Find out how you can celebrate the UAE’s birthday

Mark the UAE’s 46th birthday with a host of family-friendly activities around the capital

National-UAE-DAY

From games to National Day-themed exhibitions, Al Wahda Mall will be hosting a number of activities in line with the occasion. Check out the bubble soccer at the main atrium, mini golf at the first floor extension plus a kids’ craft corner and fashion show. Until 3rd Dec. Free. Hazza Bin Zayed Street. Sun-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Sat 10am-11pm. Visit: alwahda-mall.com

Dalma Mall will prepare a line-up of activities highlighting the UAE’s proud heritage. From 28th November until 2nd December, visitors can participate in cultural activities including calligraphy, basket weaving, henna art, a falcon show and national anthem singing competition. Free. 19th Street, Mussafah. Sat-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Visit: dalmamall.ae

Cultural shows will liven up Bawadi Mall with traditional ayala dancing along with a musical parade. To make little ones happy, there will be kids’ activities at various times. 29th Nov-3rd Dec. Free. Meyzad Road, Al Ain. Daily 5.30pm-10pm. Visit: bawadimall.com

Indulge your retail fix as the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation Traditional and Cultural Market sets up shop at Bawabat Al Sharq Mall. Hunt through the stalls selling fragrant incense, handmade crafts, perfumes and traditional garments and food. Cultural activities include ayala dances, a falcon show and calligraphy. 30th Nov-3rd Dec. Free. Baniyas City. 5pm-10pm. Visit: bawabatalsharqmall.ae

Al Maryah Island will get into the spirit of National Day with a series of cultural activities including ayala and harbiya dance performances, live cooking stations serving Emirati dishes and arts and crafts. But the highlight is the fireworks in the colours of the UAE flag that will light up the sky at 9pm on National Day itself. 1st-2nd Dec. Free. 4pm-10pm. Visit: almaryahisland.ae

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National colours will adorn Yas Mall, where you can watch performances by ayala dancers, a Liwa folk band, a police marching band and circus groups. 1st-3rd Dec. Free. Yas Island. Daily 10am-10pm. Visit: yasmall.ae

Visitors at Nation Galleria will be enthralled with a lively stomp show – a theatrical performance that uses the body and ordinary objects to create rhythm. An acrobatic show and more dance performances will also pop up throughout the three-day celebrations. 1st 3rd Dec. Free. Corniche West. Fri-Sat 10am-midnight, Sun 10am-10pm. Contact: 02 333 8288

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Celebrate Emirati heritage through poetry and song at the annual Hekayah – The Story show at NYUAD. Enjoy food and beverages, crafts and live performances from musicians, spoken word artists and classical Arabic poets from diverse backgrounds as they honour National Day and the city’s multi-cultural population. 5th Dec. Free. Saadiyat Island. 7pm. Visit: nyuad-artscenter.org

Lebanese singing star Nancy Ajram will serenade the capital on 2nd December. The Arabic music icon will dish out the hits that have made her one of the bestselling female artists in Lebanese history. From AED 250. du Forum, Yas Island. 9pm. Visit: tixbox.com

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The National Day Colours event will offer an array of family-friendly activities at Yas Marina Circuit. From live oud music, storytelling, calligraphy and henna painting to falconry, arts and crafts and inflatable amusement rides, there’s plenty to keep everyone busy. Be sure to stay until the evening to witness the fireworks display. 2nd Dec. Free. Yas Island. 2pm-9pm. Visit: yasmarinacircuit.com

Want to enjoy a getaway for the long National Day weekend? Tilal Liwa is offering a special rate of AED 746+++ for an overnight stay including breakfast, dinner and leisure activities for the whole family, including visiting a camel farm, sand boarding and quad biking in the desert. Valid 30th Nov-3rd Dec. Al Gharbia. Contact: 800 854 6835, reservations.tilal@danathotels.com

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It’s probably only fitness fans that look to the long weekend and think ‘it’s the perfect time to test myself’. If you are one of those thoroughly energetic souls, then get involved in the NBF Fujairah Run. The race, with distances aimed at various ability levels, promises a great day out. Trundle around some of the northern emirate’s scenic attractions such as the Grand Mosque, Fujairah Fort and Fujairah Castle as you attempt to chase down that elusive 10k personal best time. There are even family-friendly 3k and shorter 5k options.
1st Dec. From AED 30. Fujairah Festival Square, opposite Fujairah Hospital. From 7.30am. Visit: nbf.fujairahrun.ae

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