Expo 2020’s Golden Jubilee celebrations promise breathtaking showcase of UAE’s meteoric rise since founding in 1971

  • ‘Year of the 50th’ spirit will invigorate Entire Expo 2020 site on 2 December
  • World-class programme to evoke sense of UAE national pride in every Expo visitor
  • Emirati singing star Eida Al Menhali, UAE Air Force, immersive theatre to feature

DUBAI, 24 November 2021 – A four-day slate of world-class events and immersive Emirati experiences at Expo 2020 Dubai will mark 50 years since the founding of the UAE in show-stopping style as the country celebrates its Golden Jubilee with renewed optimism for the next half century.

Running from 1-4 December, the site-wide celebration – taking each and every visitor to Expo on a journey of authentic Emirati experiences and stories – will include world-class ceremonies, exceptional musical showcases, meaningful cross-cultural conversations, culturally-fused performances and engaging exhibits.

As announced by the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, 2021 is known as ‘The Year of the 50th’. Commemorating 50 years since the founding of the UAE in 1971, it is a moment to reflect on the remarkable journey of its ‘Early Dreamers’ as the nation looks to the next 50 years with the same bold ambition.


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Highlights at Expo 2020 include UAE National Day, celebrated every year to commemorate 2 December 1971 when the UAE declared independence as a sovereign nation following the efforts of UAE Founding Father, the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to unite the emirates.

From 1015 GST on Thursday, 2 December, visitors are invited to Expo 2020’s UAE National Day Ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza, including the raising of the flag, high-level speeches and anthem performances by a children’s choir, concluding with an Al Azi Performance by Al Wasmi. This will also feature alongside horses of the Dubai Police and the UAE Ministry of Interior Marching Band in the ‘Colours of the World Parade’ between 1245 and 1315 GST.

Simultaneously, a performance of ‘Al Azi’, where an Arabic poet leads a chorus that ‘answers’ his call, will take place at 1300 GST at Al Wasl Plaza in a truly authentic celebration of pride in the traditional Arab values of unity, solidarity and courage. A gravity-defying aerial performance by Dubai Police will follow shortly after, alongside a 30-minute musical showcase by Emirati singer Fatma Zahrat Al Ain, and a jaw-dropping flyover display by the UAE Air Force aerobatics team ‘Al Fursan’.

Visitors are also invited to Expo’s Jubilee Stage and Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre (DMA) to watch a live broadcast of the UAE National Day Ceremony, broadcast from Hatta, from 1730 GST.

DMA will host ‘Journey of a Thread’, a live performance of Emirati craftsmanship that dives into the heart of Emirati culture, followed by a not-to-be-missed fireworks display at 2000 GST and headline concert by Emirati singing star Eida Al Menhali at Jubilee Stage from 2030 GST.

The diamond in the crown of Expo 2020’s Programming will be Al Wasl Plaza’s immersive theatrical show, ‘Journey of the 50th’. Set to take place from 01-04 December, the show will push the boundaries of what is possible in Al Wasl Plaza, featuring a blend of human performance, theatrics and the unique capabilities of the venue in a never-before-seen way. Over 200 hundred performers including Particpating Countries will take part of this theatrical show.

Amna Abulhoul, Executive Creative Director, Events and Entertainment, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “In the spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai, the story of ‘Journey of the 50th’ embodies the meaning of the quote ‘We are not a country in a world – we are world in a country’ by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. As the show unfolds, we will learn about the origins of the Emirati people, the people of this land, who follow the current of the sea, know the language of the stars and hear the wind as it speaks. Their true connection to the earth and how the values of our forefathers still continue to push us forward today.”

Further details on UAE National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai can be found below.

In addition, December 2021 at Expo 2020 is packed full with unmissable Emirati events, attractions, and performances in celebration of the UAE Golden Jubilee, from calligraphy to pearl diving, the Bedouin lifestyle to the Dubai story, abayas to camel milk cafés. Further details of which can be found here.


Thursday 2 December |UAE National Day at Expo 2020

0900 – 0915 | Expo Portal Opening – – Generations and Strytellers from the UAE (Sustainability Portal)

1000 – 1300 | Emirati Welcome Performers (Welcome Plazas)

1015 – 1100 | Expo 2020 UAE National Day Ceremony (Al Wasl Plaza)

1045 – 1130 | UAE Ministry of Interior Police Marching Band (Horizon Ave to Sea Plaza)

1245 – 1315 | Colours of the World Parade (Ghaf Avenue)

1300 – 1305 | Al Azi performance (Al Wasl Plaza)

1400 – 1404 | Gravity by Dubai Police (Al Wasl Avenue)

1515 – 1545 | ‘Music in the Garden’ – Fatma Zahrat Al Ain (Al Wasl Plaza)

1600 – 1602 | ‘Al Fursan’ air show

1600 – 1630 | ‘Journey of a Thread’ immersive show (DMA)

1600 – 1900 | Ayala Performers (Welcome Plazas)

1630 – 1700 | Rashid & Latifa’s Parade (Ghaf Circle)

1700 – 1730 | Journey of a Thread (DMA)

1700 – 1800 | UAE Ministry of Interior Police Marching Band (Ghaf Avenue to Earth Plaza)

1730 – 1900 | UAE National Day Ceremony live broadcast from Hatta, UAE (Jubilee Stage and DMA)

1800 – 1830 | Foala World Majlis (Sea Stage)

1930 – 2000 | ‘Journey of a Thread’ immersive show (DMA)

1930 – 2000 | ‘Journey of the 50’ immersive show (Al Wasl Plaza)

1930 – 2000 | ‘Journey of the 50’ live stream (Jubilee Stage)

2000 – 2005 | National Day Fireworks (over Al Wasl Avenue / DEC roof)

2015 – 2020 | Al Emarat Sky Divers (Al Forsan Park)

2030 – 2200 | Eidha Al Menhali headline concert (Jubilee Stage)

2200 – 2215 | Drone Show (Sustainability gate)

2200 – 2300 | DJ (Jubilee Stage)

2330 – 0030 | Exposonix – 16-piece National Day musical performance (Jubilee Stage)

Media requesting bookable facilities e.g. studios, stand-up positions or platforms as well as information about broadcast feeds should contact media.bookings@expo2020.ae or 054 306 4169