Sponsored: The most unmissable hits of this epic long weekend…

This Thursday, December 2, the UAE is celebrating its 50th birthday. A golden Jubilee year, half a century of progress, development, world-leading innovation, exemplary tolerance, frontier engineering, pioneering governance and, not least in our opinion, epic shawarmas…

To mark this historic milestone, uae50.visitabudhabi.ae is setting up a spirited bonanza of landmark events and attractions for the capital, these are just some of our absolute faves…

Seven separate fireworks displays

Abu Dhabi fireworks UAE National Day 2020

Abu Dhabi Corniche — old faithful. This popular pyrotechnic staging point might have a wall of tower blocks in front of it, but a) that provides plenty of awesome lofty places to view the displays from and b) those colour bursts go high, making the display visible over much of the business end of the city. This display starts at 9pm.

Al Ain — National Day wouldn’t feel like National Day in the Garden City without a few sky bangers. This display starts at 9pm.

Al Dhafra — There will also be a display in Al Dhafra at 9pm on December 2.

Al Wathba —  In addition to all of the Year of the 50th celebrations going down at Zayed Festival, there will be a huge special edition of their weekly firework display every night between December 2 and Dcember 3, and what we’re promised, will be a legendary drone show. Tickets are Dhs5.

Bawabat Al Sharq Mall — Will host a National Day Flash Mob from 6pm, and a fireworks display that kicks off at 8pm on December 2.

Yas Bay — Between December 2 and 4, the then newly opened Yas Bay will also host a waterfront firework spectacular at 9pm. There will also be a host of other live entertainment.

Al Maryah Island — There are two nights of fireworks (on Thursday December 2 and Friday December 3).

Signature cravings

We just stumbled across a very exciting Abu Dhabi Culinary Season mall-based promotion, called Trademark Story. Here, again to celebrate year of the 50th, select restaurants in the participating malls listed below, will be offering one of the chef’s signature dishes for just Dhs50. Valid until December 9. Abu Dhabi Mall; Al Ain Mall; Al Jimi Mall; Al Wahda Mall; Bawabat Al Sharq Mall; Bawadi Mall; Deerfields Mall; Hili Mall; Khalidyah Mall; Marina Mall; Mazyad Mall; Mushrif Mall; My City Centre; Masdar; Ruwais Mall; The Galleria; WTC Mall; and Yas Mall.

Sale-ing away

As part of their year of Golden Jubilee celebrations, Etihad Airways‘ sky high levels of customer generosity is reaching a climax this week, ahead of the UAE’s 50th National Day. As of 10pm on Monday, November 29 (go go go) those of us possessed by wanderlust can pick up air fares with up to 50 per cent off. Yep, half-price plane tickets — and not even Omicron can spoil this party because flights booked as part of this 50 hour (nice) sale, can be changed at a later date without an admin fee. The sale ends at midnight on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. Book on their website, etihad.com.

A culture of excellence

louvre abu dhabi

To make exploring cultural adventures easier in the capital (and dramatically better value) the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT — Abu Dhabi) launched ‘The Cultural Pass’ — check out the abudhabiculture.ae website for a full guide to what’s on offer, when it’s on offer, and all the awesome prices.

You’ll find cultural engagements at Qasr Al Hosn, you can catch a special ‘50 Year’ film celebrating the many and varied chapters of the UAE story. Marsana on Hudayriyat Island will feature a range of Year of the 50th activations between December 1 and 3; as will Qasr Al Muwaiji; and Sheikha Fatima Park — which officially opens that same weekend.

The Cultural Foundation will feature performances of Sailing the Silk Road by the world-famous Caracalla Dance Theatre; an interactive exhibition called Al Mujamma; and a special exhibition of art installations and films by Emirati filmmakers. Manarat Al Saadiyat will also showcase local art talent and host interactive workshops.

A full round-up of events cant be found on the visitabudhabi.ae website.

Images: Getty/provided