“He who does not know his past cannot make the best of his present and future, for it is from the past that we learn.” Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan
It’s been super busy here in the UAE with outdoor activities in full force. After a weekend that saw the capital jammed packed with people and all the pomp of another successful F1 Grand Prix it’s now time to turn our attention to this weekend’s 45th National Day celebrations.
Celebrated annually on 2nd December throughout the country, UAE National Day marks the unification of the six emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman in 1971 that was later joined in 1972 by seventh emirate Ras Al Khaimah. Here in the capital the streets are already adorned with coloured flags, bunting and lights in the green, red, black and white national colours of the UAE, everything is place and ready to celebrate the nation’s independence.
Cars will take to the streets fully decorated with everything from flag emblazoned wing mirror covers to full on reproduced photos of the highly regarded Sheikh Zayed, the founder who negotiated the UAE’s formation into an independent union after the expiration of treaty with the UK. Once the vehicles are fully decorated, some of which need to be seen to be believed, the owners usually descend on the Corniche and basically beep their horns constantly for hours in a celebratory parade, a great colourful sight but a noisy one, especially if you live near there.
Here’s some ideas of how and where to celebrate the 45th National Day in Abu Dhabi and beyond this weekend as well as celebratory National Day discounts available on hotel stays, dining and travel.
- The Cascade Dining restaurants at Yas Mall have joined together and created a limited-edition menu of 45 dishes for AED 45, available for 45 hours to celebrate the 45th UAE National Day. Family friendly activities will be taking place all weekend at the Cascade Dining area throughout the weekend with lots prizes up for grabs, 1st – 3rd December – 9:00am to 12:00am
- Yas Mall is also celebrating National Day on 2nd December with a fun, healthy and competitive family indoor walk, the Yas Mall Walkathon which starts at 8:00am from Town Square, click here for all the details. There will also be an exhibition of vintage photos and paintings of the UAE’s rulers and an Emirati market from 1st – 7th December showcasing local entrepreneurs.
- Yas Marina Circuit are celebrating National Day on 2nd December with family activities from 2pm – 7pm as well as its annual firework show. There will be live music, an oud player, human claw, story-time with Dr. Ahmed, Arabic calligraphy, henna painters, falconry, harbya dancers, face painters, an art and crafts section for the children, inflatable amusement rides and caricaturists.
- Ferrari World Abu Dhabi are offering FREE entry into the park until Saturday 3rd – December. Visitors can enter for free from 6:00pm at weekends and ‘pay as you go’ to enjoy any rides until 11:00pm – click here for all the information
- If you are looking for a classy celebration Emirates Palace are throwing a beach party, offering festive hampers, a firework display, lucky draws for Emirati visitors and an exhibition of 45 different types of dates – contact 02 690 9000 for more information. To celebrate the UAE’s 45 years Emirates Palace is running a Facebook competition that will give a lucky winner the opportunity to win an amazing one-night stay in a Khaleej Palace Suite (value AED 8000) as well as other prizes – click here for all the details and how to enter.
- Newly opened Dubai Parks and Resorts are offering 4,500 tickets for Dh45 per person per park from 1st – 3rd December, for entry into LEGOLAND® Dubai and Bollywood Parks™ Dubai. Tickets are available on a ‘first-come first-served’ basis (the majority of these will be sold online, a limited number will be available at the park gates over the weekend).
- Rugby fans can enjoy the annual Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens that kicks off on Thursday at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai. The three-day sport and entertainment extravaganza is taking place from 1st – 3rd December with FREE admission for all visitors on Thursday. Visit www.dubairugby7s.com for the full schedule of events and ticket prices.
- Maybe a staycation for just AED 45 per night at a Jannah five-star hotel? Jannah Burj Al Sarab, Jannah Place Abu Dhabi, Jannah Marina Bay Suites and Jannah Place Dubai Marina are offering the first five rooms at a rate of just AED 45 per night on 1st and 2nd December when booked direct. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 800- 526624 or 02 652 6777 for further information.
- Al Seef Resort by Andalusia here in Abu Dhabi is offering 45% discount on their best available room rates from 30th November to 3rd December. This is subject to taxes and availability of rooms. Telephone 02 652 6722 for more information
- IHG hotels are offering guests who stay at one of their participating UAE hotels a complimentary US $45 (worth AED 165) dining credit for stays between 15th November – 15th December – visit ihg.com/45uae for more information
- Fancy jetting off somewhere? Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi’s National airline is offering 45% off flights to 45 selected destinations, click here for all the information (Discounts are available for both Economy and Business Classes and valid until December 2, 2016). Travel dates must be between 23rd November 2016 until 10th June 2017.
- Emirates, the national airline of Dubai is also offering travellers National Day discounts to some of its more popular destinations. Special economy and business class fares are available to popular destinations in Europe, America, the Far East and South Asia – click here for further information and to book. The offer is valid for bookings until 8th December for outbound travel between 1st December 2016 until 15th June 2017.
The views in this post are all my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Photo used courtesy of http://www.emirates247.com