5 Things To Try in Abu Dhabi | National Day Weekend 2020

Together, we will recognise 49 years of unity between the seven emirates and embrace the country’s spirit and resilience.” Seeds of The Union

Let’s face it most of us are not venturing abroad this upcoming five-day weekend in celebration of the 49th National Day. This year UAE residents will enjoy a public holiday from 1st – 3rd December (includes Commemoration Day and the UAE National Day) plus the weekend.

There’s no doubt things are looking a little different this year but the weather is great and the good news is there’s lots of new things to do in the capital. Visit an art exhibition, hang out at a new beach club, try out some desert camping or glamping and of course there’s always a trusty staycation in one of the region’s fabulous five-star hotels. Here’s five ideas to keep yourself and the family amused in Abu Dhabi. 

Al Hudayriyat Island – Take a trip to the capital’s new leisure and eco-tourism site at Al Hudayriyat Island. The Hudayriyat Recreational Project is a waterfront site offering visitors plenty of fun activities for all the family. Obstacle parks for adults and children, climbing wall, zip line, high ropes course, splash and BMX tracks are among some of the adventurous activities available. There’s also the beach and jogging and cycling tracks so really something for all the family.

Those looking for a glamping experience can book at Bab Al-Nojumn where you can choose from over a hundred tents ranging from fully equipped to oceanfront beach tents, camper vans (personally loving the restored VW camper option) and glamping tents with private swimming pools. This is the place to rent a kayak, paddle boat or stand-up paddle board. There’s also a beach cinema, communal bonfire and children’s play area. 

Marsana, the waterfront dining destination offers an array of casual food & beverage outlets including a second outlet for DRVN with it’s delicious Napolean pizzas and coffee.

Visit www.hudayriyatisland.ae to find out more information and to book.Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions all visits must be booked in advance. Glamping is available for 2 – 6 people. 

Cove Beach Abu Dhabi – This exciting new edition to Abu Dhabi’s beach club scene opens its doors on November 27th at the Makers District, Al Reem just in time for a relaxing holiday weekend. 

After much success at its first venue located at Bluewaters Island in Dubai, the popular licenced beach club has made its way to the capital. Visitors can expect an outdoor restaurant, lounge, beach and pool as well as watersports for those looking to stay active. Can’t think of anywhere better right now to be lapping up the winter sun.

Find out more www.covebeachabudhabi.com

The Abu Dhabi EDITION – The contemporary hotel’s stylish lobby will become a pop-up art gallery celebrating local culture and local artists from 27th November – 5th December. The Abu Dhabi EDITION UAE National Day Gallery will showcase impressive art pieces, including an exhibition of photographs as well as live painting by local artists, alongside the hotel’s own curated art collection.

Why not combine art and food and indulge in Tea On The Terrazza, the Mediterranean-inspired afternoon tea served at Alba Terrace daily from 1pm – 6pm. With twenty-four varieties of tea and coffee available (as well as a bubbly option) it sounds like a perfect long weekend treat. Or go all in and book a staycation, trust me you won’t regret it, take advantage of the hotel’s stay and dine offer that includes a deluxe room, breakfast at Alba Terrace and brunch at Oak Room for two people for just AED 999 (available on stays between 29th November – 5th December 2020).

Find out more about the National Day Exhibition and dining options at the hotel www.editionhotels.com/abu-dhabi/

Desert Camping – Always good fun with the right crowd (if you overlook the bathroom situation) and something you must experience at least once. Pitch your tent, light your fire, set up your bbq and enjoy a night under the stars in the dunes. My top advice would be to invest in a blow up mattress and a camping chair is a necessity. Take a torch, some warm clothing for the cold desert nights and definitely don’t forget your sense of humour!

Don’t have your own equipment or fancy a little something more refined? Try the newly reopened Jebel Hafeet Desert Park and stay in one of there glamping domes, a fully furnished five-star bubble complete with air-conditioning – find out more jebelhafitdesertpark.backhotelite.com/en/

Read more about our Desert Camping HERE

Staycation – Of course the obvious option for that holiday feeling without getting on a plane is a staycation in one of the Abu Dhabi’s fabulous resorts. Head to the Liwa Desert for a night or two at the luxurious desert oasis of Qasr Al Sarab, drive to the Western Region for a desert safari at Sir Bani Yas Island or hop on a boat and head to Zaya Nurai Island. 

Looking for an all-inclusive option? Try the Turkish inspired Rixos Premium Saadiyat where you can drink, dine and relax until your heart’s content – click HERE for details.

For more staycation ideas click HERE

If you are happy to cross the border and take the necessary COVID-19 tests to re-enter then of course there’s lots to explore in the other emirates – click HERE for some tried and tested ideas.

Instead of the usual colourful celebrations, this year there will be a spectacular live broadcast to celebrate the 49th UAE National Day taking place on 2nd December. The production, named ‘Seeds of the Union’ will showcase the rich legacy and traditions of the UAE and has been produced by world-class local and international creatives – read more HERE

Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett. All rights reserved. Additional photos used with courtesy of the respective venues. National Day image used with courtesy of Gulf News.

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