Dubai: The UAE’s 52nd Union Day is on Saturday, December 2, and with a three-day long weekend for the Union Day, each emirate is gearing up for the celebrations commemorating the formation of the UAE.
Here are the events happening in each emirate.
1. Sheikh Zayed Festival
The ongoing Sheikh Zayed Festival in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, has unveiled a lineup to mark the 52nd Union Day of the UAE.
During the three-day celebration, visitors can expect to see firework displays, drone shows and fountain shows featuring a fusion of lights, the colours of the UAE flag, music, and laser displays from the Emirates Fountain, one of the largest water fountains in the region.
Dates: From Friday, December 1 to Monday, December 3
Timings: 4pm until 1am.
• Dh10 per person
• People of Determination, children under three years of age and seniors (60+ years old) are exempt from fees.
2. Fireworks at Yas Island and Al Maryah Island
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island will hold a firework display on December 2 and December 3 at 9pm.
Yas Bay Waterfront at Yas Island will also be organising a Union Day fireworks display on December 2 and December 3 at 9pm.
1. Global Village
During the Union Day break, celebrations will be held all over Global Village. The entry gates and the carnival will showcase a special light display for Union Day. According to Global Village, there will be Union Day themed performances, including an opera titled ‘Vision of the Emirates’. The opera will highlight the UAE's rich cultural heritage and accomplishments.
Authentic Emirati cultural performances will be performed throughout the venue from December 1 to 4. There will be kiosks offering henna, and the option to engage with a falcon and get a picture taken with it.
You can also buy exclusive Union Day merchandise and souvenirs from various pavilions, such as the UAE Pavilion, Pavilion 971, Khalifa Foundation, and Hamdan Heritage Center.
Global Village ticket cost:
• At the gate: Dh30
• Online: Dh27 (can be booked through www.globalvillage.ae, or mobile app ‘Global Village’, available for Apple and Android devices.
Free tickets for children under age of three, senior citizens and People of Determination.
2. Expo City Dubai
The official Union Day ceremony will be held at Expo City Dubai on December 2 and will be broadcast live on all local TV channels, as well as on the official Union Day website - www.unionday.ae.
You can also attend the public ceremony at Expo City Dubai from December 5 to 12, which will have performances related to UAE’s sustainability journey and its vision of a sustainable future. It will also depict the roots of Emirati culture and heritage, and illustrate the legacy of the ancestors and the relationship between tradition and technology.
Children under the age of three enter for free. You can book your tickets through platinumlist.net. The event is titled , ‘The 52nd Union Day Show at Jubilee Park, Expo City, Dubai’.
• Dates: December 5 to December 12
• Timings: Attendees should arrive by 4pm and the show will start at 6pm
3. Dubai Police Parade in Al Wasl
• Date: Friday, December 1
• Timings: 4.30pm to 5.30pm
During the Union Day break, Dubai Police will be organising a parade in the Al Wasl area. The parade will feature the Dubai Police marching band, and Dubai Police’s hourse-mounted unit. Students from Dubai Police Academy and 60 school students will be participating in the event.
The parade is in collaboration with the Watani Al Emarat, a non-profit government organisation. In additon to the parade, the event will include various cultural shows and performances.
Location: The parade will be held in the following areas in Al Wasl - Al Madina Street, Al Multaqa Street and London Street in City Walk.
1. Free entry to all Sharjah museums
• Date: From Friday, December 1 to Saturday, December 2.
• Timings: Friday: 4pm to 8pm, Saturday: 8am to 8pm
Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) is offering free entry to all its museums on Friday and Saturday during the Union Day break.
Each museum will host numerous workshops and events, which will educate the public on the UAE’s rich culture and heritage.
According to Sharjah Events, the emirate’s official events calendar, the museums will host traditional performances and include heritage corners with food, games, and henna artists. Visitors will also get to watch a maritime parade at the Sharjah Martime Museum.
These events will be held at the following musuems:
• Bait Sheikh Saeed Bin Hamad Al Qasimi: 5pm to 10pm
• Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn): 10am to 1pm
• Sharjah Maritime Museum: 4pm to 10pm
2. Union Day celebrations all over Sharjah
According to the Sharjah Union Day Celebrations Committee, several events will be hosted across various regions, including:
• Sharjah National Park
• Maliha Public Park
• Al Hosn Island
• Dibba Al Hisn
• Khorfakkan Amphitheater
• Souq Sharq
• Wadi Al Helo
• Al Bataeh, Al Mudam
• Dhaid Fort
• Heritage Village in Al Hamriyah
Umm Al Quwain
Union Day celebrations will be held at two locations in the emirate, both of which are free to attend for all visitors:
1. Falaj Al-Mualla Fort
• Date: From Friday, December 1 to December Monday 3, 2023.
• Timings: From 4pm to 9pm.
At Falaj Al-Mualla Fort visitors will get to enjoy and learn about Emirati heritage through traditional folklore shows and crafts workshops. Visitors will also have to chance to watch a camel show and take part in traditional cooking competitions.
2. Al Khor Waterfront
• Date: Friday, December 1.
• Timings: 4pm to 10pm.
At Al Khor Waterfront, visitors will be able to watch an air show, a carnival, and also take part in activities like kayaking. There is also a playground and arts and craft corner for children. The air show will start from 4.30pm.
Ras Al Khaimah
1. Union Day Parade at Al Qwasim Corniche
• Date: Friday, December 1.
• Timings: 3pm to 5pm.
Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Police – General Head Quarter will be carrying out a 52nd Union Day Parade from Al Qwasim Corniche.
The parade will contain a Military Show and the main road to Al Qwasim Corniche will be closed.
In addition to the Union Day Parade, Ras Al Khaimah Police has also organised more celebrations at the corniche. Here is a list of some of the events:
• Motorcycle Parade
• National Anthem
• Military Unit Parade
• Old Military Parade
• Al Dhait School Operetta
• Parade from universities, colleges, schools and social centres.
Since the main road to Al Qwasim Corniche will be closed at 3pm, Ras Al Khaimah has advised visitors to arrive half an hour earlier to avoid road closures.