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Forming part of the organising committee of the festival, HQWS was responsible for the planning, design, logistics management, infrastructure and delivery of the festival and main opening ceremony.

Carrying the name of the Father of the Nation, it was extremely important to raise the profile of the festival in comparison to other cultural festivals in the UAE in order to honour his legacy and focus on his endeavour to promote the cultural identity of the UAE.

Covering an area of over 400,000 sqm, the festival offered a variety of cultural activities, camel and horse parades, UAE cultural troupes numbering over 5,000, and a traditional souk with 200 shops offering local products, traditional Emirati handicrafts and workshops with 150 demonstrators. The festival also featured a unique experience that took visitors through the four distinct landscapes of the UAE, a classic cars exhibition, a fun fair and a 3,000 sqm exhibition entitled “Memories of a Nation” which displayed over 2,000 images and documents dating back hundreds of years, including some never seen before footage of the late HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan.

The opening ceremony was made up of 3,000 cultural entertainers performing traditional dances and chants, 2,000 camels, 200 Arabian horses, and an operetta detailing the characteristics of the various populations that live in the UAE; the people of the desert, mountain, sea and oasis. A special guest appearance was made by renowned Arab singer, Hussain Al Jasmi.

The festival was highly praised by their Highnesses and visitors, and boasted record attendance and participation in the traditional and cultural activities.

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