The nation of United Arab Emirates or UAE was formed on December 2′ 1971. Six separate regions (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, Ajman, and Ras Al Khaimah) came together to form a new country. In 1972, another region (Ras Al Khaimah) joined the union, and today the country of UAE is home to seven Emirates. The entire initiative was led by the former President of the UAE and then ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bins Sultan Al Nahyan. Due to his efforts for the unification of the country and its progress, he is known as the father of the UAE. Ever since the nation was formed, the entire country comes together to celebrate the National Day on December 2nd every year. However, the
UAE National Day
celebrations are not restricted to a day. Instead, the celebrations continue throughout the weekend.
Events during UAE National Day
The UAE National Day is celebrated with great pomp and splendor across the country. You can expect to see some splendid fireworks, national day parades, air shows, live performances and a whole lot of interesting activities. The Emirate cities are decorated in the colors of the national flag. Schools, colleges as well as public and private sectors have holidays for a few days. Here are some of the special events that you would be able to enjoy during the UAE National Day.
Like every other celebration in the UAE, the fireworks are an integral part of the country’s national day as well. You would be able to witness spectacular fireworks in every part of the country. If you are in Abu Dhabi, the Zayed Heritage Festival, Al Dahfra, Madinat Zayed, etc. are some of the best places to see the fireworks. In Dubai, The Beach, Burj Khalifa, La Mer, Global Village, Al Seef, and Festival Mall are a few of the places where you can watch grand fireworks.
Parades are another major part of the UAE national day celebrations. You would find different kinds of parades everywhere in the country. While most parades happen on December 2, some are also conducted the day before or after it. The National Towers in Abu Dhabi conduct an Emirati Mascot Parade, while you would find a parade of flag and stilt walkers, entertainers and drummers at Bawabat Al Sharq Mall.
On the other hand, the most popular national day parade in Dubai is the Dubai Police Marching Band. A fun UAE themed circus parade happens at the Dubai Parks & Resorts where you would be entertained by jugglers, unicyclists, stilt walkers, and drummers. Parades by school students are held in other Emirate cities like Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.
The most awaited part of the UAE National Day is the concerts that happen in several parts of the country. Most of the music concerts showcase the talent of popular Arab musicians, singers, and poets. While in Dubai, you must visit Burj Park, La Mer, and Global Village to attend some spectacular music concerts. Apart from the concerts, you would also find numerous entertainment programs like dance performances, music shows, and cultural programs. You would also get the chance to see the traditional dances of Al Rafza and Al Ayala. Moreover, several places also organize fun activities for kids and adults alike henna painting, face painting, arts and crafts workshop, etc. You would also get to indulge in various types of foods during national day celebrations.
What to do in UAE During UAE National Day
Apart from the regular activities and events of the UAE National Day, there are several regular things that you can do during your visit to the UAE.
The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, stands proud amongst all the skyscrapers of Dubai. A visit to its observation deck would give you the opportunity to see the entire city from the bird’s eye view.
Timing: 8:30 AM to 11 PM
Location: Near Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, UAE
The desert safari is considered to be one of the best experiences in the UAE. Get ready for an evening filled with adventurous activities, great food, and entertainment program. You also get to know about Bedouin culture and lifestyle.
Timing: 3:30 PM to 10 PM (approximately)
Located in the capital city of Abu Dhabi, the Ferrari World is a theme park based on Formula One. The park has myriad of adventure rides, but the best one is the Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster ever made.
Timings: 11 AM to 8 PM
Location: Yas Island, Yas Dr. St, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Al Bidya Mosque
The oldest mosque in the UAE is located in the Emirates of Fujairah. Made of stone and mud, Al Badiyah Mosque is a far cry from the opulent and grand mosques of UAE today. If you are interested in history and architecture, exploring this place would be interesting for you.
Timing: 9 AM to 5 PM
Location: E 99, Al Badiyah, Fujairah, UAE
The Bastakiya Quarter was a flourishing neighborhood of Dubai when it was a humble fishing village. While walking through the narrow streets of the Bastakiya Quarter, you would come across homes with wind towers (natural air conditioner), which have been turned into museums and cafes.
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Location: Al Fahidi Street, Near Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai, UAE
Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
The Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi gives you a glimpse of the Bedouin life, much before modernization hit the city. Apart from checking the traditional homes and souks that have been recreated here, you can also watch and learn certain skills like pottery, metalwork, spinning, weaving, etc.
Timing: 9 AM to 4 PM (Saturday to Thursday) and 3:30 PM to 9 PM (Friday)
Location: Near Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Theatre Road, Corniche-Breakwater Road, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Theme and Water Parks
UAE has some of the best theme and water parks that you would have ever seen. Right from the state-of-the-art slides and attractions to modern facilities and amenities, these parks are perfect for everyone, couples, group of friends and families with little children. Dubai Parks and Resorts, Aquaventure, Wild Wadi Water Park and IMG Worlds of Adventure are the popular ones in Dubai, while Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld are the best in Abu Dhabi.
Ajman Dhow Building Yard
Get to know about the traditional way of building dhows, which have been handed down through several generations at the Ajman Dhow Building Yard. It is the largest dhow building yard in the world and place of immense interest who are curious about this ancient craft.
Location: Ajman Creek, Ajman
If you are interested in water sports, there is no better place than Umm Al Quwain. The Emirate’s calm waters make it ideal for a variety of water sports like kayaking, water skiing, jet skiing, and windsurfing. You can sail along the waters to explore the mangroves and deserted islands.
Al Majaz Waterfront
Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah is the perfect place to have a fun-filled and pleasant evening in the company of your family and friends. Right from miniature golfing to fine dining, there is an array of activities to indulge here.
Location: Khalid Lake Trail, Sharjah
Tips for Visitors Travelling to UAE
If you are traveling to UAE specifically for the UAE National Day holidays, a 14 days Dubai visa or UAE visa would be ideal for you.
It would be appropriate and respectful to dress modestly while in the UAE, especially while visiting the lesser-known Emirate cities.
Book your air tickets and hotel accommodation months before, as the prices would increase as you get closer to the date.
Always ask permission before taking pictures of the locals, especially women.
The main advantage of visiting the UAE during National Day is you get to enjoy the celebrations as well as the regular sightseeing activities. If you are planning to visit the UAE during the National Day celebrations, get your Dubai visa and air tickets as soon as possible before the prices increase.