Whether you’ve been here a hot minute or just arrived, show your love for the UAE this weekend as the country celebrates its 47th National Day.
The feeling is definitely mutual, as the emirate appreciates everyone who calls it home with fireworks, deals on eats and the chance to immerse ourselves in traditional Arabic culture.
BurJuman has a full weekend of National Day festivities. There is a wall of wishes where customers can pen messages of positivity and blessings of good will for the UAE. There’s a patriotic VW Beetle, complimentary Arabic coffee and dates, yola dancing AND, as a grand climax to proceedings, the unveiling of a Year of Zayed installation to commemorate 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Until 3rd December. 3pm-10pm. BurJuman. Bur Dubai. 04 352 0222
The tiny engineers at LEGOLAND® have put together a massive new monument to ‘salute’ the UAE. It took over 900 hours to design and complete, 108,231 bricks to build and weighs over 300kg. Outside the park in the free-to-enter Riverland, there will be yet more fantastic entertainment, dances and music – as well as a whole circus parade.
Day ticket for LEGOLAND from AED 220.50. 10am-6pm. Dubai Parks & Resorts. 04 820 3123
Dinner and AR show
Dubai’s KFC outlets are giving their family buckets of fried chicken a bit of a tech upgrade for National Day. Use your smart phone to scan the QR code, and you’ll be taken to Facebook camera window. Watch the screen as an adorable animation takes place on the surface of the bucket, visible only through the phone’s screen. Definitely worth chicken out.
Until 4th December. KFC is available in store and though delivery across the UAE, with buckets starting from AED 49.
If you’re in the mood for some patriotic pyrotechnics. The good news is that you’re overwhelmed with choice. There are firework displays going down at multiple locations across Dubai, but Meraas can always be relied upon to put on a show. Catch fireworks on 1st and 2nd December at The Beach JBR (8pm), down at La Mer, Jumeirah (9pm) and Dubai Creek’s very own Al Seef (8.30pm).
Free entry. Timings above. Meraas locations. 800 637 227.
It takes a village
Global Village doesn’t need an excuse to celebrate. They have fireworks several days a week for no particular reason. So you may imagine that things get pretty extra around a day like National Day. There’ll be a concert by Emirati star Hamad Al Ameri (2nd December, 9pm), a special operetta entitled Zayed: Leader of the Human (on 1st, 2nd and 3rd December), a communal national anthem sing-a-long and a huge amount of cultural activations. Oh yeah, and they’ll still have the fireworks.
AED 15. 4pm-1am, Until 3rd December. Global Village. 04 362 4114
Shakes and Shakers
Black Tap is honouring the UAE in its own, shake-riotic (their excellent pun, not ours) way. You’ll be able to get a milkshake flying the colours of the UAE flag. It’s a vanilla-flavoured shake with strawberry syrup served with a chocolate-frosted rim and lined with red, green and chocolate M&Ms. Then because it’s Black Tap and they are seemingly immune to the effects of sugar, there’s a huge wedge of cake, whipped cream and crumbled pistachio on top.
AED 69. Until 3rd December. At all Black Tap venues.
Fun at The Flag Island
In the mood for some music? Khaleeji singers Al Wasmi and Hazzaa Al Raeesy are performing at The Flag Island Amphitheatre in Sharjah on Sunday. Catch the show from 8.30pm-12.30am. There’ll also be food, activities for kids and exhibits of classic cards. Did you know? Flag Island is home to the 7th tallest flag pole in the world.
Flag Island, Sharjah. 2nd December, from 8.30pm. Admission is free.
Happy hump day
Two suitably festive limited edition flavours of Nouq camel milk ice-cream have been decorated with artwork by Emirati artist Alia Al Shamsi. Exclusively available through Deliveroo, choose from kulfi and kunafa, or have both, because this weekend they’re only AED 9.95 a tub.
Available exclusively via Deliveroo website or app, until 2nd December for AED 9.95.
Strong National Day vibes are promised at Dubai Garden Centre on Saturday, with camel rides, traditional Arabic music, traditional nibbles and henna painting. Everything is free, leaving you more cash to spend on replacing plants that didn’t make it through the summer.
Garden Souq, Dubai Garden Centre. Until 2.30pm, Saturday, 1st December. Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz.
Park yourself here
Homegrown brand Park House is thanking customers this National Day by giving away coffee. Head to the Nessnass Beach branch on Sunday to pick up your free hot beverage, made with beans from Café Rider Roastery. Espresso, latte and trendy flat white are all on the menu, while stocks last.
9am-12pm on Sunday, 2nd December. Park House, Nessnass Beach, Jumeirah 3 (behind Sunset Mall). 04 254 1565.
Grill and chill
Community organisation Meet The Locals invites interested expats to quiz them over coffee and cakes at celebrity chef Michael Mina’s new American steakhouse, Prime Grill. There’ll be free meals for kids on Sunday too, so bring the family.
Prime Grill, The Galleria at Al Wasl Retail Centre. 3.30pm-5.30pm Sunday, 2nd December. 04 526 9143.
Talented kids from Dubai’s Brooklyn Melodies Music School put on a show of classical Arabic music at the Al Ghurair Centre this National Day. A precarious dash of patriotism comes from roaming stilt walkers dressed up in the colours of the UAE flag.
Al Ghurair Centre, Al Rigga Road. Sunday, 2nd December, 6.20pm-9.40pm. 800 24227.