Few celebrations unite Abu Dhabi’s huge range of nationalities and cultures with the same power as UAE National Day.
Marking the unification of the seven emirates in 1971, it’s a truly wonderous display of patriotism, colour and traditions.
This year marks the 47th annual National Day and it will honour the UAE’s founding father, the late H. H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, more than ever before.
In line with this year’s Year of Zayed celebrations, the festivities in Abu Dhabi are running under the theme of 'This is Zayed. This is the UAE' on December 2.
And from mega public gatherings and spectacular showcases to stunning art exhibitions, there’s a lot going on this National Day.
Here is a few of the highlights.
The official celebrations at Zayed Sports City
Held at Zayed Sports City Stadium, this is one bash that promises to elevate National Day celebrations to a whole other level.
Organisers have vowed to deliver "stunning performances, the likes of which have never been seen before".
We can expect entertaining live shows, plenty of music, visual arts and interactive performances.
And maybe even a colourful air display or two.
Tickets can be booked on www.uaenationalday.ae or call 800 86823.
Prices vary. December 2. Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi. www.uaenationalday.ae
A colourful spectacle at Yas Marina Circuit
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be done and dusted by the time the next big spectacle rolls into town for National Day.
Yas Marina Circuit will play host to a fun-filled day to celebrate the UAE turning 47.
There will be lots to do for all the family with live music, drift car shows, off-track entertainment and cultural experiences.
And let’s not forget the grand finale of fireworks lighting up the Yas Island skies.
Free. December 2, 2pm-8pm. Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island.
Family fun at Cascade Dining
This Yas Mall foodie hub has lots for all ages to do, see and eat this National Day.
There will be three days of UAE-themed activities, including cooking classes with Emirati mascots and a parade of stilt walkers and unicycle performers.
Kids can even make the UAE flag out of tasty treats or take part in other food-themed games.
Dhs20. November 30-December 2, 2pm-8pm. Yas Mall, Yas Island.
Get inspired at Le Royal Méridien
This capital hotel will host an unmissable art showcase to celebrate the UAE’s history and traditions.
Abu Dhabi Art and The Art of Maysoon and Bassam have joined forces to present Zellal Emaratea.
The thought-provoking display will use shadows to reflect on the UAE’s culture and identity in a stunning showcase.
It will also feature work by the incredibly talented students of Emirates National School.
To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Free. From 9am, November 28-December 29. Le Royal Méridien, Sheikh Khalifa Street (02 674 2020).
Water Battle at Yas Waterworld
Certainly one of the coolest places in the capital to celebrate National Day, and we don’t just mean the water.
The ever-popular Yas Island theme park is hosting a mega Water Battle and it promises to be a fun-filled affair.
Families can choose different coloured water pistols and soak each other in the Amwaj battle arena.
Water pistols will be handed out free on a first come, first served basis and it begins at 11.47am on December 2.
Prices vary. December 2. Yas Waterworld, Yas Island. www.yaswaterworld.com
Bag a bargain staycation
With a long weekend on the horizon, it might prove the perfect time to treat yourself to a luxurious staycation.
You don't have to travel too far to spend the weekend in style, with The St. Regis Abu Dhabi offering a brilliant package for National Day weekend.
Book a Superior Room from Dhs850 per night exclusive of taxes and you get breakfast and Dhs200 dining credit at one of the hotel's awesome restaurants, including Villa Toscana, thrown in for free.
Or you can treat yourself to a night in one of the elegant Signature Suites from Dhs1,400 per night exclusive of taxes and get breakfast and Dhs400 dining credit included.
Prices vary. Available for stays from November 29-December 2. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road (02 694 4444).
Enjoy the festivities at Yas Marina
There's no time for Yas Marina to relax after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as National Day follows quickly in its wake.
The popular destination will host a Gulf heritage-themed event, three days of entertainment and lots of activities to keep all ages entertained.
The fun takes place across December 1 to 3 from 3pm to 7pm each day.
And there'll be a spectacular fireworks display to enjoy at 7pm on Sunday, December 2.