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12+ Best National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

UAE citizens and residents are preparing to enjoy a long weekend as the UAE cabinet has officially announced the National Day celebration in Abu Dhabi.

Unlike previous years, Abu Dhabi has a long weekend celebration. The United Arab Emirates celebrates its National Day on December 2nd to commemorate its seven Emirates spirit of the union.

A national holiday has been declared from December 2 to December 4 in Abu Dhabi.

Several events are scheduled in and around the capital, including the most significant National Day celebration at Etihad Arena, which promises an exceptional experience.

If you want a getaway, check out some fantastic places to stay.

National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi
National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

National Day Events In Abu Dhabi


1. Etihad Arena

At the UAE National Day official ceremony held at Etihad Arena, attendees will witness some of the best singers in the region. Hussain Al Jassmi, Balqees and Ahlam will perform together this year.

The artists bring a creative flair and promise to uplift the crowd with a blend of national songs and golden hits. The Emirati superstars are much anticipated by the people of Abu Dhabi this National Day.

The doors will be open from 7 pm, and the show starts at 8 pm on December 1.

Here are some essential points to note about this event:

  • There is no age restriction on this event
  • Under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult > 21 years old
  • Both the ticket and Emirates ID must be presented at the entrance.
  • Children two years & below enter for free and must sit on an adult’s lap.

Apply for tickets here

Location: Etihad Arena, Yas Bay, Abu Dhabi

2. The National Day Celebrations In Al Ain

Some of the most renowned voices in the Middle East will gather in Al Ain to bring an electric atmosphere to the National Day Abu Dhabi celebration.

Emirati artist Eida Al Menhali, Iraq’s Aseel Hameem, Hamad AlAmri and Lebanon’s Diana Haddad take centre stage this year. The night skies will be pierced by national ballads and the artist’s songs.

Price: Tickets start from AED 100

Book Here

Timings: 7 pm on Saturday 2nd of December

Location: Al Ain Square.

Drone Show For National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

Fireworks are usually a key feature in National Day celebrations, however due to the situation on Palestine, the Government have decided not to use fireworks in any of the celebrations this year.

In some cases they will be replaced with a drone show.

3. Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi.

The Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental will host several festivities for National Day. On December 2, drones will illuminate the hotel’s beachfront starting at 9 PM.

National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi
Previous fireworks will be replaced with drones

Apart from the drone show. the venue has family-friendly events starting November 27 through December 3 at the Grand Dome of the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental.

  • The hotel has various lighting displays and illuminations from November 27 to December 3.
  • For the air show, the Abu Dhabi National Day flyover, and the family-style picnic in the Palace Gardens from 3 pm to 6 pm on December 2.
  • Daily performances of Al Ayala Emirati dance.
  • On National Day between 11 am to 9 pm at the Grand Dome, henna artists, falcon displays, arts & crafts and Ayala dancers will be on show.
  • National-themed afternoon tea.
  • Limited edition menus at 8 restaurants and cafes.
  • A staycay package is available for AED 3300 for two adults, including an overnight stay with breakfast and brunch or dinner for two at Verdome. Guests also have a coffee at editions and a guided palace tour.

Drone show dates: December 2

Timings: 9 PM

Location: West Corniche Road – Al Ras Al Akhdar – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates

4. Yas Bay

To commemorate National Day, the entertainment hub of Abu Dhabi will host a cultural celebration with live music, traditional crafts, falconry and much more on the 2nd and 3rd of December.

There are many excellent restaurants, bars, and cafes where you can catch the fireworks display on this national day at Yas Bay. We recommend heading to Bushra or Siddharta Lounge as prime locations.

Fireworks and the colours of UAE at the waterfront will illuminate the sky.

Dates: December 2&3

Fireworks: 9 pm

Timings: 5 to 9 pm

Cost: Free to the public

Location: Yas Bay, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

5. Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival

From November 18 to March 18, the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival will occur in Al Wathba, an Abu Dhabi suburb near Bani Yas.

As part of the celebration, the UAE will showcase its rich diversity of traditions and the legacy of the nation’s founder, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Visitors can experience Emirati heritage and culture through arts and crafts, a spread of various delicacies, and many fun activities suited for all ages.

One of the major highlights of the Heritage Festival during the National Day celebration in Abu Dhabi is the fireworks and drone show on Saturday from 9:45 PM to 10:15 PM.

