What’s On has info on what to do during the UAE’s 44 National Day celebrations, from car parades to fireworks and air shows, from Dec 1 to 3. 

Ride a Ferris wheel

Ferris Wheel Image (1)

See the city from new heights with a ride on the Marina Eye during National Day celebrations at Marina Mall. Other festivities at the shopping centre will include a traditional ayala dance performance, henna artist and falcon display.

Marina Mall, Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, Dec 2 to 4, daily 11am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6812310. Taxi: Marina Mall. marinamall.ae

Visit the National Day Colours Festival

Held at Yas Marina Circuit on December 2, this celebration will feature circus-style performers, high-speed zip lines and camel rides. There will also be arts and craft activities, aerial acrobatic performances and more.

Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Dec 2, 2.30pm to 6.30pm. Tel: (800) 927. Taxi: Yas Marina Circuit. yasisland.ae

Go to the waterpark for Dhs44

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi

Yas Waterworld, the Emirati-themed waterpark, is offering visitors a bargain rate of Dhs44 Bronze admission tickets throughout the day to guests dressed in a t-shirt with the colours of the UAE flag. So that means if you wear a top with red, green, white or black on it, you can avail the discounted tickets. And what’s more, the first 44 guests to arrive on the day will receive complimentary entry.

Yas Waterworld, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Dec 2, Dhs44 entry wearing UAE flag colours. Tel: (02) 4142000. Taxi: Yas Waterworld. yaswaterworld.com

Check out the decorated car parade

Head to Yas Island to check out elaborately decorated cars for this four-wheeled parade. The public will also be able to participate in the procession, along with national military and cavalry teams, and compete for the title of best decorated car.

du Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Dec 3, 4pm to 11pm. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: du Forum. abudhabievents.ae

Go glamping in the desert

Celebrate UAE heritage at Arabian Nights Village this National Day

Head to the Arabian Nights Village in Abu Dhabi’s Al Khatim desert for a taste of local culture. On December 2 the village, which features accommodations made from dried palm fronds, mud clay or goat’s hair tents, will host a live cooking station where chefs will prepare Emirati food. Overnight packages include dune bashing, sand surfing, camel riding, henna applications and dinner under the stars.

Al Khatim desert, Abu Dhabi, Dec 2, overnight packages from Dhs1,150 or day safaris from Dhs300 per adult and Dhs200 per child. Tel: (02) 6769990. arabiannightsvillage.com

Look at artwork inspired by the UAE

Head to the Etihad Modern Art Gallery to check out a National Day exhibition on December 1. Featuring artworks inspired by the UAE, there will also be a bazar showcasing traditional artefacts, traditional music, ayala dancing and traditional food.

Etihad Modern Art Gallery, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, Dec 1, 6pm. Tel: (02) 6210145. Taxi: Al Bateen Mall. etihadmodernart.com

Catch the fireworks


There will be a series of fireworks displays from December 1 to 3, throughout the Emirate, including at the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival in Al Wathba, the Abu Dhabi Corniche and Khor Al Maqta. From December 2 to 3, displays will also take place in Al Ain’s Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Gharbia’s Madinat Zayed Park and the public parks on Delma Island.

Various locations including Zayed Heritage Festival in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, 8pm. Tel: (800) 86823. Taxi: Al Wathba. abudhabievents.ae

Listen to some music

Fans of Arabic music should check out the National Day concerts featuring Emirati, Arab and Arabian Gulf singers such as Hamad Alameri, Aryam, Saeed Salem and Youssef Al Amani. Running from December 1 to 3, concert locations include Zayed Heritage Festival in Al Wathba, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Hili Fun City in Al Ain and Al Sila’a in Delma Island.

Various locations including Zayed Heritage Festival in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, 9pm to midnight. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Al Wathba. abudhabievents.ae

Watch an air show

Al Fursan in Air

Head to the Abu Dhabi Corniche for a special performance by the Al Fursan aerial display team on December 1. Translated as “The Knights,” the elite UAE air force aerobatic team will perform dazzling tricks and stunts in the sky.

Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, Dec 1, 4pm to 5pm. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Corniche Beach. abudhabievents.ae