Abu Dhabi Corniche will come alive with National Day spirit this weekend
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, November 29 - 2012 at 15:00
- PRESS RELEASE
Abu Dhabi Corniche is set to get its own 41st UAE National Day entertainment makeover this weekend, with a raft of amazing free activities, balloon rides, performers and games aimed at engaging visitors in their tens of thousands who are expected to throng the UAE capital's main promenade.
A highlight will be daily hot air balloon rides, which will see would-be pilots jump onboard one of three,specially-designed crafts and soar up to 50 metres skywards for a bird's eye view of the Corniche and city.
Taking up to eight people at a time, the three balloons - which are adorned with portraits of the late Father of the Nation and the UAE's first President, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi; and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces - are free for the public with each trip lasting approximately 10 minutes.
Also taking to the skies over National Day will be the UAE's premier aerobatic team, Al Fursan(the Knights), which will amaze Abu Dhabi crowds with its breathtaking displays and gravity defying manoeuvres.
Flying with seven black and goldAeromacchi aircraft, representing the desert's golden sands and the black oil that lies beneath it as well as the UAE's seven member emirates, Al Fursan will take to the skies at 4pm on Sunday, and will be showing off signature moves such as the Palm andthe Heart, where the team uses smoke to draw the symbols in the sky. The iconic team will also do a practice demonstration at the same time on Saturday for those wanting a sneak-peek of the action.
For kids wanting to stay a bit closer to the ground while reaching for the skies, a bungee trampoline ride will be available for them tobounce high under the supervision of trained instructors.
Getting the blood pumping will be the Giant Pearl Race, where three human-size inflatable Zorb balls will be on the beach, allowing visitors to race one another in hilarious fashion. Other inflatable attractions include the 'race track', a safe bouncy course for kids to run around; a penalty shoot-out competition; and the 'rainbow fun park', an expansive interactive inflatable adventure game.
Future sailors can also try their hand at radio controlled miniature dhow racing on a specially designed aqua track.
A wealth of free interactive arts and crafts activities will also run on the Corniche such as Japanese paper folding origami classes, bracelet making workshops and UAE colour face painting as well as a traditional souq where visitors can pick up locally made trinkets, Arabian perfumes and other gifts. A heritage tent, managed by Family Development Foundation, will also be open on the plaza throughout where henna and basket weaving will be on show.
The main stage will be a focal point throughout the three days of celebration with magicians, bands, drummers and jugglers showing off their amazing talent. Four lucky winners will also walk away with two return Coral (economy) tickets each on the UAE's award-winning national airline, Etihad Airways, to any of its European destinations.
And the Cinema on the Beach, a super sized screen on the sand with beanbag seating, will be showing UAE-inspired documentaries and programmes to celebrate the 'Sprit of the Union' and educate residents and visitors alike on the emirate's rich history since its 1971 formation.
"The Corniche has always played a special role in Abu Dhabi's history, as both a meeting point for friends and families and as the heart of the emirate's maritime heritage, when dhow sailors used to ply their trade and travel the world. It is a fitting tribute to National Day that we re-energise the Corniche with many great shows, activities and educational attractions to celebrate this great achievement," said Sultan Al Muhairi, General Co-ordinator of 41st National Day Celebrations, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Huge National Day firework displays will also be staged on the Corniche on Saturday and Sunday evenings, lighting up the skyline in a burst of patriotic colour. More than 17,000 fireworks, or 'shots', will fly skywards each evening at 8.30pm from a collection of boats, barges and on-land stations.
With some shots reaching 150-metres in height, a seven-minute show featuring comets, tails, volcanoes and shells will kick-start proceedings on the Corniche on December 1, before synchronised 10-minute shows - extending to a staggering 600-metres in length - will wow National Day crowds numbering in the tens of thousands on both the Corniche and simultaneously at MadinatZayed in Al Gharbia.
All the weekend's displays are set to an original song - 'YaKhalifatna'(Our Khalifa) - inspired by the classic UAE song, 'ZanahaZayed' - a 1996 hit written by renowned Emirati poet Arif Al Khaja.The combined lyrics tell the story of how Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, beautified the fledgling UAE nation and how His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is extending his father's legacy.
Elsewhere in Abu Dhabi during National Day, a host of activities, shows and competitions will take place. Abu Dhabi's Yas Island Leisure Drive will come alive in a sea of red, white, black and green patriotism during a Union Car Parade, as thousands of creatively-dressed cars and 4x4s vie for shares of an AED 100,000 'Best Decorated' vehicle competition prize purse. The show starts at 5pm and participating public is being encouraged to arrive by 2pm to ease traffic congestion.
The breakwater opposite Abu Dhabi Corniche and next to Marina Mall will be one of the key activation areas and will feature Emirati shows at Abu Dhabi Theatre (November 28, 30 and December 2), a two-day Sailing Regetta (December 2-3) and a one-off Cultural Festival at the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village on National Day.
In an historic first, the exciting programme of events is truly emirate-wide this year and, in addition to several headline activations in Abu Dhabi's heritage heartland of Al Ain, superstar singers from across the Arab world will perform Khaleeji concerts at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), as well as Dalma Island and Madinat Zayed in Abu Dhabi's culture-rich Western Region on December 1 and 2. Also at ADNEC, the sixth Emirates Palm & Dates Festival runs until December 1. Traditional Ayala dancers will also be performing across the emirate from the Corniche, malls in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and in Emirates Palace hotel.
The Emirates Falconers Club in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Sports Council is also staging the Abu Dhabi Falconry Competitions until 3rd December at Al Wathba. The UAE's top experts will be battling it out across a number of competitions for a total cash prize of AED1 million plus 18 cars.
Meanwhile, residents of the Northern Emirates who want to visit the UAE capital for National Day can take advantage of an exclusive RAK Airways offer of one-way December 2ndflights from Ras Al KhaimahAirport to Abu Dhabi International Airport for only AED41*. Tickets can be bought at the airline's official website - www.rakairways.com - by calling its 24/7 call centre on 072075000 or visiting any of its UAE sales offices. Also, Rotana Jet will be operating additional flights from Abu Dhabi's Al Bateen Executive Airport to Sir BaniYas Island, home of the Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, on Friday and Sunday. For more information call 02 4440002.
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