On December 2, the UAE will celebrate its 48th National Day.
Events are set to take place across Abu Dhabi and the wider country as locals and expats celebrate all the things that make the UAE a brilliant place to live.
Here's what’s going on in Abu Dhabi this year, from fireworks and traditional performance to crazy water fights, it’s all happening.
Bawabat Al Sharq Mall
Five popular Emirati performers will perforom on December 3, the day after National Day itself. Fans will get to see singers Fatima Zahrat Alain, Mohammed Al-Matroushi and Hazza Al-Dhanhani as well as poets Mohammed Al-Saqri and Mohammed Elbriki. The show will be hosted by Abdulla Al Muhairi.
From November 28, the mall will have a host of activities including a face painting and henna area, coffee and date area, Emirati dance performances by a roaming local group and parades by UAE Themed Character Mascots. There's loads for kids, too.
Also, shoppers have the chance to win a Ford F150 Raptor when they spend Dhs200 at any of the stores in the mall (or Dhs400 at Carrefour). They can also double their chances to win by shopping at the stores on the first floor.
Nov 28-Dec 3. Baniyas.
Qasr Al Watan
Qasr Al Watan will be hosting National Day celebrations and unveiling new attractions. For the first time ever, the cultural centre will be hosting a National Day celebration on December 2.
Starting at 1pm, you can watch a parade of horses, cyclists and the Abu Dhabi Police band. After the procession inside the great hall, a traditional Emirati dance performance will be held at 4pm as well as a performance from Emirati singer Ahmad Al Mansoori. The UAE colours will also be projected onto the landmark as the sun sets.
Plus, when you’re there you can also check out the The Gallery, a digital photo exhibition that highlights important moments from the Year of Tolerance, including the Papal visit and the Speical Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi. Two new sculptures have also been added to the attraction’s gardens the Power of Words, which feature cage-like three dimensional figures surrounded by quotes from Sheikh Zayed.
Finally, two new dining outlets have opened at Qasr Al Watan including Al Dhiyafat restaurant and Al Fowala lounge, which offer a range of food and drinks when you visit the attraction.
It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Dhs60 adults, Dhs30 children under the age of 12. Dec 2. 10am-8,pm. Qasr Al Watan, Corniche West www.qasralwatan.ae
A huge fireworks display and a classic car parade are set to be held on December 2 at Yas Marina. The free event will also include a number of attractions and entertainment including live music, UAE car displays, roaming entertainers, ayalla dancers and a host of food and beverage stalls.
Artwork created by students from across Abu Dhabi will also be put on display on the day at Abu Dhabi Hill with the Heritage Village to celebrate inspired by National Day. A host of traditional games and and activities will also be available alongside the art to celebrate the culture and heritage of the UAE. Fireworks will then light up the sky at 9pm on the day. Does it really get any better than fireworks?
Free. Dec 2, 3pm onwards. Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island.
On National Day you can celebrate and have some fun in a different way to your usual events. Yas Waterworld is hosting the emirates biggest water battle on December 2, challenging everyone in the capital to a massive water fight. On the day water pistols will be handed out to people in the park on a first come first served basis.
If you’re one of the lucky ones you can take aim, soak everyone in your path and have a great time. The event starts at 11.48am (which is a very specific time) in the Awaji Wave Pool at the centre of the attraction.
Dhs250 adults, Dhs210 children. Dec 2. 10am-6pm (opening hours), 11.48am (start time). Yas Waterworld, Yas Island www.yaswaterworld.com
Zayed Sports City
On December 2, Legacy of Our Ancestors, the official UAE 48th National Day celebration, will be held at Zayed Sports City. The multimedia event will feature immersive stories from the UAE’s past that use amazing effects, sounds and visuals to bring the tales to life on stage. A series of live performances will also take place at the event to celebrate the achievements of the UAE since its unification in 1971.
As part of the celebrations, more than 80 musicians from around the world including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have collaborated to create the score for the event. A team of eight international composers worked together to capture the spirit of celebration that will provide the soundtrack to the event that will feature a number of traditional Emirati instruments and musical styles.
The spectacle will take place inside Zayed Sports City Stadium where a 10,000 square metre stage, 2,500 LED lights and 22 huge screens will create a unique audio and visual experience.
Tickets for the event are already on sale and start from Dhs60.
Dhs60. Dec 2, 4pm. Zayed Sports City Stadium, Zayed Sports City www.uaenationalday.ae