Your indispensable guide to the long National Day weekend…

Sunday, November 29

The art of a nation

There’s a very on-brand, pop-up art gallery at The Edition Abu Dhabi for the long weekend. It features a diverse range of exciting artworks from local UAE, talent including this (above) one courtesy of Salama Al Nuaimi.

Marina Al Bateen, Nov 29 to Dec 5, . Tel: (02) 208 0000,

A slice of the high life

This recently rebranded luxury five-star hotel is located in a prime position on the Corniche, which may or may not be hosting its own firework display for National Day. We’ll let you know as soon as we know. Sky fire or not, there’s a beautiful beach, pool complex and a dizzying array of great dining options available at the Conrad. You can book into rooms for Dhs899 (with Dhs200 food and beverage credit), and suites for Dhs1,499 (with Dhs300 of dining credit).

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers, West Corniche Rd Abu Dhabi, Dec 1 to 4. Tel: (02) 811 5555,

Monday, November 30

Teeing up the celebrations like…

Until December 2, the Retreat sports bar at Westin Abu Dhabi will be firing up the alfresco barbie for three days of a special ‘Barbecue on the Terrace’ evening meal – featuring a top selection of grilled delights. It’s all a-la-carte pricing and indition to epic flame-cooked eats, you of course get one of the best places in Abu Dhabi to watch the sun sink into the horizon.

Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Sas Al Nakhl, 1pm 10pm daily, unti December 2,. Tel: (02) 616 9999,

Going all in

Just a reminder that this stunning desert island resort offers an ultra-luxe all inclusive option. And it represents incredible value if you do a quick bit of mental arithmetic on all the food and beverage that’s included. It’s just Dhs1,500 for two adults in a deluxe room, all your meals, drinks, access to the beach, the eight restaurants and bars, the aqua park, wave pool and more.

Saadiyat Island. Offer must be booked directly with hotel tel: (02) 492 2222,

This season’s must eats

villa toscana

The latest round of Abu Dhabi Culinary Season — Chef’s Table menus has been curated under the theme ‘Art on a Plate’ will be available until December 15. The limited edition series of five-course meals are being prepared by some of the capital’s finest cheffing talent, at top restaurants across the city. Culinary galleries include LPM Abu Dhabi, Hakkasan, Villa Toscana (pictured), Li Jiang, Maartaban, Verso, Signature 3 and more.

From around Dhs335, Abu Dhabi Culinary Season, various spots around Abu Dhabi, until Dec 15.

Staycation: The National Day Edition

Celebrate the green, white, black and red of the UAE at what is undoubtedly one of the capital’s most stylish hotels. Their special National Day package includes a one night stay in a chic Deluxe Room, the incredibly popular Oak Room brunch, and breakfast at the Alba Terrace. There’s even a very on-brand, pop art gallery there for the long weekend featuring exciting artwork from local talent. And it’s all just Dhs999 for two!

Marina Al Bateen, Nov 29 to Dec 5, . Tel: (02) 208 0000,

Tuesday, December 1

Flying the colours

qasr al watan

As part of Presidential Palace, Qasr al Watan’s National Day celebrations, the popular Palace in Motion Light and Sound Show will be preceeded by a patriotic projection of the UAE flag alongside a rousing rendition of the UAE National Anthem.

Al Ras Al Akhdar – Abu DhabiQasr Al Watan is closed Mon, shows on Tuesday 1, and Wednesday 2 from around 7.15pm. Book on

Culinary kaleidoscopes

Market Kitchen is offering a limited time, Chromatic Menu to celebrate National Day. It’s a set meal (Dhs250) that takes inspiration from each of the UAE flag colours (with meat and vegetarian options). There’s tuna ceviche and cherry blossom for the red, tabbouleh for the green, steamed hamour fillet for white, and a choco coffee mousse, date & fig pudding for the black.

Le Royal Meridien, Sheikh Khalifa Street. Tel: (02) 674 2020,

A roaming holiday

If you prefer your staycations to be a little more serene, you can come and commune with nature at this coastal gem. Room rates start at just Dhs749 and in addition to the stunning mangrove forests literally on the resort’s doorstep, guests can unwind over an attractive range of themed food nights, including seafood, Barbecue and Mediterranean grills.

Anantara Eastern Mangroves, Al Kheeran. Tel: (02) 656 1000,

The beach is back

cove beach abu dhabi makers district

The capital’s new super luxe Baleric-style beach club, Cove is now officially open. It comes with a 100-seat alfresco restaurant — Two.0, a chic lounge area, a sea-pool set in the ocean, cabanas, an infinity pool deck, huge art installation — Purl, and 300 metres of pristine private beach lapped by cut-glass island waters. And it’s taking bookings now, just in time the long National Day weekend.

Cove Beach, Makers District, Al Reem Island. Tel: (056) 398 7895,

Setting sale for Amazing

As part of the Aldar mall Amazing Sale! Campaign —Yas Mall, The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (The Mall at WTCAD) and Al Jimi Mall in Al Ain will be offering wild discounts of up to 90 per cent off in literally hundreds of participating stores. The sale is set to rage until December 5 and shoppers heading to Yas Mall can also check out Hope Probe-themed Augmented Reality experiences, and on December 2 a Guinness Wolrd Record attempt at building the ‘World’s Largest Sand Art Structure’. It’s in the shape of a bottle in case you’re wondering.

