Head to the capital emirate this National Day to witness the Sheikh Zayed Festival, which commemorates the nation’s 50th year with events that celebrate the cutlure and heritage of the country. The festival features dedicated pavilions, major exhibitions and popular neighbourhoods to highlight the various aspects of UAE’s civilization, culture and popular heritage, including events, songs, traditional markets and live showcases of ancient handicrafts and traditional Emirati industries. The festival offers an opportunity to interact with a wide spectrum of events that reflect the original Emirati customs and traditions alongside the cultural, human, artistic, intellectual and historical components of the participating countries through a range of international educational and entertaining events and activities, all of which have something to suit every age-group that the whole family can enjoy. Festival visitors can enjoy several daily and weekly performances, most notably the Emirates Fountain Laser Show to which new performances have been added to its scheduled shows due to popular demand. There will also be major weekly fireworks displays, while huge fireworks show will light up the skies during National Day and New Year celebrations. For more information, visit zayedfestival.ae.
Festivities at NYU
Head over to NYU Abu Dhabi for a fun-filled celebration of the 50th UAE National Day. Paying tribute to the golden anniversary, the NYUAD campus will light up in the UAE’s national colours from November 24 until December 2. A series of virtual and in-person events are also organized to highlight and celebrate the country’s history, cultural heritage, values, and achievements as the nation prepares for the next 50 years of transformation and advancement. The celebration includes student-led events and activities, such as "Emirati Mandoos," during which students will show a selection of Abayas throughout the week. Explore the creative display of art with the Arts Center at NYUAD on November 24 with a line-up of poets, spoken word artists, musicians, and storytellers for the seventh annual Hekayah The Story, a special 50th Anniversary Jubilee virtual edition that will showcase the UAE’s cultural diversity. Indulge into many more exciting activities at NYU Abu Dhabi this national day. For more information, visit nyuad.nyu.edu.
The skies of Dubai will be set to light up with dazzling fireworks for two days to celebrate the Year of the 50th. At 8pm, 8.30pm and 9pm on December 2 and 3, residents and visitors can head to The Pointe and Atlantis The Palm, Bluewaters, Etisalat Beach Canteen at Jumeirah Beach behind Sunset Mall, La Mer and even Burj Al Arab to view spectacular displays marking this momentous event in UAE history.
Entertainment at Ain Dubai
Ain Dubai is commemorating the UAE’s golden jubilee celebrations with three hourly light shows from 6.30pm to 10pm on December 1, 2 and 3, while a fireworks display will light up the sky at 8.30pm on December 2. All guests purchasing a standard views experience at Ain Dubai for December 1, 2 and 3 will also receive a Dh50 voucher towards their next ride to use from January 2 to March 31. Ain Dubai operating hours over the UAE National Day weekend are from 1pm-10pm on December 1 and from 1pm-11pm on December 2-3. There is also Ain Dubai’s yacht experience, which takes place at 8pm at the Bluewaters Boat Dock, allowing guests to sail the Dubai Marina for one and a half hours to take in the views at ground level, before soaking up the sights from 250m in the sky. Meanwhile, themed dancing, henna and falconry as well as live streaming of celebrations in Hatta will also be available at Ain Dubai.
Celebrate the UAE’s National Day with enriching sounds and symphonies at a joint concert by Emirati singing superstars Balqees and Fayez Al Saeed at Khorfakkan Amphitheatre on December 1. The proceeds from the concert will be donated to The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a UAE-based global humanitarian organization dedicated to supporting refugees and people in need worldwide. The concert is part of an 11-day cultural extravaganza being organised to mark the nation’s remarkable 50-year journey which is replete with memorable achievements. The cultural programs will be staged across various regions of the Emirate until December 2. Ticket’s start at Dh50. For more information, visit platinumlist.net.
Calling all opera enthusiasts for an immersive, multisensory exhibition featuring music and 50 landscape paintings of the UAE to commemorate its Golden Jubilee celebration, by Grammy-nominated composer and painter Ella Spira, from November 29 till December 14. Dubai Opera and British theatrical production company, Sisters Grimm present, ‘50 FOR 50’. Witness an emotional, audiovisual journey as every painting has a unique bespoke score composed by Spira, in collaboration with Db Gad and Emirati singers, Shamma Hamdan and Don Abdullah. Entry is free. For booking tickets and more, visit dubaiopera.com.
An immersive exhibition titled ‘My Little World’ featuring the children’s stories by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Inspired by his books for kids, OliOli has organised this event to celebrate the history and tradition of the nation. The event introduces participants to five stories written by him, through interactive story reading sessions in Arabic and English and hands-on activities related to the stories held at a temporary indoor desert campsite. My Little World is until December 4. Tickets from Dh63. For more information, visit olioli.ae.
