Family activities for UAE National Day in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Here's how to spend the long weekend with young and old

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UAE residents and visitors are gearing up for a long weekend from December 1 to 4 as the country celebrates its 51st National Day on December 2.

Venues all over the UAE are taking advantage of the four-day holiday by staging family-friendly activities and activations from malls to theme parks and restaurants.

Here are some of the best family-friendly offerings taking place.

Mall of the Emirates

The Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra has been playing the UAE national anthem once a week this month as part of National Day celebrations

The mall will transform into an Emirati cultural oasis as part of the National Day festival being hosted at Zeman Awwal, a newly opened space that highlights the UAE's heritage and local culture. National Day-themed artworks will be on display throughout the month-long celebration, while an indoor market featuring home-grown products will run until December 4.

More information is available at malloftheemirates.com

Boxpark

The industrial-chic lifestyle destination is celebrating National Day with a number of activities and attractions, including a petting zoo, henna artists and a live art showcase. The venue will also feature a majlis where visitors can enjoy Arabic dates and coffee. The family-friendly festivities come complete with a roaming bubble artist and balloon bender.

December 2 to 4; 4pm-10pm; boxpark.ae

Al Khawaneej Walk

Al Khawaneej Walk will feature a number of National Day-themed activities, including a cultural parade on December 2

Located next to Last Exit, the food truck park at Al Khawaneej, this lifestyle venue is home to lots of shops and restaurants, and a plethora of fashion and food concepts — from abaya retailer Senso to Lezzet Turkish Restaurant. The destination will transform this National Day and feature themed decor, a cultural parade on December 2, as well as an array of family-friendly activities including henna stations and stage shows.

December 2 to 4; 4pm-10pm; alkhawaneejwalk.ae

Legoland

The Lego-themed park in Dubai has prepared a National Day programme that includes a park-wide scavenger hunt

The Dubai theme park kick-starts its National Day celebrations from November 25, with fun-filled activities lined up until December 4. Main events include building a miniature flag using Lego blocks, a park-wide scavenger hunt and a parade of entertaining characters. The food offerings within the park, including burger sliders, popcorn, and waffles, meanwhile, will be prepared in the colours of the UAE flag.

November 25 to December 4; 10am-6pm (weekdays), 10am-7pm (weekends); from Dh295; legoland.com

Global Village

Global Village is celebrating National Day with a host of special activities from December 1 to 4. Photo: Global Village

A 33-strong orchestra, a special light display, a violinist and a harpist playing a selection of popular Emirati songs — this is how the massive multicultural destination in Dubai is celebrating National Day. The four-day family affair will also include a fireworks display, every night, prominently featuring the colours of the UAE flag. National Day memorabilia from the UAE, Al Sana'a and Khalifa Foundation pavilions will also be available throughout the celebrations.

December 1 to 4; 4pm-midnight (weekdays), 4pm-1am (weekends); tickets from Dh18; globalvillage.ae

Time Out Market

The food hall in Downtown Dubai is promising a fun-filled day for the kids this National Day. There will be free face painting and balloon twisting stations, while festive Al Ayala dancers roam around the venue. As for the food, the market is hosting a weekend breakfast special, featuring familiar dishes such as shakshouka, truffle eggs benedict, and a morning glory pizza. The dishes range from Dh32 to Dh75.

December 2 to 4; 1pm-3pm for the festivities, 10am until 1pm for the breakfast special; timeoutmarket.com/dubai

Yas Island

Theme parks across Yas Island are putting on their patriotic hats to celebrate the National Day weekend. Photo: Yas Island

The famed theme parks across the Abu Dhabi island have prepared exciting line-ups of cultural activities for everyone to enjoy. Ferrari World will feature a large UAE flag for photo opportunities, while Yas Waterworld promises to take guests on an interactive journey of Emirati culture.

There will be falcon handlers, oud players and other live cultural performers. Henna and face painting will also be available on site.

December 1 to 3; from noon; yasisland.com

Bawabat Al Sharq Mall

National Day celebrations kick off early at Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in Baniyas, Abu Dhabi. From Thursday, the mall will host an array of activities for families — from local carnival games, and arts and crafts workshops, to a dedicated children's section with balloon twister stands and a face painting corner.

While enjoying the National Day entertainment, guests can also snap up deals in the concurrent year-end sale culminating in a raffle draw of a Lincoln Nautilus SUV. The shopping craze lasts until December 31.

November 24 to December 4; 2pm-10pm; bawabatalsharqmall.ae

Waterfront Market

The market is organising an Emirati cultural village for National Day. Photo: Waterfront Market

The fresh food market kicked off its National Day celebrations on Friday, with events planned until December 4. The venue will feature live entertainment throughout, including traditional al ayala dancers and roaming cultural parades. There's a dedicated programme for children, where they will be able to engage in arts, crafts and virtual reality games. The venue is also hosting an Emirati heritage village alongside the gleaming Deira Corniche waterway, featuring tents that will showcase various aspects of local culture.

November 25 to December 4; from 2pm; waterfrontmarket.ae

Updated: November 25, 2022, 11:44 AM
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