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From Dubai to Sharjah: The 13 Best Things To Do During the 50th National Day Weekend



As this year’s UAE National Day marks the Golden Jubilee, the country promises extraordinary events that will take everyone on a journey of pride and glory over the last half century. With the country’s main celebrations taking place in Dubai Hatta, due to its equidistance from all seven emirates, the nation takes up on an extensive itinerary of events that tap into its deep rooted history, revive its heritage, and use modern day technology to celebrate this special day. Here’s a round up of some events taking place across the UAE over the long weekend.

Abu Dhabi


A firework show will light up the skies of Abu Dhabi Corniche, Al Maryah Island, Al Ain,  Al Dhafra, Bawabat Al Sharq Mall and Yas Island, every day at 9 pm, starting on December 2, 2021. Other family-friendly activities, performances, and competitions are expected to take place as well.

Al Hosn Festival


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Al Hosn Festival returns with a 10 day program that honors the UAE’s heritage and art  at the historic Qasr Al Hosn fort until December 4, 2021. This cultural experience is divided into three sections signifying the past, present, and the future, and showcases film screenings, live performances, culinary experiences, arts and design installations, along with a parade of 50 classical cars.

Qasr Al Watan


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Diving into the UAE’s history of traditions, Qasr Al Watan will offer a unique performance by the Abu Dhabi Police Band, every Sunday and Thursday in a show titled as ‘Symphony of the Nation’.

Louvre Abu Dhabi


On December 2, 2021, the museum’s dome will be transformed into an audiovisual installation hosting family-friends activities, a digital wall mapping, and a DJ playing traditional Emirati music. The museum will also showcase artworks from each of the seven emirates, featuring loans from institutions and other museums.

Emirates Palace

The Emirates Palace will celebrate the National Day in style from November 29 to December 3, 2021, with iridescent illuminations on the hotel’s facade, and a vast array of activities taking place under the Grand dome. Some of the functions include a spread of 50 different kinds of dates, fun-filled children activities, and a line up of Iraqi artist Majed Al Mohandis and Aseel Hameem to perform on December 1.


Off Centre/On Stage

‘Split Second Histories’ at ‘Off Centre / On Stage’, curated by Todd Reisz

Curated by architect and writer Todd Reisz, Off Center / On Stage showcases a collection of photographs of old UAE. Taking over the Jameel Arts Center lobby from September 29 to March 21, the exhibition also unveils a new book that includes an essay by Reisz and nearly 100 photographs published for the first time.

Off Center / On Stage displays traces of the country from 1976 to 1979 in the form of photographic slides, captured by the two architects, Stephen Finch and Mark Harris, who visited Dubai and its reconstruction sites to transform old Dubai. Photographed as visual notes of the daily UAE lifestyle, this exhibition is supported by Barjeel Art Foundation.  The publication by Reisz is a collaboration between Jameel Arts Centre and Khatt Books.


Located in a city equidistant from all seven emirates, the official UAE National Day celebrations in Hatta offer a floating theatrical experience demonstrating connections between people. With a 360 view of the Hajar Mountains, the show will take the audience on a visual story-telling experience of the country’s rich history and progression. The show will also highlight today’s achievements offering a glimpse into the promising future.

Etisalat Beach Canteen


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After being put on hold during the pandemic, the beachside pop-up Beach Canteen returned in celebration of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee in a free-for-all event that opened on November 25 and will remain available till December 11. Themed in accordance to the UAE National Day, the pop-up offers a line-up of food trucks and kiosks parked at Jumeirah Beach behind Sunset Avenue, welcoming 39 vendors.  Strategically divided into sections, each section gives a taste of nostalgia with installations like the Dukkan, Baqalaa lane, Halawa corner, and snack souq. The pop-up also hosts a series of live performances and traditional dances like Al Ayyala, Al Harbia, and  Melodica musical performances. A new addition to the pop up is the Game Bustan which features a fun-filled carnival for kids and adults.


Al Dhaid


Known for its date palms, irrigated by the Hajar Mountain waters through the historic falaj channels, Al Dhaid city in Sharjah is expected to host an extensive program of National Day celebrations from November 29 to December 1, expanding on competitions, Emirati and traditional Arabic poetry nights, workshops, and talks. The area is embellished with fields of fruits and vegetables like strawberries, limes, guava, and mangoes, forming a colorful backdrop for the Camel Race Track. The track hosts races during winter, usually on early Thursday and Friday mornings. A Fujairah Friday Market is also set up in the area where one can indulge in traditional pottery, carpets, and plants. 

Sharjah National Park

Also known as the largest park in Sharjah, Sharjah National Park was designed to appear like European parks with a hint of a Middle Eastern ambience. Equipped with large playgrounds and fields of greenery, the park will witness more than 20 activities for the public in celebration of the National Day. With an itinerary of games, traditional food showcases, folk dances, competitions, and lucky draws, the event will be held until December 3 and is free to attend.

Joint Concert

On the evening of December 1, Fayez Al Saeed and Balqees will take on the Khorfakkan amphitheatre stage in a joint musical evening. Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi will perform in Al Majaz Amphitheatre on December 3, with an additional feature of songs by Faisal Al Jasim, Mohammed Al Menhali, and Almas.


On the occasion of the country’s Golden Jubilee, the emirate will launch 50 hot air balloons, with celebrations extending to different areas like Dibba Al Fujairah, Al-Tuwaiyin, Masafi, Habab, Al-Bidiyah, Al-Taybeh, Wadi Al-Sijr, Al-Siji, Ehefra, Wam, Al-Halla, Al-Haniyah, and Qidfa and Murbah. The emirate will also put on an entertainment program of family activities, fireworks, cavalry shows, military marches, and an evening program of poetry and traditional music.

Ras Al Khaimah

Photo: Courtesy of Visit Ras Al Khaimah

On December 2, the skies of Ras Al Khaimah will be decorated with a show of 50 flags flying in parachutes.

Read Next: Washington DC Celebrates UAE’s Golden Jubilee With a Special Art Exhibition

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