Happy 52nd Union Day, UAE…

Join in the celebrations this weekend with plenty of unmissable events and experiences around the city. Here is our shortlist of 12 epic things to do in Dubai this long weekend:

Friday, December 1

Swim under the stars

Capture the essence of Dubai from spectacular heights with an unforgettable night swim in the world’s highest 360º infinity pool. The National Day swim is taking place from 8pm and 11pm on Friday and Sunday, giving you four hours to bask in the moonlight and get your lengths in around the 360-degree sky pool. When you’ve done your laps – and got that all-important Instagram snap with the incredible Dubai Marina skyline as your background, it’s time to enjoy the fantastic line-up of entertainment, delicious Pan-Asian menu, and signature cocktails. The experience is priced at Dhs250 per person.

Aura Skypool, St Regis Hotel, Palm Jumeirah. December 1 and 3, 8pm to 11pm. Dhs250.  auraskypool.com.

Gather the tribe for a family pool day

For an adventure-filled pool day the little ones will love, Al Barari Playground is the ideal spot. Nestled in the serene surroundings of Al Barari, the outdoor playground is open from 8am to 8pm with entry prices starting from Dhs45 for two hours and Dhs72 for four hours. There’s a beach play area where the mini adventurers can build sandcastles, a splash pad with thrilling slides, a toddler oasis with mini slides, and, on dry land, magical treehouses, ziplines, swings, and more.

Al Barari Playground, Al Barari, Dubai. Daily 8am to 8pm. Dhs45 weekdays (two hours), Dhs65 weekends (two hours). albararipark.platinumlist.net / @albarariplayground

Eat your way around Old Dubai

Get a taste of Dubai’s most historic neighbourhood on this special edition National Day Frying Pan Adventures tour in collaboration with Rove Hotels. Rediscover the city’s roots, wander through the spice souk, explore hidden gems with stuffed breads fresh out of a streetside oven, deep-fried nostalgic snacks with almond chai served in traditional clay pots, and then finish with an authentic Yemeni meal with fragrant rice, succulent meat, and flaky bread perfect for dipping into a hearty stew. 

Rove City Center Deira, Friday, December 1. 4.30pm to 8.45pm. 8 years and above. Dhs175 per person. fryingpanadventures.com

See Peggy Gou live

If you’re looking for a place to party this weekend, look no further than Soho Garden on the Palm Jumeirah. Nanana star DJ Peggy Gou is back in Dubai on Friday, December 1, headlining Soho Garden. Tickets will be available at the door. Peggy Gou is a Korean DJ who is known for her incredible techno beats.

Soho Garden, Nakheel Mall, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Friday, December 1, doors open at 9pm. Tel:(0)5 2388 8849. @sohogardendxb

Saturday, December 2

Make your own Christmas wreath


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It’s beginning to look a lot like… Cherry Blossom is hosting a Christmas wreath-making workshop at wholesome café, Bounty Beets. Taking place every Saturday and Sunday throughout December, the festive workshop is priced at Dhs395 per person inclusive of all the materials, expert guidance, and a festive Aperol Spritz on arrival. There will also be live music from 5.30pm to 6.30pm playing all your favourite Christmas songs.

Bounty Beets, Saturdays and Sundays throughout December, 4pm to 6pm. Dhs395 per person. cherryblossomdubai.ae

Get your body moving at the beach with Crank


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Heading to the beach this weekend? Homegrown fitness boutique Crank is back hosting their popular Ride class at Salt, Kite Beach. Join in the 45-minute class on Saturday at 7am and 8am. Pedal through heavy climbs and saddle up for powerful sprints in the signature full-body workout. Crank has got you sorted with workout equipment, silent disco headsets and pure good vibes; getting your full body workout done bright and early.

Crank, SALT, Kite Beach. Saturdays, 7am and 8am. Dhs80 for first timers, Dhs130 for per class. crank-fit.com

Head to the action-packed Rugby 7s

The highly-anticipated Emirates Dubai 7s returns from Friday, December 1 to 3 and, as always, it’s going to include some A-list stars. Those visiting on the Saturday will see double Brits award winner Becky Hill, bringing her head-bopping chart-topping hits including Lose Control, My Heart Goes, Disconnect, and more. This fabulous weekend also caters to families, with entertainment and activations taking place for all ages. Young fans can look forward to plenty of games and attractions, and best of all there’s free entry for all children under the age of 10.

Emirates Dubai 7s, Sevens Stadium, Friday, December 1 to 3, from Dhs425. dubairugby7s.com

Have a merry time at this festive market

Bring the whole crew, pets included, to this magical Christmas market at Hillhouse Brasserie in Dubai Hills. Dive into interactive experiences like the gingerbread workshop, letter writing to Santa, and bauble decorating. Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts from local artisans, and treat your taste buds to delicious goodies from Hillhouse Brasserie & The Duck Hook. Plus, for the little ones, there will be a mind-blowing Magic Show by Magic Phil and a surprise visit from Santa himself. Taking place on Saturday from 10am to 6pm, this will warm your heart.

