All the best things to do this National Day weekend

There’s a lot going on this long weekend. It’s Commemoration Day, National Day, Thanksgiving and the Abu Dhabi Formula 1, and that’s just for starters.


Thursday, 28th November

Balearic beats

The new season of Siddharta Lounge’s Ibiza Global Radio begins this weekend. Matteo Ponzano is the first act to headline the evenings of electronica. The sophisticated poolside spot is bathed in blue neon and provides the perfect platform to dive into the weekend from.

Free. From 8pm. Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar, Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina. 04 317 6000. 

Turnt-up turkey

If you want some authentic stars and stripes entertainment with your Thanksgiving dinner, head to Souk Madinat’s All American smokehouse, Perry and Blackwelder’s. Their two-course menu serves up turkey, beef or fish for your main course, with seductive sides such as candied yams and creamed cabbage. Dessert options include pies and the American diner classic – chocolate brownie banana split. Yeeeee-haw.

Perry and Blackwelder’s, Thursday 28th November, 12pm-11.30pm, two-course menu for AED 195. Souk Madinat Jumeirah. 800 666353.

Street smART

Urban Art DXB is a street art festival conceived by World Art Dubai in collaboration with artist, Vandalist Art, and in partnership with Rove Hotels. The free event includes exhibitions of big-deal creatives, live demonstrations, workshops, opportunities to buy limited edition street fashion and artwork, all-day happy hour deals on food and beverages, set to a soundtrack of ghetto bangers.

Free. 28th November (6pm-late), 29th November (from 2pm), 30th November (from 2pm). Rove Dubai Marina Hotel. Register for your free access here

Tailgate Patrol

For one night only, Bidi Bondi is trading in its true blue Aussie passport for a red, white and blue American one. They’re throwing a ‘Tailgate Party’ for Thanksgiving which includes unlimited house beverages and such welcome celebrations of Americana as: a live bbq, turkey, pecan and pumpkin pie, pong, foosball, live NFL games and a band belting out hits from the great American karaoke book.

AED 290. 7pm-1pm. Bidi Bondi, Shoreline building, Palm Jumeirah. 04 427 0515.


Friday, 29th November

It’s beginning to look a lot like brunch

Hillhouse Brasserie is so desperately excited about Christmas, they’re holding a festive market in November. The celebrations last all-day long and kick off with the markets at 10am. There’s a yuletide brunch a little later in the day, a ball pit on the lawn and a Magic show from Magic Phil. There’s also a pretty decent chance you’ll catch Santa there. He LOVES a ball pit.

Brunch 1pm-4pm packages from AED 195. Festive market – free, 10am-6pm. Hillhouse Brasserie. Hillhouse Brasserie. 800 666353. 

A-bout time


The Sovereign Boxing Championship arrives in Dubai for the very first time this weekend. Catch Olympic boxers representing UAE, Bahrain, Ireland and Sebria, battle it out in breathtaking bouts.

Tickets from AED 195. 6pm-12am. Meydan Hotel Gallery, Nad Al Sheba.

Neale to the master

Shaun O’Neale, season 7 MasterChef US champion will be slotting himself into the MasterChef, the TV Experience kitchens for a five-day residency. His special super-limited run five-star, five-course menu includes Kombu Cured Scallop, Oxtail Tortellini, either Herb Crusted Loin of Lamb or Truffle, Mushroom and White Asparagus Risotto, Lemon Meringue Redux and more.

AED 240, grape pairing option from AED 420. 28th November-2nd December. MasterChef, the TV Experience, Millennium Place Marina. 04 550 8111. 


Saturday, 30th November


Azure Beach is hosting a Sunset Festival, which sounds a lot like a mini ‘Coachella-on-the-sea.’ There’s an opportunity to get stuck into drum sessions, hula-hooping, volleyball, art, glitter stations and there’ll be dedicated areas to lay some percussive jam on the live music. We can almost feel the Burning Man Kombucha and bongo circle vibes.

Free. From 6pm. Azure Beach, Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR. 052 777 9472 

Hit Tracks

After each Formula One race day, the fans are treated to some high octane music entertainment to follow the on-track excitement. The Yasalam concerts are free for race-goers and include Marshmello on the 28th, Gucci Mane and Future on the 29th, Lana Del Rey on the 30th and The Killers on the 1st December.

First impressions

Two stars of the Indian comedy circuit are in Dubai this weekend for a one-off show. Rajiv Nigam and Shyam Rangeela are bringing all the funnies to this holiday weekend. Nigam is known for astute political satire, and Rangeela is equipped with a portfolio of Indian politician impersonations.

