Abu Dhabi

Yas island

Yas Island in Abu Dhabi is set to celebrate the 49th National Day with a series of activities. Yas Mall will be draped with the colours and flags of the UAE, as well as Instagrammable features and digital rooms around the mall, which celebrate the UAE’s history, its heroes and the next 50 years. The grand roof of W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island will be illuminated to display the UAE Flag over Yas Marina. At Yas Marina Circuit, enjoy discounts on karting, starting at Dh49 per session for kids. More information: yasisland.ae.

Visual arts programme

Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation, managed by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, has announced three new exhibitions which features established and emerging artists from the UAE, the Middle East and beyond. It will run until February 22, 2021 in the Cultural Foundation’s exhibition halls and are open from 10am to 7pm (Fridays from 2pm) with strict safety measures and precautions in place in accordance with government guidelines. The series begins with an exhibition dedicated to the life and career of Emirati painter and sculptor Abdulrahim Salim, a pivotal figure in the development of the UAE’s art scene. A second, related exhibition, Maheerah, brings together figurative and multimedia artists to celebrate Abdulrahim Salim’s work and influence. The third, Wonder Writers, presents a collection of short stories by students from the 12 Aldar Academies in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The exhibitions can also be viewed online.

UAE anthem campaign

The UAE community will unite in harmony as they lend their voices to a unique performance of the UAE National Anthem for the 49th UAE National Day. The Organising Committee of the Official 49th National Day Celebration is seeking to bring people together by inviting them to record their own vocal performances of the anthem, in a campaign titled "Eishy Bilady" – the first two words of the UAE’s National Anthem in Arabic, which means ‘long live our country’. A dedicated page on the celebration’s official website (uaenationalday.ae) has been launched, and includes instructions on how to make a recording. People can also submit their recordings via the celebration’s official social media channels (@OfficialUAEND) on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. A selection of the recordings will be broadcast as part of the country’s official National Day live show that will be held in Abu Dhabi on December 2. Submissions will also be featured on the official National Day social media channels in a range of videos. Entries can be submitted until November 30. Visit www.uaenationalday.ae for more information.

The Galleria Al Maryah Island celebrations

The Galleria Al Maryah Island will mark the UAE’s 49th National Day with its #IAMUAE celebrations. Set to run from November 29 to December 3, the festivities will highlight the diversity of the great nation’s people, the inclusiveness of the culture and the countless achievements of its Rulers. Guests can take part in a variety of celebrations, including experiencing the interactive #IAMUAE community installation. (Located at the North Atrium near Debenhams) and upload a selfie and create a social media mural of the UAE’s flag using their own images.

The #IAMUAE National Day celebrations will continue with the Abu Dhabi debut of Fantini Mosaici’s ‘Designed for Sharing’ charity art exhibition running from November 29 to December 3. In collaboration with Fantini Mosaici, The Galleria will display 19 mosaic tables in the shape of the UAE map.

Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival

Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival is back until February 20, 2021 in Al Wathba. This annual festival celebrates and sheds light on UAE’s culture, traditions and heritage. Visitors can indulge in the Emirati culture through art, crafts, food and performances throughout the festival as well as National Day celebrations.

The festival will also host performances, workshops, events and markets for visitors, as well falconry displays, camel races and fireworks.

Create a cookie

This National Day weekend treat little ones to a fun and entertaining kids’ activity at the interactive play area, Droplets by Caboodle located on the LG level of The Galleria Mall in Abu Dhabi. From December 1-3, kids can take part in the cookie decorating activity and paint their own cookies in the colours of the UAE flag. Available throughout the day and priced at Dh29 per child. Droplets by Caboodle features four interactive play zones, including a sensory room, jungle gym, coffee drop and a quiet room for those who need a small break. Regular play packages will continue to be on offer – priced at Dh65 per hour with Dh30 per hour thereafter for children above 12 months, and Dh50 per hour for kids below 12 months. More information at caboodle.ae/droplets.


Walk to savour culture and art

Al Khawaneej Walk is planning an exciting line-up of family-friendly activities and entertainment under the theme ‘Turath Beladi’ (Arabic for ‘my country’s heritage’) from November 26 to December 5. A traditional Emirati storytelling stage, Sawalif Al Awaleen will bring alive enchanting stories of the UAE’s past from 4pm-10pm on November 26-28 and December 1-4, while an Emirati market showcases the best of local art and culture. On November 29 and 30, visitors can learn more about the UAE’s heritage at a mini museum displaying mannequins dressed in traditional Emirati attire from 4pm-11pm.

They can also ‘lock their love’ for the nation by attaching padlocks in the colours of the UAE flag to a giant 3D ‘UAE’ sign, situated near the Promise Bridge. Selected shoppers will receive a padlock to affix to the sign.

With henna artists available onsite, visitors can don traditional decorative patterns in celebration of National Day.

