UAE National Day is fast approaching (Sunday December 2), and there are so many places around the city where you can celebrate – whether it be with food, at the movies or taking in the amazing atmosphere while watching a spectacular firework show.
We'll also be getting a long weekend to mark the big occasion.
Atlantis The Palm’s National Day ‘Splash Sale’
Fancy taking a dip with some dolphins over the UAE National Day weekend? Sounds good to us, especially when it can be done for half the price. To celebrate National Day, the five-star resort is having a huge “Splash Sale” – slashing its prices up to 50 percent on a number of its attractions between Thursday November 29 and Saturday January 19, 2019. The five-day sale kicks off on Saturday November 24 until Wednesday November 28, and you can nab yourself tickets online right here.
Celebrate at #WOWJBR
Looking to spend National Day (Sunday December 2) beachside? #WOWJBR is bringing plenty of activities to JBR. Picks include live bands, parades and roaming performers just for the little ones – all for free. With a theme for every month of the year, this December will see Emirati dancers celebrate the 47th National Day by taking to the streets and performing a list of showstopping acts. Lookout for the photo wall for those Insta-snaps, specially set up holograms and 3D mapping. There’ll be a “larger-than-life Rubik’s Cube” that anyone can try their hand at solving to win prizes. There will also be a dedicated children’s zone.
Free. Until Dec 31. The Walk, JBR (800 637227).
Chill out at the spa The Mall of the Emirates
The Mall of the Emirates is getting a makeover to mark the special occasion, and promises to offer a week-long celebration from Sunday November 25 to Monday December 3. Brace yourself for an ensemble of music, shopping, stunning décor and shows in honour of UAE National Day. If you’re looking for a little rest and relaxation as well on Sunday December 2, then head to Shine Spa at Sheraton Mall of the Emirates and enjoy 47 percent off its treatments for one day only. Take the time to chill out and pamper.
Mall of the Emirates celebration: Nov 25-Dec 3. SunWed 10am-10pm, Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Shine Spa: Dec 2, 10am-10pm. Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (04 377 2380).
Dubai Parks And Resorts
The largest theme park destination in the Middle East is getting ready to celebrate the big day across all its theme parks, including LEGOLAND Dubai, MOTIONGATE Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, LEGOLAND Water Park along with Riverland Dubai. Better yet, guests looking to explore more than one park will only have to pay Dhs47. If you’re feeling creative, LEGOLAND Dubai wants guests to help build a four metre-long National Day LEGO mosaic. It’s also be displaying a special UAE National Day LEGO model that took 900 hours to make, and was built using 108,231 bricks and weighing over 300kg. MOTIONGATE and Bollywood Parks will be setting up cultural activities such as the traditional Ayallah dance and Arabic calligraphy. Riverland Dubai will be hosting exclusive dance performances, patriotic music, traditional tea and dates stalls and special decorations throughout the promenade for UAE National Day. It’s free to enter, and it will also have a UAE-themed circus parade featuring unicyclists, drummers, jugglers and stilt walkers,
From Dhs99, Dhs47 (additional park ticket). Wed Nov 28-Mon Dec 3. Dubai Parks and Resorts Sheikh Zayed Road (800 2629464).
Emirati experience at Al Mashowa
It’s UAE National Day, so what better time to indulge in an Emirati dining experience? Just for the occasion, the authentic Emirati restaurant Al Mashowa at City Walk will be offering a ‘Fawalat Al Mashowa’ afternoon tea featuring Emirati sweets such as chebab, mohallah and assidat al boubar, and you can wash it all down with the famous karak tea. That’s not all, as it will also be offering ‘Srood Al Mashowa’, an Emirati sharing breakfast for two that includes balaleet, baith tamat and fried egg, dango, bajella and white beans, a cheese platter, chammi with dates and cream, a bread basket and karak chai. That’s a lot of food.
Sun Dec 2 onwards. Open Sun-Thu 8am-midnight; Fri-Sat 8am-1am. Afternoon tea: 4pm-7pm In front of Hub Zero, City Walk (04 820 4330).
Face painting at BoxPark
The hip, urban spot from Meraas will be buzzing with all things UAE, featuring traditional dancers throughout National Day weekend, plenty of activities including face painting, along with a few stilt walkers handing out balloons. You’ll even find UAE-themed mini hot air balloons popping up and around the shipping containers across Boxpark. Relish in the decorations.
