters to the Future, the Fellowship Program, 50 Days to 50, Letters to the Nation, First Step, and Faces to Watch. The various phases of the Year of the 50th celebrations reflected on the remarkable first 50 years of the nation, drew the ambitions for the next 50 years and paved the way for a future that brings everyone that calls the UAE home together.
The initiatives saw great participation across all Emirates from various age groups and demographics. The Golden Jubilee Committee announced the successful results of the initiatives announced throughout the year.
- Early Dreamers – an initiative that encouraged the public to share their stories that shaped the nation over the last 50 years. More than 100 shared stories of their family members, friends and loved ones. These tales were shared and celebrated on the Year of the 50th digital channels and daily local newspapers allowing communities across all seven emirates to be inspired by them and honour their contributions.
- Letters to the Future – The initiative invited all those who call the UAE home to write a letter to their future selves. The letters received from various age groups and demographics across all Emirates cover fourteen themes, including Sustainability, Art, Technology and Medicine. More than 130 individuals submitted letters to their future selves, mapping out their dreams and envisioning their future in the UAE.
- First Step – The initiative encouraged everyone that calls the UAE home to envision themselves as key contributors and builders of the nation and throughout the next 50 years. The initiative received more than 700 participations that identified an actionable first step towards achieving goals and turning dreams into reality.
- Faces to Watch – The initiative invited the UAE public to submit stories of them working towards realising projects that positively impact the UAE’s future. The campaign focused on the untold stories of individuals who are influential in shaping the UAE’s present and contributing to the UAE Centennial 2071. More than 46 individuals across the country participated in the campaign.
During the year, the committee invited the UAE public for nationwide celebrations marking a 50-day countdown to the 50th UAE National Day on December 2nd, 2021. The initiative, titled 50 days to 50, invited all who call the UAE home to start celebrating the 50th National Day through a series of activities posted daily on the official UAE National Day social media platforms. These activities included visiting attractions, discovering hidden gems around the country, learning and singing the UAE’s national anthem, submitting photographs of different locations in the country that are meaningful to them, and participating in the joyous celebrations leading up to the National Day with their friends and family.
On December 2nd, 2021, the 50th National Day show took place in the scenic landscape of Hatta’s dams and Hajar mountains. The celebrations featured a sculpture set on a floating stage in the middle of the Hatta Dam amidst the breathtaking landscape of Hatta. The UAE 50th National Day show, which highlighted the strong bonds between the people of the UAE and nature, was performed in chapters detailing UAE’s pre-union, historical moments from the last fifty years, and imagining the UAE’s Future in the next fifty years.
400 Pyro Drones released flares and Pyrotechnics during the show, which also featured 97 Iconic UAE buildings, 101 animals, 98 plants, 200 Nano LED Drones, 138 members of the cast, and 18 Wusooms (Tribe marks) that represented the different tribes and families in the UAE.
The creation of the UAE 50th National Day show took more than 147 days, with a team of more than 1,400 individuals from over 100 nationalities working for more than one million and 500 thousand man-hours on site.
Citizens and residents in the UAE had the opportunity to attend the spectacular UAE National Day theatre stage performance that ran until December 12th. Tickets for the live show in Hatta, which ran for nine days, were sold out. Additionally, everyone in the UAE had the opportunity to watch the broadcasted show on all local TV Channels and the National Day’s official website. Screenings were also organised in all seven emirates for the public, including cinemas, cultural spaces, and public places.
Following the successful celebrations for the Year of the 50th, and as the UAE prepares for the next 50 years, details on the upcoming theme for 2022 will be announced soon.