The 52nd

UAE National Day

falls on December 2 (Saturday), and the whole UAE is set for a long weekend off. If you plan to snuggle into your couch and watch some television shows, we don’t say the idea is bad, but our recommendation is to plainly dismiss it off, with a whole lot of things to see and experience around you. Now confused on how to make the most of these holidays and the national day celebrations? Leave this to us; we’ve already got it sorted out for you. Simply take your pick from this list of top things to do in Dubai during the National Day holidays.

Things to Do in UAE During UAE National Day

1. See Special National Day Fireworks Show

National Day Fireworks show

All over the UAE, National Day is celebrated and enjoyed with a bang. If you wish to be a part of its unmatched fervor, there are numerous venues and, of course, a myriad of ways in which you can immerse yourself in the festivities. A not-to-miss among them is the exclusive National Day fireworks presented in eye-striking patterns and displays. This includes the traditional musical fireworks display at Global Village. Besides the pyrotechnic shows, there are other exciting things to do in Dubai in December that offer a fun-filled holiday. So, you can extend the trip for another week and watch the city at its best.

You can watch the fireworks at the following venues:

  • Burj Al Arab on December 2 at 21:00 hrs
  • La Mer (Jumeirah) on December 2 at 20:30 hrs
  • Bluewaters Island (against the newest Ain Dubai) on December 2 at 20:30 hrs
  • The Pointe (Palm Jumeirah) & Atlantis, The Palm on December 2 & December 3 at 20:00 hrs
  • Global Village on December 1 & December 2 at 21:00 hrs. the Global Village timings for other live shows can vary.

2. Enjoy National Day Celebrations at Burj Khalifa & Other Iconic Locations


Burj Khalifa is one of the UAE’s greatest attractions. This massive, tallest-of-its-kind structure is all set to enthrall you with its awe-inspiringly lively and colorful LED projections during the National Day celebrations from December 1 to December 2. This is further enhanced by the Dubai Fountain Show (right next to Burj Khalifa), wherein the choreographed water will dance in tune with the UAE national anthem as well as other inspiring songs, including Sama Dubai and Tawalahat Ana. This is ideal for all age groups, and the best thing is that you can watch it for free. Check out the Burj Khalifa ticket offers that add to your National Day celebrations in Dubai.

Apart from these, don’t miss out on these festivities.

  • Cheer hard as part of Abu Dhabi’s exciting National Day festivities held at Yas Island. This island is brimming with numerous things to do in Abu Dhabi.
  • Head over to venues like Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, or The Beach to spectacle National Day Arabic Concerts.
  • Enjoy unique National Day celebrations at Global Village.
  • Special National Day Celebrations at Emirates Palace
  • The Special UAE National Day IMAGINE Show at Festival Bay

Read our exclusive Burj Khalifa guide to learn more about this massive, record-breaking structure.

3. Watch Michael: The Magic of Michael Jackson


The National Day weekend offers some wonderful options for entertainment. Watch Michael: The Magic of Michael Jackson, where Ben Bowman, the popular Michael Jackson tribute star from the UK, will take you back to the golden musical times of the King of Pop. So, be ready to revisit the good old days, as this music maestro will regale you with his electrifying performance.

Venue: Coco-Cola Arena

Date: December 3, 2023

Time: From 20:00 hrs

Entry Fee: AED 140 – AED 460

4. Be Part of Fun Festivities at the Global Village Dubai

Global Village Dubai

Don’t want to fly outside the country during the National Day holidays? Head to Global Village Dubai, where you can experience diverse cultures, traditions, and delicious cuisines representing different parts of the world without traveling out of Dubai. This open-air, multicultural venue is at its best on special occasions, mainly National Day. So come here prepared to watch the exclusive National Day fireworks display, cultural shows, and performances.

5. Get Sporty: Sketchers Performers 2023

Sketchers Performers UAE National Day

Image Credit:

Want to celebrate the spirit of union in the most active way? Head out to Track Meydan Golf, which hosts the exciting Sketchers Performers UAE National Day Run 2023 on December 2. It welcomes runners of all age groups and skills including novices and pros. Dependent on your ability, you can choose from distances ranging from three kilometers to up to 16 kilometers.

Venue: The Track Meydan Golf

Date: December 3, 2023

Time: From 07:30 hrs

Entry Fee: AED 125 – AED 175

6. Join Unmatched Fervor of Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens

Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens

Image Credit:

As one of the Middle East’s largest and most anticipated sport and entertainment events make a comeback in December, what better way to spend your National Day holiday? Soak up all excitement and fun with the involvement of high-energetic athletes and brilliant DJ performers.

