Fireworks display at Abu Dhabi corniche
Fireworks displays at a number of locations in Abu Dhabi will be among the highlights of the UAE National Day celebrations. Image Credit: Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: UAE National Day is set to be celebrated with grandeur and style across Abu Dhabi this weekend, with fireworks, performances and concerts paying tribute to the UAE’s 51-year journey.

With 2022 being the first year after the nation’s golden jubilee celebrations, a key part of the festivities looks ahead to the country’s future and aspirations.

The Organising Committee of the 51st UAE National Day Celebrations has therefore invited everyone who calls the UAE home to mark National Day on December 2.

Official ceremony

Kicking off the celebrations in Abu Dhabi emirate, the UAE National Day Official Ceremony will take visitors on a generational journey of the UAE’s inspiring pioneers as the nation embarks on its future towards 2071.The show will be organised at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre between December 3 and December 11.

The Organising Committee is also calling on residents to record a minute-long clip of children talking about their dreams for the UAE’s future, to post it on Instagram for a chance to attend the official National Day celebrations.


A range of locations will host fireworks on December 2 and 3, including the Sheikh Zayed Festival in Al Wathba, the Abu Dhabi Corniche, Al Maryah Island, and Yas Bay Waterfront in the capital, as well Al Ain’s Hazza bin Zayed Stadium and Al Dhafra region.

Many of these venues will also see additional activations and performances for visitors.

Sheikh Zayed Festival

Sheikh Zayed Festival has a lineup of shows scheduled for December 2 and 3, including spectacular fountain and laser shows at the Emirates Fountain. The Global Civilisation Parade will showcase roaming performers , whereas the Emirates Civilisation Parade will take visitors on a journey through time to learn about the most important Emirati crafts.

The festival’s Heritage Village will also look back on the last 51 years of the UAE, and the role played by the country’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in unifying and developing the nation.

Al Maryah Island

At Al Maryah Island, a charitable drive by The Galleria, in partnership with the Fatima Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed Initiative (FBMI), will see the launch of a collection of rugs based on artworks by popular local artists. The Ripe Market will also run alongside the venue, offering locally made products and items.

Yas Island

Meanwhile, Yas Island will organise traditional Emirati ayyala dance performances across multiple sites, including at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. World, and Clymb Abu Dhabi. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will also feature a large UAE Flag for visitors to use as a background for photo opportunities, while Yas Waterworld is inviting guests to enjoy an interactive journey to learn more about the Emirati culture with a number of activities and live entertainment, including falcon handlers, oud players and rababh performers, and henna and face painting.

Rowing race

The Emirates Heritage Club will once again organise the National Day Traditional Rowing Race for 40-foot vessels. The annual race sees large-scale participation of many young sailors every year.

Emirates Heritage Club

The club will organise a ceremony and folklore performance at the Abu Dhabi Theatre, and screen a documentary about the formation of the union. There will also be a poetry matinee, alongside ayyala performances, a military band, a National Day photo exhibition, children’s crafts, and various competitions.

Museum celebrations

The emirate’s museums will also join in the National Day celebrations on a magnificent scale.

For instance, Qasr Al Hosn will see a competition of yolah weapon dance performances, art installations by the House of Artisans, and other live performances highlighting Emirati crafts.

Al Ain’s Qasr Al Muwaiji and Bait Mohammed Bin Khalifa will also see performances and shows to regale and educate visitors.

Ehtifal Al Emarat will also organise an art festival at the Abu Dhabi Theatre in an attempt to spread messages of solidarity and sustainability. Alongside this, there will be concerts, panel discussions, and a Guinness World record attempt by artists from 51 nationalities to celebrate the UAE’s 51 years.

At the Louvre Abu Dhabi, senior Emiratis who accompanied the UAE’s founding father during his lifetime will share his love of poetry, connection with the people, and his advocacy of women’s education.


A number of Emirati artists will also perform at Louvre Abu Dhabi over the National Day weekend, including pianist and composer Hamad Al Taee, soul singer Arqam Al Abri, singer Rashed Al Nuaimi.

Another concert at Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain will see Emirati artist and singer Balqees and Yemeni singer Fouad Abdulwahed performing. Popular Emirati artists Hussain Al Jassmi and Hamad Al Ameri, on the other hand, will regale residents at concerts at the Al Hosn.

Public celebrations

The emirate’s public venues and malls will also join in the festivities with multiple activations for families, whereas the capital will once again see its popular car parade along the Abu Dhabi Corniche.