AED 69. 8pm. Emirates Theatre, Emirates International School, Jumeirah.


Sunday, 1st December


Sunday is the final day of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – and it’s all systems go. Lewis Hamilton is leading the driver standings and Mercedes are top of the Constructor championship – can Hamilton extend his lead and retain the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title? We’ll have to wait till Sunday to find out.

Tickets are now all sold out but you can catch the drama unfold live on Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya 2 at 5.10pm. 

Common theme

To celebrate the UAE’s 48th National Day, Motiongate, Legoland and Legoland Waterpark are offering a patriotic discount to thrill-seekers, between 28th November and 3rd December. Visitors can redeem up to three tickets for AED 48 when purchasing one full price park pass.

AED 275 (full price ticket). Between 28th November and 3rd December. Dubai Parks and Resorts.

Emirati party

Burger & Lobster might have just created the ultimate GCC burger. Sadly it’s only available over the National Day holidays, so come get it whilst it’s hot. They’re taking their classic 6oz beef patty, whacking it in a bun with their signature sauce, house-made pickles before being sprinkled with a layer of local nostalgia, Chips Oman. This sandwich of pure poetry is paired with biryani fries for a special taste that’s simultaneously old and new, west and east, and guaranteed to put a National Day smile on your face.

AED 90, incl lotus cheesecake for dessert.12pm to 12am from 29th November 2019 to 2nd December 2019. Burj Daman Building, Burger & Lobster, DIFC. 


Monday, 2nd December

The show must go on

The celebrations of the UAE’s 48th National Day will culminate in a grand theatrical show, ‘Legacy of Our Ancestors’ at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sport City Stadium. The emotional extravaganza will use a combination of live performances (from an orchestra including members of London’s iconic Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ) and digital effects to tell its story.

AED 60. Zayed Sport City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Bollywood brothers

Bollywood Park, Dubai Parks & Resort

Armaan and Amaal Malik are putting on a special National Day concert at Bollywood Parks. Armaan Mallik is renowned for his role as a judge on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs reality show and Bollywood fans will recognise Amaal Mallik from hit films such as Hero, Noor, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Mubaraka.

AED 89 (includes park access from AED 2pm). 7pm, Rajmahal Theatre, Bollywood Parks, Dubai Parks & Resorts. 800 2629464. 

High tide, high tea

Experience an authentic Arabian Afternoon Tea aboard the QE2. There’s a tiered tray of sweet and savoury Emirati delicacies on offer, along with some pretty memorable views from the decks of our favourite retired ocean liner.

AED 195. 3pm-5pm. QE2, Port Rashid. 04 526 8811

A song of fire and lights

There are umpteen awesome fireworks displays you could catch for National Day. We counted. Meraas have sky burst celebrations at three locations on the 1st and 2nd of December – Al Seef at 8pm, La Mer at 8.30 pm and The Beach at 9pm. Also on the 2nd you’ll see the lights at The Pointe at 8pm and Global Village at 9pm. Festival city has a special version of its water and light IMAGINE extravaganza – “Faces of the Nation” as well as spectacular fireworks displays at 8pm and 10pm.


Tuesday, 3rd December

Gotta catch ’em at the Mall 

Dubai’s malls are also putting on the glitz for National Day. On Tuesday, at Dubai Marina Mall you’ll be able to see legit Emirati dance performances from the Ayallah Dancers, hear Oud recitals and get a free fresh cup of roasted Arabic coffee served straight outta a traditional Dallah. Plus there’s all the usual shopping, dining, cinemas going, festive installation fun to be had.

Dubai Marina Mall, 5pm-9pm, 2nd-3rd December.


TEP Factor, Dubai Fitness Challenge

Still thirsty for more? ‘TEPfactor Dubai has got some pretty wild discounts happening for the holidays. TEPfactor is a cave-set adventure-tainment complex offering a series of challenge-based rooms that will test your physical and mental abilities to the limit. The fiendish puzzles often require lateral thinking, a delicate level of balance, stamina, strength and pattern spotting skills. Teams of two to six players must complete the 16 challenges, in whichever order they wish – unlocking four additional second-tier challenges, before the final test, the TEPfactor chest. And between the 1st and 3rd December, all players will get a 48 per cent discount across all games (over 48 hours).

1st-3rd December. TEPfactor Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Residences, Bahar Plaza Level. 04 398 8438

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