Honouring the UAE’s historic fishing culture, local artisans will demonstrate the art of crafting fishnets and rowing boats known as al shasha.

IMG World offer

IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world’s largest indoor theme park, will hold UAE National Day celebrations until December 5. UAE residents can enjoy a special package with unlimited rides plus a free voucher, either a food voucher or Novo Cinemas’ ticket voucher, for Dh175. The Novo voucher can be redeemed at Novo Cinemas across the UAE any time before January 31.

More information at imgworlds.com.

RED hot menu

This December, Radisson RED Dubai Silicon Oasis is celebrating UAE National Day with a delicious menu of main course items for just Dh49 each at the casual and cozy OUIBar + Terrace and at RED Roof. A selection of scrumptious dishes such as the spicy tandoori chicken, veg Thai curry and more are up for grabs on a menu that is packed with bold local flavours next to international classics. Loungers at RED Roof can also choose from a selection of sandwiches and salads for Dh49 alongside more indulgent options and a menu of freshly made smoothies to boot. Offer is valid from December 1-5.

December to remember

Sarood Hospitality has announced the citywide programming of its annual ‘Make it a December to Remember’ festive season campaign. From December 2–4, the limited-edition ‘Sarood Experience’ menu pays homage to Emirati cuisine and local flavours by serving Emirati dishes on a sarood for Dh99. Beverages made of camel milk will be available to order.

Sikka Café: The Emirati restaurant is serving up an authentic dessert menu featuring choices of pistachio sahlab (Dh25) – a traditional Emirati milk pudding – decorated in the UAE flag colours, and layered with rose water, milk, pistachio nuts and coconut powder; and saffron milk cake (Dh35), Sikka’s own version of the tres leches cake.

Burj Khalifa light show

To mark the 49th UAE National Day in Dubai, the tallest building in the world will display the UAE flag’s colours. The Dubai Fountain will accompany the Burj Khalifa’s UAE-themed light show by swaying to local ballads and music from December 1-3.

Getaway at Raffles Dubai

Celebrate the holidays with a luxurious getaway experience at Raffles Dubai that includes a lavish breakfast and Dh200 credit per adult per night to use for dinner at the hotel dining venues (excluding outsourced restaurants) and in-room dining, as well as a 25 discount on food and beverage and on treatments at the Raffles Spa. There’s also the "Treasures of Arabia", an Arabian-themed afternoon tea experience where you can indulge in delicate savoury bites and oriental sweets. Available daily at Raffles Salon between 2pm and 7pm, priced Dh160 per person. Double room rates start from Dh920 for stays between November 29 to December 5. More information at 04 324 8888 or raffles.com/dubai.

Global Village fireworks

On December 2, Global Village will host a display of fireworks at 8pm, as well as a range of National Day activities to celebrate the occasion. The highlights also include a special opera, ceremonies and elaborate National Day parades. Tickets are Dh15 for entrance to the park. Guests are urged to follow safety protocols.

Deal with it!

The 3 Day Super Sale (3DSS) 2020 is on until November 28, where residents and visitors can enjoy reductions of up to 90 per cent on a wide selection of lifestyle, beauty, fashion, electronics and more items across the city’s malls and shopping centres. Strict precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of shoppers and visitors will be in place.

Northern Emirates

Ajman community races

Ajman Tourism Development Department is organising a series of community races, including a biking event, Masfoot Mountain Bike, at Masfout mountains on November 27. Open for professionals and amateurs. For more information eevents.ae/mtb and eevents.ae/tt.

Jewels of Emirates

The first edition of the Jewels of Emirates Show, the first Emirati exhibition for jewellery, gold, silver, pearl, precious stones, luxury watches and perfumes, is on at The Expo Centre Sharjah until Saturday. The event brings together over 100 local jewellers from across the country. The show also features a special pavilion for perfumes. Offers, deals and valuable prizes await visitors, including a diamond jewellery set and diamond ring by Salem Al Shueibi Jewellery through a raffle draw on the last day of the event. The Show is open on Friday from 3pm to 11pm and on Saturday from 2pm to 10pm.

More firework displays

Dubai Festival City Mall has lined up fireworks displays and an Arabic-themed Imagine show to celebrate the occasion. The fireworks displays are scheduled at 9pm and 11pm, with some restaurants providing exclusive seating with direct views of the show.

Al Ain's popular landmark, Jebel Hafeet, lights up with fireworks displays every day at 8pm from December 1-3. There will also be fireworks displays at Al Ain Municipality building on the same dates.

For those celebrating at home, the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is broadcasting the colourful shows on TV and on social media. There will be fireworks on Reem Island and in Al Wathba at 9pm, while another one on the Corniche at 9.25pm will be broadcast live on Abudhabi TV, Emarat TV and the UAE_Barq Instagram page (@uae_barq).

Fireworks at Jahili Fort in Al Ain at 8pm on December 2-3 will also be streamed live on DCT Abu Dhabi’s social media channels.

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