The drive to Al Wathba is worth it during winter since plenty of noteworthy events run alongside the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival.

abu dhabi in november
  • Weekly Emirates Fountain performances, laser and hologram shows and drone shows every Saturday at 10 PM.
  • Folkloric shows
  • Emirati civilisation pavilions
  • Global civilisation pavilions
  • Glow and Flower Garden
  • Hop on the tall Ferris wheel
  • Al Forsan Sports resort
  • Traditional cooking competition
  • Racing and sailing festivals
  • Falconry competitions

Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival dates: November 18 to March 18 from 4 PM to Midnight on weekdays and 4 pm until weekends.

Dates of National Day Fireworks: December 2 to December 3

Fireworks: 9:45 pm

Drone show: 10 Pm

Location: Al Wathbah – Al-Wathba South – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates

6. Al Maryah Island Fireworks

Head to one of the best Islands in Abu Dhabi for fireworks. Many epic vantage points are on bridges, promenades, and the waterfront. For restaurants and bars, we recommend the Glo rooftop lounge at Rosewood. There is a minimum spend, so please enquire at the venue.

The Galleria Al Maryah has many great restaurant options with perfect views of the fireworks.

Timings: December 2 & 3 at 9 pm

7. National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi Air Show

The Air Show at Al Fursan is another spectacular element of the National Day celebrations in Abu Dhabi.

Just a few metres above ground at supersonic speeds, fighter jets will spread the colours of the UAE flag red, green, black, and white, fly through the Corniche promenade, Marina Malls’ breakwaters and the family beaches along the coastline.

National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi
National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

Anywhere along the Corniche street would be an excellent place to watch the show. However a “Picnic at the Palace” is a great idea! Relax on the grass and snack while watching the fighter jets do a low fly-by.

Dates: December 2

Timings: Between 4 PM to 5 PM

Cost: Free to the public

Location: Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates

Picnic at The Palace: Emirates Palace Hotel – West Corniche Road – Al Ras Al Akhdar – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates

8. National Day At Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi

Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi is the perfect hotel for the long weekend celebration. National Day buffets and afternoon teas are a relaxing way to embrace the historic occasion.

The National Day celebration in Abu Dhabi offers traditional food. Indulge in local delicacies, Emirati flavours and Arabic coffee at Sahaa.

Pricing: AED 240 for 2 with Soft beverages

Timings: December 2nd 06:30 pm to 10:30 pm

National Day Afternoon Tea At Pearl Lounge: The 52nd National Day at Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi will be celebrated in style with scrumptious delicacies that capture the flavours of UAE.

Pricing: AED 160 per person, including unlimited hot beverages and mocktails.

9. UAE National Day At Bushra By Buddha Bar

Why not enjoy a fine dining restaurant with a perfect view of the ocean this National Day. The multi-award-winning restaurant will showcase the flavours of the Emirates, Middle East and North Africa.

À la carte is on offer, followed by a complimentary luqaimat perfectly paired with the aromatic allure of gahwa.

We recommend heading to the Siddharta lounge for drinks afterwards as it has the perfect vantage point of the waterfront.

Call: 971506011195

Location: Yas Bay Waterfront, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

10. National Day At Bab Al Qasr

Bab Al Qasr is recognising the 52nd National day with a 52% discount across several of the F&B outlets.

Grab the 52% discount at their international buffet with a live performance by Rosario.

The offer extends to Bab Al Qasr brunch and Rosemary Lounge. Cakes, pastries and hot beverages will be on discount throughout the day.

Why not try the unique concept dining in the dark, where you can find a mystery 3-course set menu.

Timings: December 2nd 12 am to 12 pm.

Call: 97122053000

Location: Bab Al Qasr-West-Corniche Road-Al Bateen-Abu Dhabi

11. Staycay At Le Meridien Abu Dhabi

Celebrate National Day at Le Meridien with an exclusive offer. Wake up at the beachfront hotel and receive a buffet breakfast. Additionally, the hotel will gift AED 200, and kids under 12 will dine for free.

There is an option to upgrade to a suite for AED 300.

Location: Le Meridien, Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates

12. Staycay Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort

Westbays Escape Pool Bar overlooks the Corniche beach and is a perfect venue for those who wish to enjoy the outdoor weather with food and music.

West Bay Beach Club has many activities, including a surf pool, wave pool, zip line and adventure park. This alone make Radisson Blu a worthwhile destination for a staycay.

Receive AED 200 dining credit for the perfect seaside experience. Upgrade to a suite is for AED 300.

The painted sky is particularly spectacular just after sunset, when the hues of orange fade away, revealing the starry sky.

National Day celebration in Abu Dhabi
National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

Radisson Blu & WestBay Beach Club is the ideal location to enjoy the historic day.

