December 2 will see the UAE celebrate its 49th National Day, and this year’s celebrations have been extended to a five-day weekend for public and private sector workers.
Although celebrations may look a little different this year, due to the many safety measures put in place as a result of the ongoing pandemic, there is still a plethora of activities to enjoy as part of the national day festivities. As the UAE prepares to mark its 49th National Day, Vogue Arabia rounds up the different ways you can celebrate the occasion in the Emirates.
Visual Art Wonders
Despite all celebrations requiring the strict following of social distancing regulations, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy, some from the comfort of your own home. The unmissable visual arts show Seeds of the Union, inspired by the stunning coastline of the country, will take place on Wednesday, December 2, in Abu Dhabi; and will also be broadcast to a live audience across the UAE and beyond. Elsewhere, mesmerizing firework displays will be on show at Festival City Mall and Global Village in Dubai, on the evening of UAE National Day. The Burj Khalifa will also be offering its annual showstopping display, with its light show featuring the national flag accompanied by local music, presented each night between December 1 to 3.
Many brands have highlighted specific editions of their products that are perfect for UAE National Day, including Messika by Kate Moss‘ Colour Play set, which features a collection of distinctive pear-cut diamonds and graduated malachite. Shoppers can also browse some of the best styles of the season on the luxury-discount site The Outnet; or indulge in the scents of the Gulf region with Ojar‘s rose, sandalwood, and oud scented fragrances, colored in the black, red, and green themes, reflecting the UAE flag. Additionally, chocolatier gifting company Cado is also offering dedicated UAE National Day editions of their delicious sweets, inspired by local recipes. Need more inspiration? Check out our gift guide.
Some of the top dining outlets across the country have special offers for UAE residents to enjoy. The luxury Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is hosting a National Day-themed brunch on December 2, but for those who prefer afternoon tea, the Address Downtown and Address Sky View in Dubai are both offering the special treat from November 29 until December 5, while Le Cafe at Emirates Palace will be serving afternoon tea on December 2 and December 3. Super-chic restaurant Café Society, located in Dubai Marina is offering a 49% discount on their menu on December 2. Elsewhere several restaurants are serving UAE National Day-inspired dishes, including Abu Dhabi’s fine-dining Indian restaurant Punjab Grill and Le Vendome in Emirates Palace.
Though this year has seen many forced to stay home, many hotels are now offering idyllic staycation getaways for the holiday. Some of Dubai’s most luxurious hotels are offering UAE residents discounts on rooms, dining, and spa packages. Mandarin Oriental Jumeira has a 20% discount on room rates for residents, as does Caesars Palace Bluewaters. The Anantara The Palm hotel, Le Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, and the Palazzo Versace have a very tempting deal for residents, including additional discounts on dining and spa treatments. In Abu Dhabi, some of the best deals are available from the Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont Bab-Al-Bahar, and the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, with staycation deals that will make you not want to leave.