It was 46 years ago today (well, December 2 to be precise) that the seven emirates came together to form our much-beloved United Arab Emirates. Each year we mark this auspicious occasion with a huge celebration, as well as giving thanks to the UAE’s founding fathers. With that in mind we’ve rounded up some of the best ways the capital will be saying “happy birthday” to the nation.
The gourmet boutique will be offering a National Day collection showcasing wrapped chocolates and a range of luxury gifts, proudly presented in the traditional colours of the UAE. Pay tribute to the nation with a premium range of delicious ganache and pralines encased in the finest single-origin chocolate. Alternatively, embrace local traditions and spoil family and friends with Bateel’s signature assorted dates.
Until Sat Dec 2. Various locations.
Cool LA import Berri’s at Al Muneera is creating something special to celebrate the 46th National Day of the UAE. All weekend, every Berri’s pizza (even the famed lobster number) will come with an additional mini pizza created with fresh ingredients depicting the UAE flag. Patriotic pizza at its finest...
Dec 1-3. Open Fri-Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-11pm. Al Muneera Beach Plaza, Abu Dhabi (02 643 9555).
The home-grown Indian restaurant is launching a special edition of its famous pot in homage to the formation of the UAE. Grab a biriyani in the colours of our flag in the signature flavours of chicken or lamb and feel the pride of the nation with every bite.
Nov 30–Dec 2. The Galleria, Al Mariyah Island (02 676 6555).
Yas Mall’s casual culinary destination is kicking off the celebrations with roaming entertainment, including a police marching band, Liwa Folk Dancers and Apala Dancers over three days from noon to 2pm and then again from 5pm until 10pm. Dish Dash, Studio Masr, Nar and Hatam will be serving up authentic Middle Eastern dishes and guests who are looking for an authentic Emirati experience can look no further than Al Fanar – it’s the perfect spot to immerse the family in the UAE’s culture and traditional cuisine.
Dec 1-3. Yas Mall, Yas Island, www.cascadedining.ae.
For fans of song and dance (and parents looking for some real nostalgia), The Smurfs Live on Stage – Smurfs Save Spring musical will run from Thursday November 30 to Friday December 1. The Smurftastic show will land in Abu Dhabi for the first time ever as part of the National Day weekend’s line-up of celebrations. Also gracing the du Forum stage this National Day will be Lebanese star Nancy Ajram.
The multi-platinum singer has sold more than two million records and is expected to deliver a dazzling performance to audiences on Saturday, December 2.
Nov 30-Dec 3. du Forum, Yas Island (02 509 8142).
From November 28, La Brioche will be offering a range of celebratory treats – cakes, cupcakes, chocolate boxes, chocolate trays, macarons and lollipops. Not only that, on December 2, all dine-in customers at any branch across the UAE will enjoy complimentary National Day-themed treats with every order between 4pm and 6pm.
Various locations across Abu Dhabi.
Combining the winning spirit of the UAE with Ferrari flair, this theme park is treating guests to a weekend of special entertainment for the entire family to enjoy. From traditional Ayala and Khaleeji dancers to stilt walkers, UAE National decorations, flags, banners, lights and lanterns and more all under one red roof. There is also a two-for-one ticket offer for all UAE residents with a valid Emirates ID until December 3.
Dec 1-3. Ferrari World, Yas Island (02 496 8000).
Fifa Club World Cup mobile roadshow
Aldar Properties has joined forces with the FIFA Club World Cup 2017 to host an official mobile roadshow for football fans. The one-of-a-kind show will offer a series of exciting activities that test the participant’s football skills, including: dribbling, passing, heading and throwing competitions, and other skills such as precision, shot-stopping, reflex, accuracy, touch, E-sport, power and speed will also be tested. The roadshow will appear at Shams Boutik, Al Muneera Beach Plaza, Al Rayyana and the new Al Falah. Performances will be scored and ranked against the rest of the UAE community via a mobile app.
Entry into the competition is Dhs20 (includes a voucher equivalent to a match ticket). The highest ranked player will be crowned FIFA Club World Cup Ultimate Hero. Nov 16-Dec 2. Various locations.
An energetic Stomp show will surprise visitors of the mall with three shows each on the evenings of December 1 and 2. The theatrical performance uses the body and ordinary objects to create an invigorating show and electrifying rhythm. On the Sunday, celebrations continue with a breath-taking aerial show and
a spectacular dance performance.
Dec 1-3. Nation Towers, Corniche Road (02 333 8288).
Enjoy al fresco dining at the vibrant restaurants along the marina waterfront, where little ones will be entertained at the arts and crafts corner and can make UAE flags or create handprints in the national colours. Other activities include face painting, balloon blaster, can smash and ring toss at The Carnival Game Zone, inflatables and trampolines at the Bouncy Zone and face painting, to ensure a whole lot of fun. Parents can sit back and relax at one of the restaurants situated alongside the promenade providing different cuisines for every taste.
Dec 1, 2pm-6pm. Yas Marina, Yas Island (800 6274627)
Yas Marina Circuit
The racing track is expecting more than 10,000 people to turn up this year, and those that do will be able to take part in a fun-filled day ending with a fireworks display at 9pm. There will be Emirati dancing, calligraphy and falconry as well as music, face painters, arts and crafts for kids and fun rides. There will also be F2 and GP3 testing on the curcuit and the recently revamped KartZone will also be open. A host of food trucks will also be in attendance to keep everyone well fed.
Free. Saturday December 2, 2pm-9pm. North Grandstand and North Oasis, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, www.yasmarinacircuit.com.
Yas Waterworld is celebrating by hosting the biggest water battle ever seen in Abu Dhabi. The battle will start at 11.46am (it’s the 46th anniversary, after all) at the Amwaj Wave Pool and will last for a total of 15 minutes. So get set for exciting water pistol battles as well as interactive games and National Day-themed celebrations for all the family.
Dec 2, 11.46am. Yas Waterworld, Yas Island, www.yaswaterworld.com (02 496 8008).