Azerbaijan celebrates its Expo 2020 National Day with traditional music, dance and ‘nagara’ drums

DUBAI, 18 November 2021 – Azerbaijan celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 today (18 November) with an impressive line-up of cultural and entertainment performances, plus activities at Al Wasl Plaza and the Azerbaijan Pavilion.

Anar Alakbarov, Azerbaijan’s Commissioner General, and his team were welcomed by His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, and Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Commissioner General’s Office, Expo 2020 Dubai.

أذربيجان تحتفل بيومها الوطني في إكسبو 2020 دبي بالموسيقى والرقص التقليدي وطبول “الناغارا”
DUBAI, 18 November 2021. Azerbaijan National Day Parade, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Expo 2020 Dubai)

Noting that Azerbaijan assigns great importance to the development of its relations with the UAE, based on principles of mutual friendship and respect, with both nations historically connected by religious and cultural roots, HE Anar Alakbarov said: “The United Arab Emirates is one of the first countries that recognised the independence of Azerbaijan. Next year, we will mark the 30th anniversary of the creation of diplomatic relations. Over the years, the ties between the two countries have dynamically developed in various fields

“We witness the constant increase of trade exchanges and investment flows between both countries as a result of the strong economic cooperation and strategic partnerships. We are happy to observe that Azerbaijan has become a popular destination for UAE citizens to travel, deal with commercial activities and investments.

DUBAI, 18 November 2021. A Cultural Performer seen outside the Azerbaijan Pavilion during Azerbaijan National Day , Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by CE/Expo 2020 Dubai)

“Of course, we have to note the importance of the political will and friendly relations of the two countries’ leaders in achieving the current high level of bilateral ties. Azerbaijan has a rapidly growing economy, which creates investment opportunities for foreign business … I would also like to invite UAE investors to participate in the renovation and infrastructure works currently being implemented in the recently liberated territories of Azerbaijan.”

Najeeb Al Ali said: “At Expo 2020, Azerbaijan is engaging with the international community and seeking new partnerships, with the aim of capitalising on the global youth in order to ensure a brighter and sustainable future for all. Azerbaijan’s nature-inspired pavilion, themed ‘Seeds for the Future’, encourages us to consider the impact of our individual choices – investing in the future now to restore balance to our natural world, planting seeds today for a better tomorrow.”

Following the National Day ceremony at the Stage of Nations at Al Wasl Plaza, the celebrations moved to the Azerbaijan Pavilion, with outdoor music performances by Azerbaijani artists Shahriyar Imanov, Shukur Aliyev and Babir Babirov. This was followed by the Natig Rhythm Group, led by Natig Shirinov – a master of the nagara drum, which is popular in Azerbaijan – for a percussion set, with traditional dance courtesy of the Mirvari Dance Group.

DUBAI, 18 November 2021. A Cultural performerance seen during Azerbaijan National Day Cermony in Al Wasl Plaza, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Omar Marques/Expo 2020 Dubai)

The UAE and Azerbaijan already enjoy a strong, prosperous relationship. With the International Office of the Dubai Chamber in Azerbaijan, and over USD 500 million in bilateral trade in 2020, Expo will be used to explore other areas of mutual interest, such as investments, renewable energy, and information and communication technology.

The Azerbaijan Pavilion features interactive experiences and an external stage, where Azerbaijan’s rich culture and heritage is made accessible for visitors to learn about and enjoy. The pavilion’s leaf-shaped roof symbolises an endless energy process, and every leaf transforms the sun’s energy into vital power.

DUBAI, 18 November 2021. A Cultural performerance seen during Azerbaijan National Day Cermony in Al Wasl Plaza, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Omar Marques/Expo 2020 Dubai)

National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of the World Expo’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements, and showcasing their pavilions and programming. Each features a flag-raising ceremony at the Stage of Nations in Al Wasl Plaza, followed by speeches and cultural performances.

Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 invites visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.