5 things to do this National Day

Celebrate the UAE with these fun, family-friendly activities (and foods to go with them)

December marks the 45th National Day in the UAE and there are lots of exciting events going on, offering you and your family many ways to enjoy the long weekend. Here are five of our favourites:

Discounted tickets

Various theme parks across Dubai are offering special discounted rates. Bollywood Parks Dubai and LEGOLAND – featuring UAE landmarks made from 20 million bricks – are offering a limited number of tickets at just Dhs 45 from 1-3 December. IMG, Global Village and Splash ‘n’ Party are also offering reduced rates. Whichever you decide to visit, a day out and about can be tiring so make your afternoon snack as stress-free as possible – think pull-apart pizza buns or easy moutabal.

Fireworks at The Beach

For a relaxing evening, head to The Beach where you can watch a fireworks display from 8:30pm. Make sure you get there early to beat the crowds as it’s bound to get busy. Why not take some snacks such as this quick and easy beetroot hummus or these sausage rolls to enjoy while watching the pyrotechnics.

Yas Marina circuit

Race down to the Formula One track this National Day between 2-7pm for an afternoon of live music, fireworks and family activities. Oh, and have we mentioned the best part? It’s free. Make sure you pack a little treat in case you start to fade: these healthy, easily portable cluster bites or pear and cucumber lettuce rolls would be ideal.


If you’re after carnival games, fun challenges, live performances, circus acts, a street food barbecue and the chance to win over 10,000 prizes, head to Wintermania at Bin Majid Beach Resort in Ras Al Khaimah, 1-2 December. Kids aged 0-4 go free, while tickets for those 5 and above (including adults) are just Dhs 35. If you’d like to bring along something to munch on, make a few of these portable popcorn cones or nut and berry quinoa squares.

Live concerts

Local talents will be singing at popular malls; City Centre Mirdif, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Festival City, Battuta Mall and The Beach Mall on 1 December. However, all acts are playing from 8pm, so you’ll have to choose one Emirati artist to watch (trust us – it’ll be a difficult decision). Malls across the city are also offering 60-90% discount deals if you fancy grabbing a few bargains after the show. Of course, you’ll need some treats to keep you going if you’re embarking on the full sales-shopping experience, so how about pistachio, lemon and blueberry macaroons or a layered picnic loaf?

If you’re more inclined to stay at home, why not enjoy a celebration with a few favourite dishes from the region – we’ve got lamb kefta tagine with artichokes and eggs, chicken and beef shawarma and labneh cream pots to whet the appetite.