Free. Daily 4pm-9pm. Nov 29-Dec 3. BoxPark, Al Wasl Road (04 317 3999).
Family day out at XPark
Gather the gang and head to XPark Jr over National Day weekend. There will be a National Day Fiesta from Friday November 30 to Saturday November 31 at the extreme park at Kite Beach so be prepared to wave the UAE flag, create souvenirs and more. And it’s all included as part of the entry ticket for just Dhs30.
Dhs45 (two hours, one child and one adult). Fri Nov 30-Sat Nov 31. Open Thu-Fri 8am-8pm. XPark Jr, XDubai, Kite Beach, www.xdubai.com.
Fireworks at La Mer
If you fancy seeing the sky light up, head to La Mer and you’ll be treated to a proper show. Over the course of two days (Saturday December 1 and Sunday December 2), firework displays will light up the coastline to mark the 47th UAE National Day, and there’ll also be live music to really get you in the celebratory mood. On Saturday (December 1) Fouad Abdul Wahed, the Yemen born Khaleeji singing sensation who shot to fame with the Dubai TV show Najm Al Khaleej – Star of the GCC, will perform his popular songs Ya Hob and Qalbi ElSagheer, among other tunes. The following day Emirati star Mohammed Al Shehhi will take to the stage for a fusion of western beats and classical Arabic compositions. And that’s not all. To commemorate the founding of the UAE federation, a seven-metre-long artwork depicting La Mer’s minimalist and contemporary design along with the UAE flag, will be installed on the beachfront 2019 in partnership with Zabeel Studio.
Free. Sat Dec 1 & Sun Dec 2, 9pm. La Mer, Jumeirah 1, www.lamerdubai.ae.
Get a free burrito at Taqado
Fancy a burrito while enjoying all the celebrations? Well you can get one for free at Taqado at Mercado Mall on Sunday December 2. Kicking off at 5pm, the restaurant will be giving away 1,000 free burritos, and it doesn’t stop until each and every burrito is given away. Here’s a quick tip, Taqado is located at the top of the escalator in Mercato Mall, on the right-hand side.
Free. 5pm onwards. Mercato Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.taqado.com.
Kad Ché is offering 47 percent discount
If you’re looking for some grub over the long weekend, this café has a discount worth looking at. Kad Ché in Business Bay is celebrating 47 years of the union of the UAE by offering a 47 percent discount off everything on the menu.Taking place from Saturday December 1 until Monday December 3, foodies can expect the nifty discount to be applied to everything on the menu, from the café’s salads and gourmet sandwiches to its coffees and organic pressed juices.
47 percent discount. Sat Dec 1- Mon Dec 3. Daily 8am-11pm. Building 7, Bay Square, Business Bay, www.kadche.ae (04 338 8243).
La Perle by Dragone discounts
If there’s one show fitting to see during the week of UAE National Day, it’s La Perle by Dragone. To commemorate the 47th UAE National Day, the spectacular aquatic performance is slashing its prices with 47 percent off all tickets for shows during the National Day week from Wednesday, November 28 until National Day itself. The aqua-theatre uses 2.7 million litres of water used for each performance, so don’t miss this stunning show.
From Dhs222. Tue-Fri 7pm & 9.30pm, Sat 4pm & 7pm. The Atrium, Al Habtoor City, www.laperle.com (04 341 8844).
Olea’s culinary extravaganza
Levantine restaurant Olea at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates Dubai is cooking up a storm to celebrate UAE National Day. From Thursday November 29 until Saturday December 1, the special dining event will see dishes from Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and, of course, the UAE be served. Highlights from the menu include Arabic dishes such as, Emirati lamb ouzi, thareed laham, harees with beef, live shawarma stations, street food trolleys, along with the main event – a spit roasted whole lamb. As for activities, expect henna stations, children’s activities, an oud player and face painting, as well as a candy cart.
Dhs225 (soft drinks). Thu Nov 29-Sat Dec 1. Daily 7pm-11pm. Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 341 0000).
To commemorate the historic day, Time Out Dubai’s Best MENA restaurant 2018 is setting up a evening brunch filled with specially crafted classic Anatolian dishes. From Dhs299, RÜYA Dubai will offer guests four hours of their house favourites, including two-cheese pide, lahmucun filled with spicy lamb, simit coated baby squid and caġ kebap. There will be a selection of mixed drinks, too. The restaurant has also created special hazelnut baklava made with whipped kaymak cream and cinnamon, and paired with special camel milk ice cream to pay homage to the UAE.
