Best Ways to Celebrate UAE National Day

Written by Arpan Ghosh

Wednesday will mark the 49th UAE National Day and will be part of a very long weekend. Over the course of the week, you will find many different ways to celebrate this momentous occasion, from events to restaurant packages. These are some of the very best ways you can celebrate National Day.

Seeds of the Union

Abu Dhabi will be hosting and staging a grand dramatic production known as ‘Seeds of the Union’, dedicated to the UAE’s history and its growth as a major cosmopolitan nation. Hope and optimism are the two core themes of the show, with a bold vision of how the UAE can continue to grow while staying true to its roots. The show is officially described as a sculpture illuminated by moving digital images and surrounded by the sea. It will be broadcast live online so that audiences in the UAE and across the world can enjoy it from the safety of their homes.


Dubai Festival City Mall, located along the shores of the Dubai Creek, is well-known for IMAGINE, a water-based light and sound show that always makes for a dazzling spectacle, and especially on major occasions. For National Day, the mall’s waterfront promenade will be hosting an IMAGINE show with a distinct Arabian theme, as well as two fireworks displays at different points of the evening. You can book a table at one of the many restaurants that line the promenade, giving you a prime location from which to enjoy the show.

Emirati Cuisine

You often hear about the best Mediterranean, American and Asian restaurants in Dubai and its surrounding emirates, but there is a depth and variety to Emirati cuisine that can often be sadly overlooked. What better occasion than National Day for you to sink your teeth into some local fare and discover the flavors of the Emirates? Here are a few Emirati restaurants for you to add your list this week.

Al Mashowa

Located in Riverland, part of the Dubai Parks and Resorts, Al Mashowa will have a traditional Arabian majlis set up from the 1st to the 5th of December, complete with free Arabic coffee and dates (key components of local hospitality). Local artisans will also be around, making sand art and weaving traditional textiles. Plus, you can enjoy an Emirati-themed afternoon tea experience, as well as an Emirati breakfast for two.

Bab Al Shams

This magnificent desert resort, located along the outer fringes of Dubai, offers a true desert living experience on a daily basis. This week it will be upping the ambiance with a specially themed brunch, as well as family-friendly entertainment options including horse shows, traditional dances, camel rides, and much more.

Sikka Cafe

Experience some of the very best in Emirati desserts at this local restaurant, featuring rich flavours such as pistachio, rose and saffron. There is traditional Emirati breakfast to be found here as well, and at the Al Khawaneej branch (in old Dubai), you can experience an Emirati afternoon tea.

Sarood Experience

Two of the restaurants above (Al Mashowa and Sikka), along with Al Nafoorah at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, will be offering a special ‘sarood menu’ from the 2nd to the 4th of December. The menu will feature an array of local dishes served on a ‘sarood’, which is a traditional stringed instrument. You can also order up some local drinks, including camel milk.