52nd National Day
The 52nd UAE National Day 2023
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Early December is one of the most wonderful times of the year with fantastic mild weather and, of course, the country’s birthday – National Day. National Day is celebrated on the 2nd of December annually to mark the day the country of the United Arab Emirates was formed in 1971 under a Federal Constitutional Monarchy. 2023 is the 52nd year of unification for the United Arab Emirates.

National Day Events & Cultural Traditions

In addition to festivals, flags, and fireworks, many traditional events can be seen around Dubai:

  • Al Ayala Dance
    An embodiment of Emirati values and heritage, the Al Ayyala dance sees male performers holding thin bamboo canes and moving to a steady rhythm of drums. Perhaps the most well-known traditional dance in the United Arab Emirates. The dance is so important to the country’s heritage that it is now recorded on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage Items of Humanity.
  • Yola Dance
    Also known as Yowla, Yollah, or al-yawlah, it is a traditional weapons dance or victory dance involving boys or men swinging sticks and swords.
  • Falconry Displays
    A highly valued custom in the UAE, falconry displays help visitors understand the importance of these birds of prey to Bedouin life.
  • Ishy Bilady
    The country’s national anthem will be played loud and clear throughout events over the weekend – you can pick up some pointers on the words here.

2023 was designated ‘The Year of Sustainability’, and many events around the city are expected to take on a sustainability theme.

Expo City Dubai

Coinciding with the COP28 summit, the National Day Celebrations at Expo City Dubai will feature a range of innovative technologies and stunning projections. Based on the art of Sadu, the breathtaking show in the Al Wasl dome will symbolise the threads of unity and sustainability that have existed in the UAE since humans first inhabited the land now considered the UAE. The program will be available to the public from December 5 through December 12 and be broadcast live on all local TV channels on December 2. Tickets are AED 300 per person.

Global Village

Always a fun way to mark National Day in the UAE, Dubai Global Village will be putting on special shows to mark the Year of Sustainability from 1 to 3 December this year. The festivities will include art installations, such as a huge flag arch at Mini World and themed exhibits showcasing iconic UAE symbols. There will be live stage performances, family-friendly craft activities, and the opportunity to try falconry. There will also be kiosks featuring traditional handicrafts, including basket weaving and henna art. There will also be some spectacular fireworks after the sun has set. The normal entry fee to Global Village of 18 AED applies to participate in these events.


Bluewaters will celebrate in style with a magnificent fireworks display on Saturday, 2nd December at 9:00 pm. There will also be street performances throughout the weekend.

City Walk

Starting at 4:00 PM on 1 December, a Union Day parade will be taking place with participation by Dubai Police on horse patrol, over 60 school students and 100 performers, embracing the spirit of unity.

We wish everyone a wonderful time and celebration. Our small tip: Wear clothes or accessories in the colours of the UAE flag: red, green, white and black, and you will feel even more connected with this big holiday.