The UAE National Day, which falls on December 2 is mere days away, and the country is in for another long weekend. Holidays for the 51st National Day will run from Thursday, December 1 to Sunday, December 4, so you better gear up for an action-packed weekend of celebrations, special offers, and events that commemorate the union of the seven emirates in 1971 to form the UAE. We’ve rounded up the best of things to do around the UAE this National Day.
1 . Special UAE Residents offer to explore the magical Insta-worthy Gaudí, Kandinsky & Klee digital art exhibition
One of the most magical experiences to land in Dubai this year has been the immersive Gaudí, Kandinsky & Klee Experience which has been blowing up all over social media. This spellbinding exhibition at The Dubai Mall’s Infinity Des Lumieres combines colourful 360-degree projections of art from three great minds, mesmerizing music and state-of-the-art technology that creates an unforgettable experience that should top everyone’s must-visit list. You can do that this National Day weekend for a steal thanks to their special UAE residents offer. Adult tickets can be purchased for AED 99 per person instead of the regular AED 110 and children’s tickets will be available to purchase at a reduced price of AED 49 instead of the usual AED 70. The offer runs from November 30 to December 3.
You’re going to have one of the most thrilling ‘how I spent my long weekend’ stories to share when you resume work on December 5 if you sign up for this kickass Murder Mystery Experience at Al Seef Heritage Hotel Hilton Dubai. On December 3 and 4, you and your friends can fulfill your dreams of donning the detectives’ hat become Sherlock Homes for a day and that too with a special 15% discount for National Day. This immersive, one-of-a-kind experience will see you engage in an investigation to crack the murder of an archaeology professor and his wife that has been committed inside the ancient Bait Al Zumurrud – The Emerald House. The year the experience is set in is 1910, so you’ll feel like you’ve stepped inside a classic hardboiled detective novel!
3. Catch Indian Indipop icon Lucky Ali live in concert
The voice that’s symbolic of 90s Indian pop music and nostalgia, Lucky Ali, is set to serenade fans on December 3 at Agenda Dubai Media City. The singer who’s known for his iconic hits such as O Sanam, Ek Pal Ka Jeena, Safarnama and more will floor Dubai with his soulful, gravelly voice as part of the ongoing Winter Music Fest happening at The Agenda. Until January 14, you can enjoy an array of performances by musical stars from the Indian subcontinent. Tickets are still available from AED 99 here. Show starts at 8pm
So you didn’t book an exotic getaway to make the most of your National Day long weekend. We’ve found you the next best thing: a virtual trip of South Korea at an innovative cultural exhibition! The Korea: Cubically Imagined, immersive exhibition in a unique combination of Korean content that lets you attend a BTS concert, step inside the film sets of Parasite and see exhibits from the National Palace Museum of Korea. It’s even better than binge-watching K-Drama on Netflix this long weekend because it brings to life all of the cultural experiences and ways of life you’ve watched through a screen to life! The free exhibition is taking place at Mall of the Emirates’ Art Centre until December 3.
5. Go on a Karak Chai walking tour
The one thing all UAE residents, irrespective of nationality, emirate, and age can agree on is our shared love for Karak chai. Rove Hotels has teamed up with Project Chaiwala and Frying Pan Adventures, the city’s leading walking food tour company, to create a special UAE National Day Food and Chai Tour on December 3. We can’t think of a better way of paying homage to the UAE than hitting the bricks to discover places that serve the country’s (unofficial) national drink.
Frying Pan Adventure’s expert guides will walk you through the city’s hidden gems that serve this delicious drink and help you discover new favourite street food spots. The 2-hour-experience kickstarts at Rove City Centre, where you’ll be served a steaming cup of Karak brewed by Project Chaiwala. There are two tours from 8:45am – 11:45am and from 11:45 am-1:45pm
Tours cost AED 125 per person; visit www.fryingpanadventures.com to book.
6. Splurge on a staycation at Raffles The Palm
What’s a better way to spend a long weekend, a rarity in the UAE, than to spend quality time with your family? Switch off from all of the distractions and notifications at Raffles The Palm Dubai. The swish five-star hotel in Palm Jumeirah with access to stunning beaches has a special half-board National Day offer for families. This includes complimentary breakfast, lunch or dinner, spa credit worth AED 150 and kids’ activities as well as access to the kids club and wellness facilities and pools. The offer is valid for stays booked from December 1 to December 4. Room rates start from AED 2,200.
For reservations call 04 248 8888 or visit www.rafflesthepalmdubai.com
7. Take a break by the creek at the Park Hyatt Dubai
Soak up some winter sun by the creek and pamper yourself with a relaxing staycation at the Park Hyatt Dubai. The creekside hotel is letting guests make UAE National Day holiday bookings until December 1 and their UAE National Day offer is valid on stays from December 1 to December 20. You can enjoy up to a 25% discount on all suites and breakfast at Brasserie du Park.
