44th National Day – Abu Dhabi

Designing and delivering aerial props for this prestigious ceremony

The Brief

NEWSUBSTANCE were engaged by Five Currents to design and deliver aerial props that would support a key sequence within the narrative of the show celebrating Abu Dhabi’s 44th National Day.

Event Statistics

The stunning show was watched by a capacity 45,000 audience at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi and carried by all the leading Gulf region TV networks to an audience of millions.

— Client

Five Currents

— Location

Abu Dhabi, UAE

The Outcome

NEWSUBSTANCE’s creative response comprised seven, 3.8m inflatable ‘Pearls’ – one for each of the seven states that followed Sheikh Zayed in establishing the UAE 44 years ago. The challenge was in the delicate pearlescent finish required to reinforce the notion of a giant Pearl and ensuring that they would read within a large stadium environment. The solution was achieved by double skinning each Pearl and stitching a lightweight, shimmery material to the gas fabric envelope. Overcoming the differential stitch characteristics of the two fabrics whilst ensuring that the double skin solution didn’t impact on the Pearls’ lift capacity were critical issues faced and overcome.

Each Pearl was helium filled and operated by a pair of ground crew working with customised rope bags and under instruction from NEWSUBSTANCE. As each Pearl entered onstage they were flown out to predetermined heights and positioned over and above a projected image of their corresponding state’s founding father.