Image Credit:


Catch the Dubai Fireworks

This year, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to fireworks shows across the city. Take your pick from Al Seef, La Mer, The Beach, Dubai Festival City, Global Village or The Pointe for a show over Dubai’s horizon.


On December 1 to 2 at Al Seef (8pm), La Mer (8.30pm) and The Beach (9pm); December 2 at The Pointe (8pm), Global Village (9pm).

Yas Marina Celebrations

Yas Marina Fireworks WWW-1565424030728

The 48th UAE National Day celebrations at the end of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are set to include a host of fun activities for the family, including fireworks and a classic car parade featuring the Al Qubaisi sisters, who will be taking part in the F4 race at this year’s five-day festival.

This year, the on and off-track entertainment is spread across three areas of Yas Marina Circuit – Abu Dhabi Hill, Main Oasis and Marina Oasis. Entry is free, from 3pm, with fireworks scheduled for 9pm.

At Yas Marina Circuit’s Kart Zone, kids aged 5-7 can kart for a special Dh48 price, and the top leaderboard scorer in each category will win karting passes for the next month. Groups of four will receive free membership cards, while groups of eight will be given a double session for the price of one, in addition to free membership cards.

As well as a UAE National Day car parade and drift display, there will be an opportunity for those in attendance to Walk The Track to experience how it feels to get up close and personal with the F1 circuit.

Elsewhere, artworks submitted by schools and local communities will be exhibited at the event. The cultural hub of the National Day celebrations — the Heritage Village — will be located on Abu Dhabi Hill.

Fireworks will then light up the sky at 9pm on the day.


Yas Mall National Day Festivities-1574777386502

Legacy of our Ancestors at The Dubai Mall

The event aims to create an engaging UAE National Day activation that is unique to The Dubai Mall under the theme ‘Legacy of our Ancestors’. Activations will include flags, scarves and magnet pin giveaways throughout the three days of the event, as well as a performance by a traditional band on December 2.

At The Dubai Mall from November 30 to December 2.

Khameer pancakes anyone?

What better way to spend the long weekend break than by getting the band together for pancake day? Eggspectation is showing its love for the UAE by creating a special saffron khameer-style pancake. Think date syrup, roasted sesame seeds, and topped with a touch of date-infused silky mascarpone.

The pancake is priced at Dh39 and is available on December 1 and 2 at City Walk, The Beach JBR and Matajer Mall Sharjah branches.

Light Laser Painting in Abu Dhabi

Nation Towers is showcasing an elevated Light Laser Painting spectacle pop-up from December 1 until 3. Guests can capture the spirit of the nation through personalised photos with UAE flag colours shot under slow shutter exposure for effect. Images will be emailed to them or printed on site to take home.

The mall is also featuring an Augmented Reality art exhibition at the main atrium, daily from 4pm until 10pm. In collaboration with Artivive, an augmented reality tool that allows artists to create new dimensions of art by linking classical with digital art, visitors can go on a journey through time, explain what lies underneath, enhance the art with animations, or show how the artworks were made.

Continuing the Imagine Nation dynamic theme, Invaderz Interactive game room will feature a live action projection set up, where imaginations will travel to outer space. Ammunition at the ready, asteroids and creepy crawlies are on the move and must be destroyed to save the planet.

Staycay with splashing fun

Instead of flying away for the National Day break, UAE residents can take advantage of a staycation right here in Dubai at Jumeirah’s hotels and resorts, including the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Jumeirah Al Qasr and Jumeirah Dal Al Masyaf. The exclusive UAE residents stay offer gives between 15 per cent to 25 per cent off on the best available rates and includes daily complimentary breakfast as well as unlimited access to Wild Wadi Waterpark.

The offer is valid until December 20.

Visit the ‘UAE Cultural Village’ at JA The Resort

UAE Heritage Village at JA The Resort (3)-1574777392654

JA The Resort is honouring Emirati tradition with its National Day festivities, filled with live entertainment, food and picturesque surroundings.

The UAE Cultural Village will allow visitors can embark on a culinary journey across the seven emirates, with traditional dishes cooked by local Emirati women. Foodies can enjoy local dishes such as Mahalah Zayed from Fujairah, Ligamat from Dubai, Khameer from Abu Dhabi, Al Margooga from Ras al Khaimah, Khamfroush from Sharjah, Reghagh from Ajman and Biya Mashwee from Umm al Quawain.

There’s also live entertainment in the form of traditional music, belly dancers, Ayala dancers, henna and camel rides. The cultural village opens on December 2 from 3pm, with an Arabic themed dinner from 7pm to 10pm at the Palmito Garden. The experience is priced at Dh148 for dinner (with complimentary access to the cultural village) and Dh248 for a day pass (full day pool and beach access, access to cultural village, and dinner in the evening).

