Start your days with a platter of luqaimat and a cup of gahwa, as we approach the 52nd UAE Union Day. December 2 marks the unification of the emirates in 1971, a momentous time for everyone who calls the UAE home.
Every year, celebrations are carried out with gusto well ahead of Union Day, from street light poles adorned with the country flag, to the colours red, green, white and black greeting you at every corner. You could catch an Emirati breakfast, shop from homegrown businesses or decorate the work desk with flags, but if you're looking for something different this year, our list offers creative ways to evoke the spirit of Union Day.
Browse our handpicked items below that call on traditional foods, clothing, fragrances and other locally produced items that can work brilliantly as gifts, too. Amazon is your one-stop shop for the occasion, so become a Prime member to get these products delivered to you before the holidays.
1. Best Luqaimat Maker: Geepas Sweet Dumpling/Luqaimat Maker
- Digital counter for keeping track of dumplings
- Dispenses three dumplings at a time
- One-litre bowl capacity
- Doesn't dispense dumplings of the same size, say reviews
It's crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and generously coated in date syrup and sesame seeds. Luqaimat or Arabic sweet dumpling is the country's golden dessert that often turns up at festivals and delights everyone with its sweetness. You could roll up your sleeves and get to preparing some at home for whenever the cravings strike. Geepas offers a dedicated luqaimat maker in its range, where you can whip up the batter and pour it into its one-litre bowl, ready for dispensing perfectly round dough balls into the hot oil. It has a digital screen for counting the number of dumplings dispensed, forming three at a time, so you can keep track in the kitchen. Reviewers say that it saves them a lot of time, but you might end up with different sized dumplings.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two years for Dh17.
2. Best Local Coffee: Kava Noir Premium Arabica Ground Coffee, Emirati Blend, 1kg
Welcome guests with a freshly brewed dallah, the traditional Arabic coffee pot, on the table. Gahwa is symbolic of Emirati hospitality, and with the holiday season nearly here, what better time to embrace the inspiration than now? Poured from an arched spout and served in finjal (small cups), the Emirati gahwa has a prominent cardamom profile. Thanks to Kava Noir, a homegrown roaster, you can sip on an authentic Emirati blend, made with high-quality Arabica beans sourced from Central America and Africa. This 1kg pack is medium roasted and carries hints of spicy cardamom, berries, chocolate and nuts. The roaster recommends brewing in a copper or brass dallah to extract the full flavours.
3. Best Scarf: Rovatti Scarf UAE 2020, Curve
UAE-themed scarves can be easily picked up from any vendor. If you'd rather stand out from the crowd this Union Day, then get a special variation sold by a UAE-based gift shop Rovatti. It's sewn from a polyester fabric that has a velvet texture and sits curved around the shoulders. While one side shows off the UAE flag, the other is stitched with the country emblem against a rich, black background. Both ends carry a golden tassel.
4. Best Book: UAE 101 Stories & Cultural Learnings (2018)
If someone you know is visiting or has recently moved to the UAE, here's a simple introductory book for the coffee table. Penned by Emirati author Roudha Al Marri and Italian author Illaria Caielli, the guidebook is a compilation of 101 anecdotes and cultural tips that shed light on the UAE's customs and traditions with a touch of warmth and familiarity. It's just the read for you if you're curious about Emirati culture or looking to make some new friends.
5. Best Bakhoor: Swiss Arabian Dukhoon Al Jazeera
Steep yourself in the Emirati tradition by layering your fragrances with Arabic incense. A perfume expert previously shared that bakhoor smoke was the secret to a complex, long-lasting scent. Try it out with Dukhoon Al Jazeera by the local perfume brand Swiss Arabian. Add a pinch of the powder to lit charcoal to imbue the house with oud, roses, cardamom, saffron, patchouli and musk. Reviewers love how the layers unravel slowly over time, delivering a strong sillage.
6. Best Children's Dress: Lamora Traditional UAE Union Day Dress
Your little one might be celebrating Union Day at school soon. Pick up a dress featuring the colours of the flag, tailored by a UAE-based brand Lamora. Sizes are available from ages 2 to 16, and each dress in the range is tailored with a different style. Our pick is a brighter variation that's primarily white, with the flag colours added as accents to the ruffled sleeves and at the waist, making it perfect for school. According to reviews, the dress looks exactly as shown in the images, and is stitched using high-quality fabric.
7. Best Accessory: Tubular Buff, UAE Flag
A versatile accessory in the colours of the UAE flag, the buff tube wears many hats. Runners can keep their neck and nose warm, and protected against UV rays. Push it up, over the face and you're getting a bandana; bunch it up and it becomes a headband. It's even thin enough to be used as a hair tie. This model is the UAE Flag version by the original maker of the tubular wear, Buff. Wear it out to the gym, park or the beach to show off your support.
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