Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has created an Urdu version of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national anthem to coincide with the country’s golden jubilee event.
The anthem, named ‘Watan,’ was formally launched on the UAE’s 50th National Day on December 2, and was handed to the UAE Embassy in Pakistan by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. This is the first time that Ishy Biladi, the UAE national anthem, has been translated into a language.
The almost seven-minute-long music video, which is a presentation of the Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai, features Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performing the song in his distinctive style against magnificent imagery displaying UAE’s history and legacy, as well as its tremendous progress and prosperity.
The anthem ‘Watan’ is a homage to the UAE from the many ethnicities residing in the country, notably those from South Asia, according to producer Sadia Abbasi, who is a Pakistani journalist working in Dubai.
Speaking to Khaleej Times Abbasi said Urdu and Hindi-speaking expats from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh make up the majority of the UAE’s population. Their children used to sing the UAE National Anthem in Arabic, but now they also listen to it in Urdu, she said.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was chosen to sing the song because of his enormous popularity in the UAE, she claimed. “He has a legion of followers in India and Pakistan, and he is also well-liked by Emiratis,” she remarked.
Muhammad Arsalan Saitti, an official in Pakistan’s consulate was in charge of the Urdu version of the ‘Watan’ anthem.