Dubai Ice Show
An exclusive one-day event taking place at the Coca Cola Arena on December 3, the Dubai Ice Show will feature both a Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) game between most recent KHL champion, "Avangard" Omsk and "Ak Bars" Kazan, along with a pre-match showcase of Russian figure skating talents. Ticket from Dh150. Also taking place as a part of the Dubai Ice Show is a two-day live performance of children’s classic Sleeping Beauty: The Legend Of The Two Kingdoms, featuring Olympic figure skaters Tatyana Navka and Alina Zagitova bring the fairytale to life. This show will run from December 4 to 5 with ticket prices starting from Dh150.
Merrymaking by the sea
Enjoy gastronomical delights, live performances, and engaging activities for children of all ages at the Etisalat Beach Canteen - a collaboration between Dubai Festival and Retail Establishment (DFRE) on until December 11. The program will have fun-filled activities and games along with joyful live performances and enjoy the awe-striking fireworks by the Jumeirah Beach, behind Sunset Mall. For more information, visit beachcanteen.ae.
Partying with MBC
Put on your party hats and head over to Burj Park, Downtown Dubai by Emaar from December 2 to witness a spectacular showcase of talent. Singers Hussain Al Jasmi, Diana Haddad and Dalia Mubarak will take to the stage to perform their hits. On Dec 3, the open-air venue will also host star Eidha Menhali, best known for his hit single ‘Motasoa’ and Shamma Hamdan, the first Emirati woman to make it to the final of Arabs Got Talent. As well as, Emirati Fayez Al Saeed. This will be a ticketed event.
Experience unforgettable excitement during Winter Nights at JBR. On December 2, while stilt walkers strut their stuff up and down the 1.7-km promenade and the local marching band play to the beat of their vivacious drums, an Arabic storyteller will spin remarkable tales to have you hanging onto every word. Take a deep dive into Emirati folklore and enjoy all the buskers dousing the district in dazzling colours from 6pm to 9pm on December 2, and don’t miss the sky light up with an effervescent firework show.
Enjoy the live performance of Boris Eifman’s adaptation of Anna Karenina at the Dubai Opera. Tickets start from Dh340 and all concert visitors are required to be vaccinated. There will be four shows in total, one on December 2 at 8pm, two on December 3 at 2pm and 8pm, along with one final show on December 4, beginning at 8pm. For more information of tickets, visit dubaiopera.com.
Experience the 50th UAE National Day celebrations at BurJuman Mall in all its glory. Visitors of nationalities and ages can experience and enjoy the family-friendly Arabian extravaganza featuring a range of visually appealing and immersive experiences. Until December 4, from 2 pm to 10pm daily, the mall offers an array of complimentary activities to experience authentic Emirati customs and traditions including calligraphy, falconry, henna painting and National Day bead art, whilst enjoying local dates served with delicious Arabic coffee. Bring your friends and family and enjoy the splendour and BurJuman together. For more information, visit burjuman.com.
Al-Futtaim’s Festival Plaza Mall, in Dubai’s Jebel Ali neighbourhood, will be hosting a celebratory extravaganza on occasion of the National Day from December 2 to 4. With themed entertainment, shopping, and dining options, as well as exciting prizes to be won, the destination is all set to welcome visitors for the historic event. Ayala dancers will perform at the mall at 4.30pm, 6.30pm and 8.30pm daily.
To make the celebration memorable, guests who spend Dh150 at Festival Plaza mall on the same dates will receive a personalised, limited-edition tote bag with their name from a designated live calligraphy station. A total of Dh5,000 in gift cards are also up for grabs until Sunday, December 5.
Operetta and Parade
Sharjah National Day Celebrations Committee is organising an array of spectacular shows and activities in Kalba, Al Bataeh, and Wadi Al Helo, on November 26, 28, and 29. From classic car parade and falconry to heritage shows and folk and artistic performances, the activities will showcase the rich heritage and culture of Sharjah to visitors. On November 28, Al Bataeh will host an array of cultural activities, staging Emirati heritage shows presented by Almtaff Association from 9-11am, in addition to the 50th-anniversary parade. Visitors will get the opportunity of learning about the UAE’s glorious history by exploring the popular artefacts being exhibited in pavilions. Wadi Al Helo’s National Day celebrations will begin with the popular Dibba Al Harbiya band’s performance on November 29, from 4-5pm. Visitors will also gain insights into falconry from experts and watch up close the falcons that the Emiratis use in hunting, in addition to workshops and exhibitions about falcons that highlight their importance in UAE’s national heritage. For more information, visit sgmb.ae.