For reservations call 04 602 1000 or visit www.parkhyattdubai.com
8. Build World’s Largest UAE Miniature Flag at Legoland
The children’s theme park attraction is taking the spirit of the union quite seriously this year and is leaving no stone unturned to celebrate the 51st UAE National Day. Legoland has a host of events planned but highlights include the UAE Scavenger Hunt which will see you scramble around the park hunting for letters to unlock a hidden phrase and win a limited edition 51st UAE National Day pop badge and visitors will also have a chance to join in on the creation of the world’s largest UAE Miniature Flag made using thousands of LEGO Minifigures. There’s a factory street parade to look forward to as well as a photo-op in front of the massive UAE Salute LEGO Model made from 108,231 LEGO bricks.
Visit the website for more details
9. Check out the National Day market at Mall of the Emirates
The mall’s cultural hub Zeman Awal is going all out for the 51st UAE National Day. Expect musical performances by the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra an enthralling market selling artisanal products and numerous workshops that will give you a taste of traditional arts and crafts as well as try your hand at movie-making and fashion. The entire mall has transformed into a living museum, so it’s a great opportunity to shop and stock up on some cultural and heritage lessons.
10. Catch a set by Dubai Bling’s DJ Bliss at Dubai Festival City
The shopping and entertainment destination has a jam-packed schedule of activities for National Day but we’re sure crowds will show in their hundreds and thousands to see Emirati DJ Bliss on December 3 at Festival Bay. The DJ and music producer who’s now a household name after his appearance in the Netflix reality show Dubai Bling will close out the day’s festivities that will feature traditional Ayala dancers, free Emirati coffee and a majestic performance by the Dubai Police Marching Band. The special parades will include some amazing supercars from the Dubai Police fleet as well as a horseback parade waving the UAE flag. From 8pm-9pm on December 3 Emirati singer Fayez Al Saeed will take the stage at Festival Bay with a 60-minute live concert. Make sure you stick around to watch the Imagine Show – the immersive laser, lights and water fountain show set to music.
11. Enjoy a concert by Khaleeji singers at Al Wasl Plaza
If there’s ever been a time to finally check off ‘visiting Expo City’ from your list, it’s this UAE National Day weekend. On December 2 Emirati singer Eida Al Menhali (known for his hit single Motasoa) and Saudi superstar Dalia Mubarak will kick off the celebrations of the 51st National Day with a high-octane concert at Al Wasl Plaza in Expo City. The iconic dome of the venue will come alive with lights and the dazzling vocals of these Khaleenji musicians.
12. Enjoy free entertainment at Bluewaters Dubai
Ain Dubai’s home and a popular shopping destination has plenty planned for UAE National Day 2022. From December 2 to December 4, the venue will be buzzing with traditional dance and music performances as well as henna art stalls where artists will adorn your hands with beautiful Arabic designs. From 5pm-8pm.
13. Watch a traditional parade at Boxpark
You’ll get to catch a special National Day procession parade through Boxpark from December 2-4. There will also be traditional Ayala dance performances, kids activities with balloon bender and bubble man, roaming musicians, exclusive art showcase spread across the destination, an outstanding showcase of Super Luxury Cars.
14. Partake in Emirati festivities at Jumeirah Golf Estates
Steep yourself in authentic Emirati culture on the lush green lawns of the Jumeirah Golf Estates on December 2. Celebrate the UAE’s 51st National Day by gorging on delicious Emirati dishes prepared at live cooking stations, watching a spectacular Yowlah dance performance, enjoying leisurely camel rides and more. Entry is free!
From 11:30am; call 04 586 7777 or email email@example.com
15. Interact with a falcon at Riverland’s Emirati tents
The French village-themed tourist destination inside Dubai Parks and Resorts is going all out Emirati for the 51st UAE National Day. From December 1-4, there’ll be pop-up tents offering henna art, live cooking sessions that serve up piping hot luqaimat (the traditional Emirato dessert) kids’ face painting and most excitingly, opportunities to interact with the UAE’s majestic national bird – the falcon. Visitors will also be entertained by Ayala dancers and a performance of traditional kids’ dance for Hag al Laila.
Make sure you visit the “I love UAE because…” wall and add your words to describe what you love the most about the UAE and the things you’re grateful for.
From 4pm-10pm; visit www.riverlanddubai.com/en
It’s not truly a UAE National Day celebration unless a sparkling display of fireworks are busting across the sky. You can find the dates and timings of all the special firework shows this weekend here.
23. Experience magical musical performances at Global Village
From December 1-4, you want to make a beeline for Global Village’s main stage where a grand orchestra of 33 talented musicians will be performing a selection of traditional songs, including the national anthem Ishy Bilady. Solos by a violinist and harpist will keep you entertained with their renditions of popular Emirati songs. Besides this musical extravaganza, you’ll also get to see a multitude of cultural shows across Global Villages many different pavilions showcasing the history and traditions of countries from around the world. Keep your eyes peeled for the verses from the UAE national anthem adorning the theme park’s Celebration Walk’s arches and a special National Day light display at the main entrance gates. You can also take home souvenirs from Al Sana’ a and Khalifa Foundation pavilions.