Venue: Sevens Stadium Dubai

Date: December 1 to December 3, 2023

Entry Fee: AED 425 – AED 550

7. Visit Dubai Miracle Garden


The National Day break can’t get any better than at the Dubai Miracle Garden, the world’s largest natural garden. It is a surreal wonderland overflowing with the most colorful and magnificent floral collections, making it one of the best places to visit in Dubai. They take almost all designs and patterns; see a massive 380 Airbus, a life-size floating lady, and a scenic hilltop all blanketed with flowers of every size and shape.

8. Embark on a Classic Dubai Cruise

It allows you to indulge in one of the UAE’s greatest festivities with a delicious buffet dinner, live entertainment, and an astounding front-row view of the city skyline from the water. With various cruise options at your disposal, you can set sail on a timeless dhow cruise, a fantastic bottomless weekend brunch, or the luxurious Lotus Mega Yacht cruise. They all guarantee you the most prized moments in Dubai’s waters.

9. Check out Dubai’s Newest Attractions

Dubai’s Newest Attractions

Burj Khalifa, Dubai Frame, and the Dubai Mall: Dubai already has no shortage of attractions, so do you wonder what to check out now? It’s not one, but many things to do in Dubai during the upcoming holiday. Dubaiites recently witnessed the grand opening of several world-class attractions, from the Museum of the Future, AYA Universe, and Dubai Crocodile Park to Madame Tussauds Dubai and Deep Dive Dubai. The National Day weekend is the perfect chance to explore all these attractions, with the bonus that some offer unbelievable deals on their entry pass.

10. Consider a Day Trip


Agreed, there are thrilling theme parks, mindblowing shows, and awesome shopping options to explore. But if you wish to escape from the emirate, why not take a peek at our best weekend getaway suggestions for inspiration. Handily, all of the UAE’s emirates are well placed, allowing for a multitude of amazing excursions and activities. For instance, venture to the capital city of Abu Dhabi to discover its astonishing cultural and modern sights including the recently opened National Aquarium Abu Dhabi, which is also the biggest of its kind in the Middle East.

Further, go on a thrilling red dune safari, plan a glamping adventure at Ras Al Khaimah’s Longbeach Campground, enjoy a short trip to scenic Al Ain, or discover the culturally rich Sharjah tourist places. You can even opt for a long road trip leading to Ajman, Fujairah, Liwa Oasis, or Oman’s Khasab / or Dibba.

11. Plan a Seacation

Are you bored of the usual theme park visits or staycations? Make this holiday extra special with our exclusive UAE National Day Cruise, covering Sir Bani Yas Island and the delights of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It is a three-night cruise (from November 30 to December 3, 2023) that lets you sail aboard MSC Opera with unlimited meals, entertainment shows, and access to facilities like a fitness center, pools, a kids’ club, and indoor and outdoor activities.

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12. Fly to a New Destination


With many service providers offering attractive deals and last-minute promotions on all-inclusive holiday packages, the National Day weekend is the best time to discover a new or exotic location. From Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangkok to Georgia and India, there are many incredible countries to visit near Dubai that you can consider fitting into your three-day mini-break, which usually covers accommodation, sightseeing, and airport transfers.

Check Out: Holiday & Tour Packages from Dubai

13. Explore the UAE’s Hidden Treasures

Bastakiya Quarter

If you wish to ditch the usual tourist attractions or skip all the National Day crowds, head over to some of the region’s off-the-beaten-track gems. Step back in time at Old Dubai’s Bastakiya Quarter or visit the quaint Hatta enclave for a refreshing slice of Emirati traditions and past. For families with kids, some of the not-to-miss-out during National Day holidays are Al Shindagha Museum and Etihad Museum. Featuring Emirati cartoon impersonators, multimedia shows based on the region’s culture and heritage, and exhibits depicting the UAE’s past, these attractions are sure to excite all age groups.

14. Indulge in Exciting Water Activities

Water Activities in Abu Dhabi

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, outdoor enthusiast, or water sports aficionados, the National Day holiday is the best time to try your hands in many exciting activities, with cool salubrious weather and excellent facilities. Take a kayaking tour along Abu Dhabi’s stunning mangroves or head out on Dubai’s water to enjoy such thrilling activities as Stand Up Paddle, Parasailing, Banana Boat Ride, and Jetovator ride. Want to bring in a twist to your water fun in Dubai? Visit AquaFun Dubai or try the newest trending Jet Car experience, which allows you to drive a real car on Dubai’s water.