Location: Radisson Blu Hotel and Resort – West Bay – Corniche Rd – Al Bateen – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates

13. Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort

Another fantastic family beach staycation in the heart of Abu Dhabi is Sheraton. This hotel is offering an overnight stay with a buffet breakfast and AED 200 credit for dining. Kids dine for free on this National Day weekend offer.

Enjoy the B lounge beach bar, private beach and swimming pool this National Day.

Location: Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort- Corniche Road East- Al Zahiyah-Abu Dhabi.

Fun Activities For UAE National Day Celebrations

14. Kayaking At The Eastern Mangroves

A couple of hours of kayaking at the Eastern Mangroves on the National holiday weekend would be a great way to enjoy the cooler weather.

Kayak through the mangroves, looking for wildlife such as flamingos, birds and fish beneath the clear water.

national day programs in abu dhabi
National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

Another fantastic experience is to kayak at night with a guide who can lead the way through water channels under the moonlight.

Location: Al Salam Street – Al Kheeran – Eastern Mangrove – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates

15. Camp Out For The National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

For a weekend away in Abu Dhabi, camping can be a fantastic budget-friendly option.

It is one of the most worthwhile experiences for an evening spent around a crackling bonfire, the glow of a flaming grill, and a starry night sky.

night camping in Abu Dhabi
National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is known for its pleasant winters. The gradual drop in temperatures from October onwards allows residents and visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the UAE.

During the cooler months, camping in Abu Dhabi is a fantastic alternative to staying at a fancy hotel or going to a beach club during the National Day weekend.

National Day Camping In Abu Dhabi
National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

Below are some of the well-known spots to camp out and glamp for the National Day celebration in Abu Dhabi:

Camping Sites In Abu Dhabi

  • Liwa Oasis
  • Al Khazna camping site
  • Al Wathba Lake Camp
  • Al Dhafra Beach Abu Dhabi camping beach
  • Mirfa beach
  • Al Razeen desert
  • Al Qua’a desert

Glamping Sites In Abu Dhabi

  • Bab Al Nojoum-Hudayriyat Island
  • Bab Al Nojoum-Al Mugheirah Resort
  • Jabel Hafit desert park
  • Green Mubazzarah chalets
  • Nujum Camp at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
  • Tilal Liwa
  • Arabian Nights Village

15. Hiking During The National Day Weekend

Hiking is an adventurous and worthwhile activity during the National Day celebration in Abu Dhabi.

Take a group of friends, hire a vehicle, and head to Hatta, a few hours away, to explore the expanse of the Hajar mountains. There are several hiking trails, from easy to challenging.

uae national day celebration in abu dhabi
National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

Stay at a glamping site at the base of the mountains or make a day trip out of it. Either way, it is going to be a memorable experience.

When travelling in groups of 5 or more, we recommend hiring a tour guide to keep the group on the trail since a detour could take up to a few hours.

For more information on staying at the Hajar mountains.

Location: Q4Q7+GM Hatta – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi Frequently Asked Questions

How does UAE National Day differ from other national holidays?

The date marks the integration of all seven Emirates into a single nation, known as the Spirit of the Union. Emiratis and expatriates celebrate UAE National Day with displays of fireworks, gatherings and spectacular events.

National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi
National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

When does UAE celebrate National Day?

The United Arab Emirates celebrates its National Day on December 2.

In what year was the UAE founded?

On December 2, 1971, the rulers of six Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai, Umm al-Quwain, Ajman and Fujairah) formally established the United Arab Emirates.

How is the UAE National Day referred to in Arabic?

Emiratis refer to the UAE National Day as “Al Yawm Al Watani.”

How was UAE referred to 50 years ago?

UAE, or United Arab Emirates as we now call it, was formerly known as the Trucial States.

Are there any cultural symbols associated with the UAE?

The cultural symbol consists of a golden falcon with a disc in the middle showing the UAE flag and seven stars, one for each of the seven Emirates.

To Sum Up National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a fantastic destination to travel to in the cooler months. There is something for everyone with tonnes of events and concerts lined up.

The National Day celebration in Abu Dhabi is much larger than in other Emirates since it is the capital city.

Whether it’s a one-day or four-day visit, the Capital is full of activities and places to see.

Abu Dhabi has everything from the world’s fastest roller coaster on Yas Island to the world’s largest Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

National Day Celebration In Abu Dhabi

We hope this article has provided insight into where to be and how to participate in the National Day celebration in Abu Dhabi if you plan to visit any of the venues mentioned above for the National Day weekend.

Let us know what you think of it. We would love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below.

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