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15 amazing things to do this long National Day weekend in the UAE

Plan for the long weekend of National Day with thrilling races, unbeatable offers and fun!

Image Credit: National Day at Yas Marina/Supplied

From thrilling races to unbelievable hotel rates, here’s how to make the most of your long weekend for the 45th UAE National Day.

1. Watch the fireworks

No National Day holiday in the UAE is complete without fireworks and here's where to watch the spectacular displays in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah

2. Let your colours fly at Yas Marina Circuit

Yas Marina Circuit is the place to be for National Day if you reside in Abu Dhabi – with their many family activities and annual fireworks shows, everyone gets to have a good time. Highlights of the day include fireworks, live music, oud player, human claw, story-time with Dr. Ahmed, Arabic calligraphy, henna painters, falconry, harbya dancers, face painters, art and crafts section for the children, inflatable amusement rides and caricaturists.

Cost Free entry Timings 2pm to 7pm Dates December 2

3. Fly to New York

Dine in, snap a picture and share it online to stand a chance in winning a trip to New York with a friend. And no one loses at Russo's Pizzeria as anyone who shares gets a free giant slice of pizza on the spot. Tag @Russosuae and share your picture with the hashtag #RussosxNewYork and you're in the race.

Location The Views, The Green, Dubai Cost A la carte Dates December 2 to 3 Contact 800 787767

4. Racing like a pro

Al Ain Raceway

This National Day will give racing kart fanatics a 35 per cent discount on their Arrive and Drive session for December 2 and 3. Each session will include a full safety briefing, racing gear and track time (normal sessions only have 15 minutes of track time). The sessions are suitable for all levels from novices to professionals. Call ahead for details on height and weight restrictions and available timings.

Location Al Ain Raceway, Khatam Al Shiklah Street, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi Cost Dh225 per person for a 45 minute session Timings and dates December 2 2pm to 10pm; December 3 10am to 6pm Contact +971 3 768 6662 Website

5. Nassima Royale

Christmas time is almost here again. To start the festive season Nassima Royal Hotel will ceremoniously light their Christmas tree. Enjoy a selection of canapes and a beverages as the Christmas choir performs festive songs followed by the lighting of the tree. Don’t leave without getting your treat from Santa.

Location The Lounge, Shaikh Zayed Road, Trade Centre District, Dubai Dates Saturday, December 3 Timings 4pm Contact  +971 4 308 0000

6. Box Park outing


One trip to Boxpark is a must for all UAE residents and this weather is perfect to take advantage of the chic outdoor seating available in almost all outlets here. While you are there, go see the 3D letters of Boxpark (opposite Fil Ful restaurant) decked in national flag colours and a touch of abstract creativity by Mariusz 'Clash' Krakówko – a Dubai based graffiti artist. The re-designed letters can be seen up to December 2.

7. National Day Brunch with Cubache

Enjoy a special brunch this National Day at Blue Marlin Ibiza with Cuban band, Cubache, playing authentic Cuban son, an addictive fusion of Latin and Afro rhythms. Choose to have the delicous brunch on the shores or the terrace taking advantage of the amazing weather now.

Location Blue Marlin Ibiza, Dubai Cost Dh275 (Restaurant seating) Dh295 (Beach or terrace seating) Dates December 1 Timings Restaurant seating 1pm to 5.30pm; Beach and terrace seating 2pm to 4pm Contact +971 56 113 3400 

8. Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens

The 2016 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens kicks off this weekend at the Sevens Stadium and is set to be the largest event to-date with Olympic sporting heroes on the pitches. The event will see 324 teams, 937 matches and a staggering 4,866 players. The best part is that entry on Thursday is completely free!

Location Sevens Stadium, Al Ain Road, E66, Dubai Cost December 1 Free entry; December 2 and 3 Dh300 for advance tickets Dh400 on the day; Season tickets Dh500 in advance Dh600 on the day; Free for children under 12 Website

9. Kids’ splashing day out

Splash N Party

Get all-day access to one of Dubai’s latest waterparks, Splash ‘n’ Party, for children at Dh45 per child (one adult goes free with every child). Kids gets to experience a weekend filled with splash pads, live underwater mermaids, fantastic fire shows, live entertainment, magic shows and much more.

Location Splash ‘n’ Party, Villa no. 1, Street 8A, Al Safa 2, Jumeirah, Dubai Cost Dh45 for all day access per child (one adult goes free), Dh50 for additional adult pass Timings 9am to 8pm Dates November 30 to December 1 Contact +971 4 388 3008 Email

10. Party at Emirates Palace

Emirates Palace

Emirates Palace is going all out with its National Day celebrations and highlights include fireworks, a beach party, festive hampers, lucky draws for Emirati visitors, an exhibition of 45 different types of dates and video mapping visible to guests as well as visitors.

Location  Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi Cost Dh200 per person (includes food and beverages for National Day party); Dh750 for festive hamper (includes festive season cookies, traditional German stollen, a bottle of bubbly, truffle honey, chocolate truffles, duck rillettes and smoked salmon with 24 carat leaves Contact +971 2 690 9000

11. Wintermania Carnival and Funfair

The first of its kind, this festival is all about giving back to the local community. Featuring a collection of unique and never before experienced carnival games, inflatable challenges, contests, activities and live performances in Ras al Khaimah, this will make the national day weekend a fun one for the family.

Location Bin Majid Beach Resort, Ras Al Khaimah Cost Dh35 for everyone aged 5 and above Free for younger children Contact 800 5700 

12. Dine at Dh45

Cascade Dining

The restaurants at Cascade Dining have united and created a limited-edition menu of 45 dishes for Dh45, available for 45 hours to celebrate the 45th UAE National Day. Ensuring fun for all the family - there will also be National Day activities taking place at Cascade Dining over the weekend including face painting, flag giveaways and there are also many prizes to be won. 

Location Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Cost Dh45 per dish (for 45 hours during National Day celebrations) Timings 9am to 12am Dates December 1 to 3

13. Evening brunch on Friday

Enjoy unlimited food and beverages inclusive of burgers, nachos, pizza and organic hot dogs at Tribeca Kitchen and Bar. The deal also includes unlimited grape, hops, bubbles, house beverages and soft beverages. And the music is going to be epic - expect classic old school hip-hop and RnB from the 80's, 90's and 00's right up until 3 am.

Location JA Ocean View Hotel, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai Cost Dh250 per person (inclusive of beverages and food) Dates Every Friday (launches December 2) Timings Dining 8pm to 11pm Music Until 3am Contact +971 50 345 6067

14. Luxury stay at 45 per cent discount

Al Seef Resort by Andalus, a luxury getaway spot in the main city of Abu Dhabi yet away from the typical hustle of the city is joining the entire nation in celebrating the 45th UAE National Day by offering 45 percent discount on the best available rates. This is subject to taxes and availability of rooms. 

Location Abu Dhabi Cost As per room booked with 45 per cent discount (subject to taxes - not available in conjunction with other offers) Dates November 30 to December 3 Contact +971 2 652 6722

15. Dubai Parks and Resorts tickets at Dh45!

4,500 tickets will be given at the festive rate of Dh45 on a 'first-come first-served' basis. While the majority of these have been sold out online, a limited number will be available at the park gates as well over the weekend.

Location Dubai Parks and Resorts, near the Outlet Village, Dubai Dates Sale online starts on November 26 Dates of offer December 1 to 3 Website 

If you’re planning to head out of the UAE, here are 5 National Day holiday travel destinations under Dh3,300.