Illustration by Ahmed Bilal

Here’s how to make the most out of UAE National Day

UAE National Day weekend is around the corner. What can we do to celebrate the holiday, and what events are happening around the country during this period?

Nov 21, 2022

The second of December marks the 51st National Day for the United Arab Emirates. With the announcement of a public holiday from the first to the fourth of December, here are some ways you can celebrate the occasion off-campus.
Witness incredible fireworks across the Emirates
Every year, National Day fireworks displays across the country get more elaborate. These displays defy expectations when you think it would be impossible to beat the last, which makes this an event you cannot miss.
In Dubai you can see the displays in Dubai Festival City, JBR, La Mer, Al Seef, and of course, Burj Khalifa, whereas in Abu Dhabi, you could catch a show at Al Maryah Island, Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, Emirates Palace, and Corniche — where you can take in the view from the beach, or watch the show from the balcony of a restaurant at Nation Towers. During the afternoon of National Day, you can also witness the National Day Airshow at Corniche.
Learn about the culture of the UAE at the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival
Open from Nov.18 to Mar. 18 at Al Wathba, the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival is the place to go to learn and experience Emirati Culture through food, art, and a variety of activities for all. Some events at this location include camel races, falconry shows, and a new union parade as part of National Day celebrations. This is also another great place for you to watch fireworks.
Attend the Emirates Dubai 7s
The Dubai 7s is the largest sporting and entertainment festival in the Middle East. From Dec. 1 to Dec. 3, you can watch athletes from all around the world play rugby, cricket, and netball as you enjoy food and live music played by international DJs — such as Cuban Brothers, Gorgon City, and Craig David presents TS5.
Visit Dubai Parks and Resorts with friends
Dubai Parks and Resorts is the Middle East’s largest integrated theme park and it features a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions in Motiongate, Bollywood Parks, and Legoland. You can ride the Hunger Games themed Capitol Bullet Train at Motiongate, get your henna done at Bollywood Parks, or cool down at the waterpark at Legoland. You can purchase tickets for one or all of the parks, or, if you are looking to snag a great offer, do not forget to keep a lookout for promotions. Also, check out the Park’s annual national day celebration from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4.
Indulge in traditional Emirati Cuisine
Immerse yourself in Emirati culture and try a range of different dishes, including harees, machboos, and lgeimat/luqaimat, and enjoy a cup of karak tea. Try Meylas, get a feel of homemade food at Yadoo’s House (Grandma’s house), or experience traditional dining at Al Mandi & Al Madhbi House.
Liyan Mustafa is a Deputy Features Editor. Email her at
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