Bite into Burgers & Lobsters

Burger and Lobster-1574777358285

Come relive your childhood favourites as Burger & Lobster unveils a special Chips Oman Burger in honour of the upcoming 48th National Day. The burger comes with a beef patty, house made pickles, B&L’s signature sauce and topped off with Chips Oman, served alongside biryani fries.

Priced at Dh90, this deal also includes a sweet treat offering of B&L’s popular lotus cheesecake.

Available from November 29 until December 2.

Fujairah Brunching

Le Meridien Al Aqah is marking December 2 celebrations at the Views Restaurant with a National Day brunch. At Dh165, enjoy a selection of eats, including specialty preparations of Ouzi and hot grills, inclusive of soft drinks and water. For Dh249, guests can enjoy the brunch as well access the pool and beach.

Dining discounts

Texas De Brazil is celebrating UAE National Day with 45 per cent discount voucher for UAE Nationals. The Brazilian-American Steakhouse will be offering the discount vouchers to citizens, which can be used on their next visit. The voucher needs to be redeemed before December 30. Outlets at The Mall of the Emirates, Dubai and Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi.

All Aboard the QE2 for Heritage Tours


Emiratis can take a trip back in time by booking themselves a UAE Heritage tour for Dh48 on December 2, between 9am and 7pm.

Those who want to make the most of the long weekend can stay a night on board the cruise liner and enjoy a series of Emirati inspired experiences on the family stay package for two adults and two children in a deluxe room with breakfast and dinner for Dh848 +++ per room per night.

Offer valid from November 28 until December 2.

Legoland Dubai

National Day at LEGOLAND Dubai-1574777434413

Celebrate the UAE’s 48th National Day at Legoland Dubai and win prizes for correctly guessing the exact number of Lego UAE flags around Miniland. Join the family fun National Day Lego and enjoy UAE-inspired dishes in Market Restaurant and pose for a fun photo opportunity with the huge UAE Lego model, and also participate in daily meet and greet sessions with your favourite characters. Get your free limited edition National Day Lego brick (personal engraving for Dh10).

From November 28 to December 2. Ticket price costs Dh48 for National Day.

Dubai Dolphinarium

190801 dubai dolphinarium
File picture: Dubai Dolphinarium Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Families and children can enjoy 25 per cent off tickets to dolphin and sea lion shows at Dubai Dolphinarium, the first fully air-conditioned indoor dolphinarium in the Middle East. Holders of Emirates ID can take advantage to special rates, offered as part of National Day celebrations in Dubai.

Special rates from November 29 to December 7, Dubai Creek Park, Gate No. 1. Tickets start at Dh50.

La Perle by Dragone

La Perle Dubai-1565097668634

Experience the award-winning aquatic show La Perle by Dragone with a 48 per cent off on all categories, excluding bronze tickets. Available from November 28 to December 3 at Al Habtoor City.

The Smash Room

The Smash Room-1574777397323

Smash your stresses away in a fun way by shattering, breaking, stomping, tearing or yelling at The Smash Room. For a smashing celebration, get the Two 2 Tango package for Dh247 instead of Dh399 (for two people in one room, includes 30 glasses and 2 electronics). Offer available from December 1 to 3 at the Action Park, Last Exit Mad Max, AUH Bound, Dubai.

The Pointe

Fireworks at The Pointe-1572002706585

The waterfront destination and hub for dining and entertainment of Nakheel Malls will celebrate together with people of all nationalities and generations through several activities including a giant kite festival, musical performances, display of art and a showcase of local talents. Visitors to The Pointe can enjoy 25 per cent off from selected outlets and 20 per cent off Careem rides from and to The Pointe.

Celebrations will run from November 29 to December 2.

Founding Fathers Exhibition

Neel Shukla, Creative Director, FOUR, at The Founding Fathers Exhibition by his father Ramesh Shukla at Etihad Museum in Dubai. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

What better way to celebrate UAE’s birthday than by visiting the place where the historical formational was signed. The Etihad Museum stands tall, bearing witness to the UAE’s rich legacy. Do enter the museum to visit the Founding Fathers exhibition at Etihad Museum, a rare collection of photographs that display the country’s early days and features its founding fathers.

Founding Fathers chronicles the country’s past and its ambitious evolution, immortalising key moments that led to the Union’s establishment in December 1971. All ages will enjoy this incredible glimpse into the past captured by celebrated photographer Ramesh Shukla.

Organised by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the Founding Fathers exhibition will run until December 31. Entrance is free with the purchase of an Etihad Museum ticket, which starts at Dh10 for students.

African Food Festival

The African Food Fest returns to the lawns of Creek Park for its second edition this November 29. It will draw together the diverse landscape of African cuisine and culture in one vibrant carnival with free entry for all. Expect live entertainment, music, competitions and art celebrating Africa’s cultural wealth within the UAE.

