It is incredible to believe that the UAE is just 43 years old, but on December 2 this year the nation celebrates its 43rd National Day.
If you have not noticed them already just look around to see the UAE flag popping up on cars. Cakes, kids’ faces and just about any other surface still enough to plant a flag on.
Get into the spirit of National Day and celebrate the Emirates with these 10 ideas selected by Time Out Dubai editors.
Marvel at Fireworks: From 6pm onwards on December 1st there will be fireworks, music and magic in the area directly opposite the Burj Al Arab. The event is free of charge but admission is now limited to pre-registered ticket holders. So while you may have missed out on the chance to see everything up close you just need to find a spot with Burj Al Arab views to enjoy the firework display. See more about the Burj Al Arab’s place in UAE history here.
Listen to live Arabic music: The MusicHall in Dubai is known for offering one of the most interesting and eclectic live music venues in the city. Having already attracted Arab musical stars Mashrou Leila this week it is hosting a night dedicated to Arabic music on Monday December 1. Expect a night of the all-time best Arabic hits and an all-star line-up including The Khaleeji Twins, The Chehade Brothers, Bilal Fadia Najem and more. For more information and reservations please call 971 56 270 8670.
Watch a boat parade: See boats parade up and down the Dubai Marina canal in UAE-themed decorations, including iconic buildings and indigenous wildlife. The day will also feature a line-up of family entertainment including face painting, a treasure hunt, live cooking stations and prize draws. The event is free and lasts between noon and 6pm at the Dubai Marina Yacht Club. Call 04 362 7900 for more information.
Pay a visit to the capital: Abu Dhabi is the nation’s capital and has huge plans for National Day 43. Events include a National Day Parade, artistic and cultural events as well as food and family events. Visit www.timeoutabudhabi.com for more details.
See the Graffiti scroll: If you’ve been along the Jumeirah Beach Road near Jumeirah Beach Park in the few days before UAE National Day you can’t help but have noticed an enormous graffiti wall emerging. The world record-breaking attempt at the longest ever graffiti image is a 2,180m painting called Rehlatna (Our Journey) and is a portrayal of the country’s history.
Soak up some Emirati culture: While we love to see where the UAE has achieved in just 43 years it is important to see the origins. There are cultural and heritage events happening all over town on National Day. Contact the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding on 04 353 661 or visit the Al Fahidi District in Bur Dubai. Alternatively check out the pop-up Emirati village selling local handicrafts and giving henna painting at the JA Ocean View Hotel in JBR between 5-10pm until December 3.
Fly the flag: Every year we enjoy the UAE flag popping up in strange and unexpected places. So far this year we’ve seen the red, green, white and black motif on parachutes , pizzas , flowers and even buses. Keep an eye out for more and share your most creative examples with @timeoutdubai on Twitter.