National Day (Arabic: اليوم الوطني; Yawm al watani) is celebrated on 2 December each year in the United Arab Emirates. It marks the UAE’s Union Day between the six emirates which was followed by the joining of the seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, in 1972.
The National day of UAE does not stand for the nationalisation from the British Protectorate Treaties which declared in 1968, it is the anniversary of the federal unification of the seven emirates in 1971 which combined to form the modern-day country, headed by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the federation’s first president. Grand celebrations are held across the country to mark the event. Some people may believe that it was from 1968 for the British Treaty, it was actually in 1971 when the six emirates joined and formed the trucial states on December 2nd. Ras Al Khaimah joined on February 23rd the next year.
Fireworks, car rallies and dance shows are the most common activities. People will usually dress up in UAE national flag colours, decorate their homes, workplaces, cars and streets to celebrate the day with joy and happiness. Heritage Villages are set all over the emirates in order to celebrate this event traditionally. Holidays are given from the National Day until two days later. Airshows are conducted while military processions are held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition for the Rulers of the Emirates, members of the Federal National Council, and the Emirati citizens.
There are going to be celebrations across the city for the 46th UAE National Day
UAE National Day is this Saturday December 2, and we will be celebrating 46 years since the UAE’s six emirates united.
And as well as an extra day off work for public sector workers, Dubai comes alive with festivities, parties and those ever-dazzling fireworks displays.
Where to watch the UAE National Day fireworks in Dubai
1. La Mer
This recently opened spot has transformed the beachfront in Jumeirah 1 into a shiny new seaside destination complete with 130 shops and restaurants (not all open yet) plus play areas for the little ones. For National Day, they will be putting on their first fireworks show on Friday December 1.
La Mer, Jumeirah 1, Friday December 1, free. More info on website
2. Global Village
It’s now in its 22nd season, and Global Village continues to be one of the emirate’s most popular attractions. Although the spot puts on a bi-weekly fireworks display every Thursday and Friday from 9pm anyway, expect an even bigger show this weekend for National Day (which will also be at 9pm).
Global Village, Exit 37, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, Dubai, Saturday to Wednesday 4pm to 12am Thursday, Friday, and Public Holidays, 4pm to 1am, Mondays are dedicated to Families and Ladies only. Nov 1 2017 to April 7 2018, Dhs15, children under 3 and seniors over 65 free. More info on website
3. The Beach, JBR
Popular with both tourists and residents alike, you’ll need to get down to The Beach on JBR early to bag the best spot for their annual National Day fireworks display. It will be on Saturday December 2 – we will let you know the exact timings as soon as we know them.
The Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Saturday December 2, free. More info on website
4. Burj Khalifa
Arguably the biggest firework display in the city, the Burj Khalifa fireworks are some of the most spectacular across the UAE. They’ll be taking place on National Day on Saturday December 2. We’re finding out the exact times of this display and will let you know as soon as we know.
Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, Saturday December 2, free. More info on website
5. Dubai Festival City
Well known for their annual National Day Celebrations, there’s plenty going on across Dubai Festival City for the 46th National Day celebrations. As well as flypast jets and live entertainment, there will be two fireworks shows at 9pm and 10.30pm on Saturday December 2.
Dubai Festival City, Saturday December 2, from 1pm onwards, fireworks at 9pm and 10.30pm, free. More info on website