Hillhouse Brasserie, Dubai Hills Golf Club, Dubai. Saturday, December 1, 10am to 6pm. hillhousedubai

Sunday, December 3

Go glamping

Make the most of family time away from the city buzz with a staycation amongst the rocky mountains and stunning nature of Hatta. For Union Day, there’s a range of offers including the Family Explore package which includes early check-in, late check-out, four adrenaline-pumping activities, and two hearty breakfast baskets along with a BBQ dinner starting from Dhs999. Alternatively, the Hatta Escape package, starting from Dhs1,599, includes a scrumptious breakfast basket, a BBQ dinner, and a complimentary Ultimate Adventure Package for each guest, featuring zipline, big plunge, archery, wall climbing, axe throwing, and more.

Hatta Wadi Hub, Dubai. Tel: (0)4 852 2200. visithatta.com

Stretch it out with a relaxing yoga session


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Dubai community Let It Gro is hosting an outdoor yoga session followed by a tea ceremony this Sunday from 4pm at a quaint Jumeirah villa. Join master yoga instructor Allaoua Gaham in the dreamy garden, between the vegetable crops, for a Warrior Flow yoga session. Pure bliss. The session is priced at Dhs120 with 100 per cent of the profits being donated to the Emirates Red Crescent in support of Gaza.

Jumeirah 2, Sunday, December 3, 4pm. Dhs120. DM to book – @letitgro.ae

Kickstart your New Year’s resolutions early

For wellness lovers… Combining the benefits of ice baths, saunas, and Wim Hof breathing, this two-hour Thermal Boost session with Energy Camp will leave you feeling energized and recovered. There are tons of benefits that come from hot and cold exposure including mental clarity, blood circulation, boosted immune and digestive systems, and more. The Thermal Boost class is taking place every Sunday at 25Hours Hotel One Central, from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

Thermal Boost Session, 25Hours Hotel One Central, Dubai. Sundays, 11.30am to 1.30pm. energycamp.ae To book DM: @energycampdubai

Spend a morning at the farm

emirates bio farm

Emirates Bio Farm has reopened for the season and it’s bigger and better than before with an expanded restaurant, play area, and new self-guided field access. Hop on a tractor ride, walk the fields, feed friendly goats and chickens, pick up seasonal fruits and veggies, and enjoy a hearty farm-to-table breakfast at The Farmer’s Table. Open from 9am to 5pm daily, you can pre-buy tickets for Dhs40 online, with under threes entering for free.

Emirates Bio Farm, Al Shuwaib, Al Ain. Monday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm, Dhs40. Children under three go free.  Tel: (0)3 7838422, emiratesbiofarm.com

Monday, December 4

Get your burger fix with a view

As if we needed any more reason to visit Eleven Green, the popular homegrown burger joint now has an airy outdoor terrace overlooking Burj Al Arab. On the menu, expect a selection of mouthwatering dishes from a classic cheeseburger to the famous bull burger. There will also be a limited-time UAE-inspired National Day hotdog, featuring a Chicago-style twist with beloved local flavors, available until December 5. Don’t leave without trying the Fudge à la mode.

Eleven Green, Meyan Mall, Al Thanya Street, Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah, Dubai. Daily, 12.30pm to 11pm. @elevengreen.uae

Dive into the daycation of dreams

Since Atlantis The Royal opened in February 2023, one of the most exclusive spots has been the jaw-dropping 22nd floor infinity pool, Cloud 22. As of Monday December 4, you no longer have to be checking-in to enjoy the show-stopping views and breezy Mediterranean style. Guests can enjoy a dreamy pool day up in the clouds with single sun loungers will be priced at Dhs450 Monday to Thursday, and Dhs650 from Friday to Sunday (and on public holidays).

Cloud 22, Atlantis The Royal, Palm Jumeirah, daily 10am to 8pm. Tel: (0)4 426 2700. @cloud22dubai

Embrace la dolce vita 

Whether you’re catching up with friends or sealing a deal, make your midday more memorable at the Andiamo A Pranzo, Signor Sassi’s new business lunch. Taking place Monday to Friday, 12pm to 2.5pm, the iconic Italian’s business lunch is priced at Dhs145 per person for three courses. Guests can enjoy a warming soup of the day or aubergine parmigiana, followed by a pizzetta margherita, gnocchi alla sorrentina, or veal lemon escalope. For dessert, order the tiramisu and thank us later.

Signor Sassi Dubai, St Regis Gardens, Palm Jumeirah, 6pm to 2am Mon to Thurs, 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 2am Fri to Sun. Tel: (0)4 278 4848. signorsassidubai.com

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