The fair serves to promote local restaurants and food businesses in Dubai. With over 50 food vendors signed up and a set list of exciting performances, it’s a fun way to indulge in the continent’s rich history and heritage. From noon to 8pm.

Burj Khalifa

The Dubai Mall-1574777399403

Two of the city’s most famous landmarks have something special in store for the UAE National Day. Head over to Downtown Dubai to see displays celebrating 48 years of the UAE from December 1 to 3.

Catch one of four shows per night, or stay around for them all, where you’ll see Burj Khalifa light up in red, white, green and black with LED projections. Complementing the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Fountains will dance along to the national anthem and songs such as ‘Sama Dubai’, ‘Basbar Ala Forgakom’ and ‘Tawalaht Ana’. Entertainment kicks off at 6pm at every hour on the hour.

Logma Treats

National Day is just around the corner and to add to your excitement for the occasion, Logma is offering free Luqaimat to customers. The Emirati delicacy will be given with all orders placed on Deliveroo’s Editions restaurants (JLT, Hessa and Business Bay) on December 2.

Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island

Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island-1574777407762

UAE Residents and Nationals can start December with a luxury stay at Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island with triple the fun. For a minimum booking of three nights, enjoy a premium experience round the clock with entertainment offers including two free tickets to Abu Dhabi Louvre, two tickets to Qasr Al Watan, two Yas Island tickets for a day’s visit to one park, free access to the water park and wave pool. In addition, guests can also enjoy some alone time with luxury pampering at 20 per cent off all spa treatments, while their little ones revel in complimentary daily kids activities.

For the National Day package, book directly on the Rixos site. Packages start from Dh2,300.

Blue Marlin Ibiza Brunch

Blue Marlin Ibiza-1574777360585

On UAE National Day, head to BMIUAE for a limited edition Spanish brunch with a live performance by Gipsy Moreno. Brunch kicks off from 1pm, with price starting at Dh350.

Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi

Yas Mall National Day Festivities-1574777386502

Yas Mall has announced the return of its Black and White sale, for a six-day edition over Grand Prix race weekend on Yas Island, from November 28. Coinciding with the 48th UAE National Day long weekend, shoppers can gear up for discounts across stores, and the chance to win Dh 100,000 in Yas Mall Gift Cards.

From December 1 to 3, UAE national flag colours are set to transform, as the outdoor sculptures of flora and falcons will be lit up and mall interiors will be adorned with the colourful decor. Shoppers can catch live Emirati stage performances at the pearl court, including Liwa and Ayala dancer highlights.

The entertainment continues, with roaming acts and walking mimes entertaining visitors, dressed in UAE green, white, black and red colours representing the spirit of the union. On December 2, Abu Dhabi Police Marching Band will perform and celebratory scarfs, pins and hand flags will be given as keepsakes to happy shoppers.

Theme Park Discounts on Yas Island

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi-1574777342667

Yas Theme Parks are set to offer residents 48 per cent off on all entry tickets. These include Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. The offer, which can be redeemed online via each park’s website, will run from November 28 to December 2.

Yas Waterworld Water Battle-1574777384214

Park-goers will experience a display of true national pride on December 2 through a line-up of traditional Ayala dancers at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld. There’s more, to celebrate at Yas Waterworld, which is hosting its annual Water Battle set to kick off at 11.48am.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi-1574777388469

Ticket prices for both Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi will be reduced from Dh295 to Dh150 only, while tickets for Yas Waterworld will be discounted to Dh130.

Celebrate National Day at a Palace

Qasr Al Watan - Full Exterior Side View-1574777428219

Qasr Al Watan palace is celebrating the UAE’s 48th National Day with a series of entertainment activities with festivities commencing at 1pm.

A welcome procession will mark the beginning of the celebrations and will be accompanied with a parade of horses, cyclists and the Abu Dhabi Police Band, ‘The Symphony of the Nation’. Following the procession, the Palace will showcase celebratory entertainment starting at 4pm inside the Great Hall, where the Ayala group will put on a special show alongside Emirati artist Ahmad Al Mansoori, who is set to perform a variety of Emirati-themed songs – including one written specially for Qasr Al Watan.

Qasr Al Watan - Silver Power of Words Sculpture-1574777424607

The colours of the Emirati flag will be projected upon the exteriors of Qasr Al Watan, with the building illuminating the night sky in red, white, black and green.

Qasr Al Watan will be open from 10am to 8pm, with the last entry for guests scheduled at 7pm.

Tickets for entrance to the Palace and Gardens are Dh60 for adults and Dh30 for children below 12 years of age.

Arabian Hospitality

Al Nafoorah-1574777366536

Al Nafoorah at Jumeirah Emirates Towers and family-favourite beachside hotspot Khaymat Al Bahar at Jumeirah Al Qasr are both treating guests with a selection of traditional Arabic dishes across two different set menus, with a complimentary dessert thrown in the mix on December 2 for National Day.