15. Do Something Mysterious & Non-Touristy

Lastly, this is our suggestion for those who wish to do something unusual by exploring the UAE’s mysterious and spooky side. Got excited? Then, during the upcoming holidays, find your way to discover some of the country’s most haunted places, such as the ancient fishing village of Jazirat Al Hamra, strewn with several mysterious legends, and Al Qasimi Palace in Ras Al Khaimah, which has remained uninhabited for the past 25 years reportedly due to paranormal incidences. We recommend you also check out other fascinating places to visit in Ras Al Khaimah to uncover the unique side of history and heritage.


Q1. When is the UAE National Day holiday?

The UAE National Day is usually celebrated on December 2 every year. It is a public holiday, and the whole country celebrates it with great enthusiasm.

Q2. How to spend the UAE National Day holiday?

  • Try something non-touristy and mysterious.
  • Indulge in water activities.
  • Explore the hidden treasures in the UAE.
  • Check out the newest attractions.

Q3. Are there any special events or celebrations during the UAE National Day holiday?

Yes, there are many special events and celebrations that take place during the UAE National Day holiday. Some of these include the National Day Parade in Abu Dhabi, the Al Ain National Day Festival, the Dubai Festival City Mall National Day celebrations, and the Sharjah National Day celebrations.

Q4. Is it a good time to visit the UAE during the National Day holiday?

Yes, the UAE National Day holiday is a great time to visit the country, as there are many activities and events taking place, and the weather is usually pleasant. However, it is also a busy time, so it is recommended to book accommodations and activities in advance.

Q5. What is the significance of the UAE National Day?

The UAE National Day celebrates the country’s union, which took place on December 2, 1971. It is a day to celebrate the country’s achievements, culture, and traditions and to reflect on its history and future.


With these amazing options covering brand-new attractions, culinary trips, traditional shows, and exciting events across the UAE, be sure to get out and experience the unmatched gusto of the UAE National Day!

Rezmin is passionate about traveling and curating content about history, traditions and other intriguing aspects that make a place attractive. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fictional books sprinkled with inspiration, humor and enthusiasm.

  • 12 thoughts on “Best Things to do During UAE National Day Holidays
    1. Avatar for Rezmin

      This blog is a treasure trove of suggestions for the UAE National Day holidays. I have noted Bastakiya Quarter and Hatta enclave on my bucket list. Is there more off-the-beaten-track experience?

      • Avatar for Rezmin

        Thrilled you found the hidden treasures intriguing! To maximize your off-the-beaten-track adventure, consider immersing yourself in the rich history at Al Shindagha Museum and Etihad Museum.

    2. Avatar for Rezmin

      Planning to celebrate my 2nd work anniversary with a trip to Dubai during the National Day holidays. The idea of the Coco-Cola Arena event featuring Michael Jackson’s tribute sounds amazing! Are any other entertainments to engage in?

      • Avatar for Rezmin

        Happy early work anniversary! Besides the Coco-Cola Arena event, you might want to check out the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens for some high-energy sports and entertainment.

    3. Avatar for Rezmin

      Just stumbled upon this blog while planning my visit to the UAE during the National Day holidays. The suggestions suit me perfectly. I’m especially excited about the fireworks at Burj Al Arab. Any other must-visit places you’d recommend for a first timer like me during this festive season?

      • Avatar for Rezmin

        Welcome to the UAE National Day festivities! Besides the fireworks at Burj Al Arab, make sure to explore the celebrations at Burj Khalifa and Global Village. The LED projections at Burj Khalifa are a sight to behold, and Global Village offers a multicultural experience.

    4. Avatar for Rezmin

      While there is no dearth of reason to visit Dubai, the UAE National Day holidays is the best time to enjoy exiting and fun things.

      • Avatar for Rezmin

        Absolutely! The UAE National Day holidays are the best time to explore Dubai as you get to see and do many things. There are fireworks displays, cultural shows, concerts, sports, entertainment, and lots more.

    5. Avatar for Rezmin

      It seems a series of exciting happening goes on in Dubai during the UAE National Day Holidays. Next time, I will plan my vacation accordingly.

    6. Avatar for Rezmin

      Doesn’t there any parade during the UAE National Day holidays? Most of the countries held parade and showcase their military, and cultural attractions.

      • Avatar for Rezmin

        Yes! Parades are held across the UAE on National Day. But unlike national day parades that are held in other countries across the world, National Day Parade in UAE is about showcasing cultural and traditional practices. The parade is held with drummers, floaters, marching bands, and men and women in traditional attire.

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