Watch: orchestra performs the UAE's national anthem in Dubai desert

Musicians representing about 190 nations have been brought together in the Dubai desert to perform the UAE national anthem
Watch: orchestra performs the UAE's national anthem in Dubai desert
The orchestral performance of Ishy Bilady – which translates as Long Live My Country – also included seven Emirati musicians, symbolising each of the UAE’s emirates.
By Sam Bridge
Tue 27 Nov 2018 01:48 PM

Musicians representing about 190 nations have been brought together in the Dubai desert to perform an unprecedented rendition of the UAE national anthem.

The performance is part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s celebrations to mark the 47th UAE National Day and the Year of Zayed – honouring the country’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The orchestral performance of Ishy Bilady – which translates as Long Live My Country – also included seven Emirati musicians, symbolising each of the UAE’s emirates.

It was filmed by the UAE’s first female director, the award-winning Nayla Al Khaja..

The multinational orchestra is a vivid illustration of Expo 2020’s global impact, days after it was announced that 190 countries have confirmed participation, a statement said.

It added that this number surpasses the 180-nation commitment set out in Dubai’s successful 2013 bid to host the World Expo in 2020.

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

The orchestra then performs a stirring rendition of Ishy Bilady, while an Emirati Expo 2020 volunteer presents the lyrics of the national anthem in sign language.

Dr Hayat Shamsuddin, vice president – Arts and Culture, Content and Programming, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Watching this beautiful rendition of our national anthem was so moving. Nayla Al Khaja has captured the spirit of tolerance and unity that exists in the UAE, where more than 200 nationalities live in perfect harmony.”

Al Khaja added: “The film was on a completely different scale than anything I’ve ever worked on. The sheer size of the production was astounding. I absolutely loved the challenge.”

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