UAE National Day Fort Al Jahili Architectural Projection Mapping

In another effort with Obscura Digital, Fort Al Jahili in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates was illuminated with a artistic montage of country history for the 40th UAE National Day Celebration. In contrast to our other contribution to the festivities, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque illumination, this show delved deep into Emirati culture to bring the story of a unique monument to life on its facade.


This historical show opens with a powerful symbol of pride and strength: the Falcon swooping across the vast dunes of the nation moving into a visual representation of the journey of the UAE through historical images. A spectacular montage of light reveals a lifelike underwater scene, which seamlessly transitions into a beautiful night sky of the Arabian Gulf representing the significance of the early pearl trade. The early life of Sheikh Zayed is also illustrated in artistic Bedouin and falconry scenes, followed by the navigational devices and night skies, caravans of camels and negotiations of historic significance. The sand dunes transition to reveal daytime at the Fort like curtains opening onto a desert oasis scene. Here we see the aflaj – irrigation system, which consisted of underground tunnels that channeled water from the aquifers to the oases. This water enabled for date palms to be planted, gardens to flourish and farms to develop, encouraging the settlement in the area.

The show concludes with a quote of Sheikh Zayed of peace and unity: the tribes of the UAE coming together, the founding fathers, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and current leaders of the nation. With the backdrop of history, we see the flag waving in the wind in star filled night sky over Al Ain.

This show was a smaller scale than the mosque projection, but added an important element to to festivities for a more intimate audience in a closer community. The project consisted of 5 projections of 18,000 lumens each, and was controlled and mapped with Derivative’s Touch Designer software toolkit, our go-to weapon for this kind of task.