Wednesday, December 2

National savings

InterContinental Abu Dhabi Beach

Especially for the 49th UAE National Day long weekend, the InterContinental is offering a ’49 per cent off your third night stay’ deal. We see what you did there. Prices start from just Dhs549 for a double room with breakfast, but there’s also a ‘Dine Around’ package from Dhs949, which includes breakfast, dinner and lunch within the rates.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah bin Abdul 

Winning 49ers

To celebrate the fact we’re one year shy of a National Day Golden Jubilee (50 years), Namak by Kunal Kapur is offering a pretty outrageous deal. All of the main dishes at the fine dining South Asian restaurant will be sold at Dhs49 each. Please join us in a moment of silent respect for the kitchen staff. It’s going to get wild in there.

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Sultan Bin Zayed The First Street, December 2 only, 12.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30pm, dishes Dhs49. Tel: (02) 698 8888,

Planting seeds

The UAE National Day holiday on December 2 is going to look a little different this year. We’re pressing pause on the giant parades, and skipping the social gatherings – but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun of the 49th UAE National Day celebrations. The main event on December 2 is the live Seeds of the Union show, described as “a moving sculpture surrounded by sea and illuminated by digital visuals portraying themes inspired by the UAE’s history and values.” The live extravaganza will be screened for free online at, with an expected reach of millions of people here and around the world.

Theme park deals that make you double take

As part of the lead up to National Day, there’s a flash sale on Yas theme park tickets. The two-day, two-park sale tickets will be available to purchase online on each park’s website and the sale will run from November 26 to December 2. You won’t have to visit the parks right away though, whilst the sale is on you’ll be able to pre-book trips to the parks all the way up to December 25, 2020. There are two combo options available: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld or Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. The total price for either package works out at just Dhs220 per person.

Sales ends December 2.

Thursday, December 3

A Galleria in every sense

As part of Galleria Al Maryah’s #IAMUAE National Day celebrations, there will be a special charity exhibition called ‘Designed for Sharing’. Created and conceived by Fantini Mosaici the exhibition will include 19 mosaic pieces put together by some impressive design talent. With proceeds from the sale of the art going to some great causes.

The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Al Falah Street, Abu Dhabi, open daily – 10am to 10pm Saturday to Wednesday, 10am to midnight on Thursday, noon to midnight on Friday. Exhibition on until December 12. Tel: (02) 616 6999,

Friday, December 4

Cakes of a nation

Yamanote Atelier is offering a range of UAE National Day cakes — using the flag’s colour palette to paint big sugar coated flavours. Enjoy patriotic patisserie in the form of coconut and date croissants, and orange and blueberry brioche, ganache cake, custard kunafa and more.

Funched in the face


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Easy Tiger’s Bingo Music Brunch, Funch — is now back on the menu. Four hours of carnival-level entertainment, food fun and whimsy for just Dhs249. And if you want to prolong the party, there’s a 4pm to 7pm after brunch extension for Dhs149, featuring the soulful sounds of live singer Jasmine Taylor.

Al Ain Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi, Fridays midday to 4pm, Dhs249. Tel: (0)26780522.

Choose your own adventure

This hotel is all about adventure, and there’s a special package for those looking for their own exciting escapades. Appropriately titled, The Adventurer — you get a room, breakfast and a pair of sporting activity combinations at the nearby Al Forsan International Sports Resort. Guests will be able to choose between go-karting and archery, wake-boarding and archery, or horse-riding and archery. The real kick however is, all of that, is just Dhs400 for two people.

Al Forsan International Sports Resort Khalifa City A – 12th St. Tel: (04) 201 4000,

Saturday, December 5

Royal staycays

Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi.jpg.crdownload

This hotel has been running a neat little staycation deal that’s just perfect for foodies and remarkably, it’s still valid over the National Day Weekend. The ‘Eat for Your Sleep’ packages starts at just Dhs600 (or from Dhs800 for a suite) and includes the full amount back to spend on food and beverage at the hotel’s eateries. Credit you could spend on Market Kitchen’s special Chromatic Menu, a set meal (Dhs250) that takes inspiration from each of the UAE flag colours (with meat and vegetarian options)

Le Royal Meridien, Sheikh Khalifa Street. Tel: (02) 674 2020,

Earth, wind, wood and fire

Rosewood’s Glo has acquired a reputation for grilling, thrilling and stomach filling. And the popular Wood & Fire night has now been given a Saturday Brunch remix. It’s pretty outstanding value at Dhs255 for a free-flow hops and grapes package, there’s also pool access AND 20 per cent off refreshments before and after the brunch. Menu highlights include chicken liver parfait, tuna tartare, duck rillette, catch of the day, lamb rump, flank steak, short rib, chicken, with a pear sundae or churros to end the meal.

Glo, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island – Abu Dhabi, Tel: (02) 813 5550, @rosewoodabudhabi

Images: Provided/Getty/What’s On Archive