December 2 is one day when the whole of the UAE gets together to celebrate the best things about the Emirates. Here are our top picks of ways to spend National Day this year.
First things first, make sure to get to Downtown for the National Day Parade. The New York-style event is guaranteed to have an absolutely fantastic atmosphere, with passing floats, giant balloons, lively performances, horses, camels and music groups all representing the best of the country’s heritage1.
If you love all things cake, there are plenty of places to get a sweet National Day treat; you can take home glittering Kitsch cupcakes2, an impressive red, green, black and white cake from Maison Sucre3 or delicious cupcakes printed with National Day messages from Magnolia Bakery4. But cupcake fun isn’t all you’ll find in Bloomingdale’s — the iconic department store will also have basket weaving, falconry, a traditional Kahua service and a special appearance from the always popular Freej characters to please the kids.
Global Village have organised a Union Festival, which is running until Sunday December 2, and there will be cultural shows, traditional competitions
and an Emirati poetry night on December 1 in the massive outdoor space’s UAE Pavilion, a perfect occasion to celebrate the culture, or even just learn more about the country we live in.
1. The parade will be kicking off at 12pm, and will last all afternoon.
2. The cute cakes start at Dh14 and you’ll find Kitsch Cupcakes in The Souq in Central Market, Abu Dhabi, while Dubai residents should head to Jumeirah Beach Road and DIFC (04 395 6963).
3. Maison Sucre is located in Caboodle Café, Dubai Mall and Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi (02 639 6622).
4. Magnolia Bakery is in Bloomingdale’s in Dubai Mall (04 350 5440). In-store activities will start at 5pm.
5. Global Village is on the Emirates Road and open from 4pm until 1am, Thursday to Saturday and 4pm until midnight, Sunday to Wednesday, and entry costs Dh10 (04 362 4114).