From December 1 to 4, everyone is invited to join the grand celebration of the 51st UAE National Day. Numerous festivals, concerts, exhibitions, firework displays, shopping deals, and much more will be offered to citizens and tourists alike to have a good time. To help you decide how to spend this long weekend, we are going to cover some of the options here.
Watching the 51st National Day Celebration at ADNEC
On December 2, the 51st National Day show will be broadcast on television and screened at more than 50 venues across the country: for example, at Expo City Dubai, Hatta Dam, Qasr Al Hosn, Al Ain, and Sharjah National Park. It will also be broadcast at cinemas across the Emirates.
The show will commemorate those who have left a mark in UAE history contributing to the country’s rise since 1971 when it was formed. The stories of Emirati prominent figures in the fields of marine sciences, environment, agriculture, space, transportation, solar energy and education will be told. Focusing on the Emirati rich culture, the show will also shed light on the country’s ambitious plans for the years ahead. An epic soundtrack for the spectacle will be provided by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Emirates Choir. Among highlights of the show will be a military performance accompanied by Al-Taghrooda, a Bedouin form of chanted poetry, and Al Ayyala, a traditional performance which involves chanted poetry, drum music and dance, and simulates a battle scene.
The National Day show will not be open to the public, but one will be able to see it live at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from December 3 until December 11. To get more information and buy a ticket, please visit the official website of the National Day. There is no entry fee for children who are 3 y.o. and younger.
You can enjoy fireworks at Bawabat Al Sharq Mall at 9:00 p.m. on December 2. If you’re in Abu Dhabi, you’ll be able to watch them on Al Maryah Island, which usually features two nights of fireworks.
Other places to watch the UAE National Day celebration fireworks are Abu Dhabi Corniche, Emirates Palace (it’s a great spot to watch a celebratory air show as well), Yas Bay, and Al Dhafra.
Taking part in the Sheikh Zayed Festival
One of the largest events in Abu Dhabi, the Festival focuses on Emirati heritage and culture. As part of the 51st National Day celebrations, the Festival has prepared a full range of events starting December 1 until the 3rd.
In addition to the impressive Emirates Fountain, on December 2 and 3, the show “Together for the Future” will be held featuring fireworks and drones that showcase spectacular art. Laser shows will adorn the skies with the colours of the UAE’s flag accompanied by tunes of traditional Emirati songs. There will be an opportunity to watch the live broadcast of the official UAE 51st National Day show on different screens at the Festival premises.
On December 4, the Ministry of Interior will hold a military show. The mounted and motorcycle teams, bicycles, sand bikes, police dogs and the GTR patrol will participate in it.
The Festival will feature a lot of folk events. The theatres of the participating countries’ pavilions will present beautiful artistic shows with folklore songs sung by performers in their national costumes. They will also take part in the Global Civilization Parade; it will roam around the Festival grounds.
There will be many ways for a family to have some fun at the Festival: for example, visiting the Fun Fair City, Children’s Theater, and the Glow and Flower Garden. Al Forsan International Sports Resort will organise sporting activities: the mobile archery centre, bow and arrow shooting, axe throwing, and many others. One can also explore the Heritage Village situated at the centre of the Festival. It’s dedicated to the ancient traditions and culture of the UAE.
Celebration at Al Hosn
From December 2 until December 4, a series of thrilling activities will take place at Qasr Al Hosn, such as a Yolah competition, an installation and a live performance “Al Keeran: sound of Talli” at House of Artisans, and many more.
Besides, famous singers Hussain Al Jassmi and Hamad Al Ameri will give concerts at Al Hosn. Hussain Al Jassmi will perform on December 1, while Hamad Al Ameri will be on stage on December 3. You can learn more about the events and buy a ticket on this page.
Celebration at Louvre Abu Dhabi
The museum offers a four-day celebration program (December 1-4) which includes performances of three Emirati artists: pianist and composer Hamad Al Taee, soul singer Arqam Al Abri, and singer Rashed Al Nuaimi. It also features a talk led by senior Emiratis that accompanied the Late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan during his lifetime. To get more information and buy a ticket, please visit the official web page of the program.
Celebration at Qasr Al Muwaiji and Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa
Visit “Story of a Leader”, a free exhibition at Qasr Al Muwaiji, to learn about the life of the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. There are two shows taking place every hour (December 1-3).
On December 1-2, at Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, a historic house within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Ain, you will be able to enjoy free traditional performing art shows, participate in family workshops and savour traditional Emirati dishes.