Bayram night: Dhs299 (soft drinks), Dhs399 (house beverages), Dhs499 (bubbly). Sat Dec 1, 8pm-midnight. Hazelnut baklava: Dhs48. Sat Dec 1-Sun Dec 2. Grosvenor House Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, www.ruyadubai.com (04 399 9123).
Say it with flowers
Who not give someone special a floral gift in the colours of the UAE flag for National Day? To mark the day, Plaisir Cadeaux et Fleurs has created a limited-edition 12x12cm gift box, wrapped up in one colour from the beloved flag on each side of the box, with a UAE flag on the cover itself. Inside, your lucky loved one can expect stunning and fragrant blooms of the “9 Forever Carnations” all in the UAE’s national colours. The Forever Carnations are exclusive to Plaisir Cadeaux et Fleurs and provide enduring blooms that last for more than a year without any water. So the incredible flora could last until next year’s National Day. You can either pre-order online or buy them in-store at the boutique located in Umm Al Sheif.
Dhs450 (gift box). Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 8.30am1.30pm. Al Thanya Street, Umm Al Sheif, www.plaisircadeaux.com (04 258 4747).
Fancy a sweet Emirati dessert in the form of the UAE flag? JBR’s popular Seven Sands restaurant is giving its legemat dessert a colourful makeover in the form of the UAE flag. Delightful, but that’s not all. Seven Sands will also have a special cultural menu for Dhs147 featuring appetisers including lemon bezar salad and yact cheese, main course dishes such as the chicken fouga and the Abu Dhabi homemade wheat and fresh veal harees, along with a dessert including camel ice cream.
Dhs27 (legemat dessert), Dhs147 (Emirati experience). Sun Dec 2, noon-1am. The Beach, JBR, www.sevensandsrestaurant.com (04 551 6652).
Staycation at Address Dubai Mall
Make the most out of UAE National Day and the long weekend with Address Dubai Mall’s exclusive UAE residents’ package. From Dhs1,599 per night, guests will not only get to take in the finest views of the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain from a private balcony, but they’ll also be treated to complimentary breakfast and tickets to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.
Dhs1,599 per night. Ongoing. Address Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 438 8888).
Street shows at City Walk
In honour of the occasion, City Walk will be decorating its streets to the brim with UAE flags. Of course, many will be given away so visitors can wave their flags high and proud. From Saturday December 1 to Monday December 3, City Walk will be bursting with themed entertainment, from traditional Ayala Group and Harbiya performances to arts and crafts workshops for the little ones. You can even pick yourself up UAE-coloured scarves and pins.
Free. Performances: 4pm-onwards. Nov 29-Dec 3. City Walk, Al Safa Street (800 637227).
Visit the movies
Want to watch a flick to mark the occasion? Roxy Cinemas will be redesigning its popcorn containers and soft drink cups in partnership with boutique design studio The Label Theory. Film buffs can get the limited-edition designs just by buying snacks, and all proceeds going to Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital. That’s your cinema feasting sorted, so be sure to turn to page 78 for this week’s latest film reviews − and that’s the rest taken care of.
Until Dec 2. Various locations including The Beach, JBR, City Walk and BoxPark, www.theroxycinemas.com.
Volunteer to be part of the UAE National Day celebrations
Want to be part of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate UAE National Day? Organisers are looking for young residents to volunteer as part of the 47th anniversary celebration at Zayed Sports City on Sunday December 2. World-renowned artists, musicians and performers will be paying tribute to the UAE in a series of fabulous live performances. If you're interested in volunteering, click here to go to the official website to sign up.
Watch the fireworks at Dubai Festival City
Dubai Festival City has a well-deserved good reputation for putting on a fantastic show during special events, and luckily for us it’s ramping it up further for UAE National Day. There’ll be two firework shows at 9pm and 11pm on the big day. Plus, a brand-new IMAGINE show at 9pm and 11pm as well, promising to beam the colours of the UAE flag across the waters of the Festival Bay. The mall will kick off celebrations from 2pm onwards, including a special Ayala dance performance. It’s the perfect destination if you’re looking to celebrate after a busy day shopping.
Free. Dec 2. Ayala dance: 2pm-onwards. IMAGINE show: 9pm and 11pm. Fireworks: 9pm and 11pm. Dubai Festival City (800 332).