Get out your calendars! It’s time to start planning…

December is upon us, and apart from Christmas, it’s also National Day in the UAE, and it’s a long weekend ahead for most of us.

For those of you who are staying in the capital, we’ve rounded up a list of things you can do in Abu Dhabi during the long five-day holidays.

Here’s our top picks for things to do in Abu Dhabi this Eid weekend:

Thursday November 28

1. Time travel back to the 1970’s

The year is 1977, the place is New York City and it’s time to get down to Studio 54. Let Cinema Akil take you back to the disco era with a special screening of Studio 54 on the rooftop of Annex, Abu Dhabi Edition Hotel. Kicking off at 9pm, get ready to don your best disco gear and live like the good ol’ days.

Annex, Abu Dhabi Edition, Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi, Thursday November 28, 9pm onwards, free. 

Friday November 29

2. Get in on the racing action

The Formula 1 Grand Prix is back in Abu Dhabi this weekend, and what a weekend of events they have in store. From legendary drivers battling it out and concerts by epic performers, to unforgettable brunches and lively after-parties, you don’t want to miss one of the biggest events of the season. Check out our guide to everything going down here.

Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, November 28 to December 1, prices vary.

3. Glam up at Twiink Studio

Catering to all your lash and brow needs is new salon Twiink Studio located in the heart of Al Muneera. Inside the pretty pink studio is a team of qualified lash artists ready to offer a range of services, including classic lash extensions (Dhs475), a refill (Dhs265) or a Yumi lash treatment (Dhs275) that lifts, curls and tints lashes. All treatments are tailored to suit your face, personality and occasion, so just sit back  and relax – your lashes are in good hands.

Al Muneera, Al Raha Beach. Daily 8am to 10pm. Tel: (050) 5894465. @twiinkstudio

Saturday November 30

4. Brunch at Blue Marlin

If you haven’t heard yet, one of the UAE’s best-loved beach clubs, Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, is set to close its doors in Ghantoot this December. It will re-open in Dubai in 2020, although the new location has not yet been revealed (and of course, we will let you know when we know). While the beach club will be throwing one huge final party, aptly called The Last Dance, on Friday December 13, you can cahead to one (or two) of their brunches over the National Day long weekend; one on Saturday November 30 and one on Monday December 2.

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotels and Resort, Sheikh Zayed Road, Ghantoot, Exit 399, Abu Dhabi, until Friday December 13. Tel: (056) 113 3400.

5. Go crazy with National Day themed shake

Available for a limited time only from Saturday November 30 to Monday December 2, you can dig into a CrazyShake inspired by the four colours of the UAE national flag at Black Tap. The vanilla flavoured shake is layered with strawberry syrup and served with a chocolate-frosted rim and red, green and chocolate M&Ms. It is topped with a giant cake slice loaded with whipped cream and pistachios. Yum!

Black Tap, Yas Mall, Ground level, Abu Dhabi, UAE National themed shake available from November 30 to December 2, Dhs62 Tel:(02) 446 5128

Sunday December 1

6. Be wowed by the fireworks at Emirates Palace

Emirates Palace will be celebrating UAE National Day from Friday November 29 to Monday December 2, 2019 with dazzling firework displays being held only on December 1 and 2 starting from 8.30pm. Apart from catching the sky being illuminated with the red, green and white colors of the UAE flag, you can catch the laser show and large video projection taking place at the Triumphal Arch. Inside the hotel, there will be a remarkable display of 10 different types of dates, a chance to get a ‘Gram worthy photo with the UAE national bird – the falcon and a traditional Ayala dance performance. There’s also a corner filled with educational and entertainment for the little ones. Find a ‘Lady in Red’ for a chance to participate in a National Day Lottery, which will see seven lucky winners taking home special prizes. On all other days, there’s face painting for the little ones, plus an art exhibition.

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, from November 29 to December 2, events start at 10am in the morning, fireworks begin at 8.30pm, Tel: (02) 690 9000

7. Check in for a staycay at Anantara Eastern Mangroves

What better way to spend the long weekend than an ultra-relaxing staycay with some discounted spa treatments thrown in? If you stay at luxury resort Anantara Eastern Mangroves, you’ll get 48 percent off all spa treatments over the weekend, as well as breakfast and an Arabic buffet included in your stay.

Anantara Eastern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi, rates start from Dhs948. Tel: (02) 656 1000.

Monday December 2

8. Check out a theatrical production

Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sport City Stadium is hosting an epic theatrical production on Monday December 2 called ‘Legacy of our Ancestors’. The 50 minute show includes a whopping 900 performers (and their 1,700 dazzling costumes) and is inspired by local folklore. It will take the audience on a memorable journey through the UAE’s heritage through stories that embody centuries-old values deeply-rooted in the cultural fabric of the country. The soundtrack itself has been composed by eight internationally renowned composers and produced by over 80 musicians along with members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets cost Dhs60 per person and are selling out fast, so snag them on here. Doors open at 4pm.

Legacy of Our Ancestors, Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sport City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 4pm on December 2, Dhs60 per person and under 2s enter free, Tel: (800) 86823 

9. Visit Qasr Al Watan – the city’s newest cultural landmark

On the occasion of UAE National Day, Qasr Al Watan is hosting a series of entertainment starting from 1pm. There will be parades including horses and cyclists and the Abu Dhabi Police Band will also make an appearance. Taking place inside the Great Hall, there will be Ayala dancers alongside Emirati artist Ahmad Al Mansoori – who will perform a song he’s written especially for Qasr Al Watan. Visitors can also check out a digital photo exhibition, which is the latest addition to Qasr Al Watan, that includes never seen before images of Pope Francis – head of the Catholic Church, His Eminence Dr. Ahmad Al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of the Al Azhar Al Sharif visiting Qasr Al Watan, and more. Stick around till the sun goes down where the colors of the Emirati flag will be projected on the exterior of Qasr Al Watan.
Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi, National Day celebrations begin at 1pm on December 2, Palace and Garden ticket Dhs60 adults, Dhs30 for children under 12, Tel: (+971) 600 544 442

Tuesday December 3

10. Get selfies with the Light Laser Paintings in Nation Towers

Running from Sunday December 1 until Tuesday December 3, Nation Towers is showcasing an elevated Light Laser Painting spectacle pop-up where guests can capture stunning photos with the UAE flag colours. The photos are shot under slow shutter exposure so it has a beautiful effect. The images can be emailed or printed on site.

Nation Towers, First Street, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 10pm from December 1 to 3, free, Tel: (02) 3338288

11. Check out a unique exhibition at WTC Abu Dhabi

WTC Abu Dhabi is hosting ‘Art From The Heart’ this UAE National Day, an exhibition that celebrates the UAE heritage and culture. Running from Wednesday November 27 to Tuesday December 3, the event will feature live artist demonstrations, an interactive graffiti wall and non-stop local entertainment. Starting at 6pm until 9pm each day, emerging talented Emirati artists will paint live across six large WTC letter block installations. There’s also a one-of-a-kind large digital graffiti wall where you can spray paint to your heart’s content. You can even print your masterpiece once you’re done.

If you head here on Monday December 2 and Tuesday December 3, you will also find Ayala dancers, stilt walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and more.

Art From The Heart Gallery Event, WTC Abu Dhabi, timings vary, from November 27 to December 3, Tel:  (02) 508 2400

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