Grab the family for feasting at Al Nafoorah with a three-course set menu for DhD99 per person with dishes that include hares lahme soup (lamb cubes seasoned in Arabic spices) and a starter of pakora (red onion, chickpeas, eggs and coriander) served with mint chutney. Guests can indulge in a main course of machboos chicken before finishing off their meal with a choice of two traditional Lebanese desserts, khabisa and loughaymat.

Khaymat Al Bahar has a set menu for Dh180 per person where guests can start their meal with a selection of mezze such as hummus, fattoush, danko, chicken liver and falafel before diving into a traditional main course of either mixed grill, prawn majboos or chicken shawarma.

UAE National Day Parade

Downtown Dubai by Emaar-1574777355787

The highlight of the celebration is the colourful UAE National Day Parade on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Boulevard from November 28 (except November 30) until December 3. Take advantage of those Instagrammable moments with a colourful display of over 150 UAE National flags as well as a photo-booth with the hashtag #ILoveUAE highlighted in large letter blocks, while an Emirati majlis will showcase national attire for visitors to try on and take photographs next to the UAE themed Boulevard Trolley. The Dubai Mall too will regale visitors with a traditional band, art installations and giveaways.

Souk Al Bahar Activities

Souk Al Bahar Image Credit: iStock

Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai’s waterfront dining and leisure destination, overlooking The Dubai Mall, is an exceptional place to experience true Emirati heritage. Transforming itself into an Emirati haven of authentic goods as well as an assortment of traditional cultural events, Souk Al Bahar will host live Ayala and Yola dance performances.

Flash mobs dressed in the UAE National Flag colours will add to the joy. Emirati presenters from the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding will provide an overview of the country’s culture and traditions to visitors. There will also be a pearl diving demo where visitors can discover pearls from a ‘Harvesting Tank’ while learning more about the techniques and stories behind pearl diving, one of the key vocations of yore. A photography exhibition will take visitors through the historic sites of the nation presented by Watani Al Emarat Foundation.

From November 28 to December 3.

Free Popcorn at Roxy Cinemas

Roxy Cinemas-1574777378182

Film fans, listen up – Roxy Cinemas will be offering movie goers free small popcorn in honour of the 48 UAE National Day.

Head down to any of the Roxy Cinemas across Dubai to avail this offer, which will be valid for every ticket purchased for movies starting before 2pm from November 29 to December 3.

Roxy Cinemas’ are situated at The Beach, City Walk, Boxpark and Le Mer.

Treasures of Arabia Exhibition

Curated as part of the National Day celebrations, the exhibition at Ahmedia Art Gallery, Ahmedia Heritage Guest House will showcase artwork of eminent artists - local and international honoring local traditions and customs. Opening night reception is November 30 at 5pm.

National Pride Art Exhibition

Al Ghurair Dhow-1574777368184

Al Ghurair Centre will house more than 40 paintings for a one month Art Exhibition in honour of the 48th anniversary of UAE; the artworks for this show are inspired by the local culture; history, people, animals, landscapes, architecture and life in the UAE.

Visitors to the show will find images of UAE’s most memorable landmarks, historical sites and cultural celebrations. The exhibition will be open to the public from November 28 until December 28 on the ground floor of Al Ghurair Mall.

Oli Oli


The children’s play museum is exhibiting an interactive string art installation from November 29 to December 3, allowing kids to contribute to the public art piece to complete a modern art structure that showcases the UAE in a fun and whimsical way.

The interactive art project will ask kids and parents a series of questions about where they are from and their favourite things about the UAE. Families will then have to match their answer with a piece of string on the art installation. During the National Day weekend whilst the installation is running, OliOli is running a special family pass offer for families to come together during this celebratory occasion.

Tickets start at Dh299 for a family of four. From November 29 to December 3 at the OliOli Building, Al Quoz 1.

JBR’s walk down memory lane


The Walk at JBR, is hosting an array of National Day celebrations including Ayala dancers, free Arabic coffee and take-home calligraphy.

More than 1,000 UAE flags and various traditional Arabic decorations will be distributed along the 1.2km promenade, which will be home to multiple Majlis areas where visitors can relax and recharge with traditional Arabic coffee.

Starting from 6.30pm on December 2, UAE National Day activities on The Walk at JBR are free of charge and suitable for all members of the family.

Dreamland Aqua Park UAQ

Dreamland Aqua WaterPark-1574777353954

The ‘It’s all 48’ promotion will offer visitors a chance to visit the waterpark at Dh48 per person for the first 48 minutes or for the first 48 guests daily. And, for rest of the day, all visitors will get 48 per cent off on General Admission. The offer is valid until December 31.