Enjoy a plethora of entertainment across the city to ring in the UAE’s jubilee anniversary Dubai
Preparations are well underway across Dubai Holding Asset Management’s (DHAM) destinations to mark 50 years of the UAE. From a taste of local legacies to high-tech spectacles, discover the ultimate spots to ring in the jubilee anniversary with friends and family.
The city’s most beloved destinations are getting in the celebratory spirit, and here is a list of things not to be missed:
It’s all bright at Bluewaters
Waterfront views galore at the ever-trendy Bluewaters. Wander the alfresco lifestyle hub at your own pace on weekends from December 2-11 and uncover a plethora of high-energy roaming entertainment and scintillating themed lights along the way. Dance to the tunes of live Ayyala dancers or a rambunctious parade as it comes barreling in waving hues of red, white, green and black. Ladies, have your hands decorated with authentic henna designs courtesy of a talented artist. Ain Dubai, the emirate’s newest landmark is offering anyone who buys a standard views experience on December 1, 2 or 3 receives an AED50 voucher to use on their next ride from January 2 to March 31, 2022.
The best part? Grab an outdoor table at one of the sea-facing eateries on National Day itself to catch a dazzling firework display decorating the sky above you at 8:30pm.
When: December 2-11 (Fireworks only on December 2)
Wind down JBR
This outdoor favourite is a staple in Dubai’s winter to-do list, all 1.7km lined with stylish shops and flavour-packed restaurants. There’s something planned for every weekend of the holiday calendar at JBR throughout the month, and National Day is the perfect excuse to check it out. Grab some old-school Arabic grill at Automatic or celebrate the UAE’s cultural diversity at one of the many eclectic food haunts. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for neck-craning stilt walkers and ears perked for joyous tunes by the UAE Marching Band. Settle in with your little ones for a deep dive into Emirati folklore with an Arabic storyteller for the perfect sign off.
When: December 2 (3 sets of 30 minutes)
Unwrap all kinds of fun at Boxpark
A whole host of fun awaits at the eccentric outdoor destination Boxpark from December 2-3. Little ones can get crafty at workshops on painting clipart or drawing intricate designs with sand. Dive headfirst into Emirati culture by learning the art of Sadu weaving, a practice perfected by Bedouin women, or try your hand at the basics of Arabic calligraphy.
Once you’ve had your fill of hands-on entertainment, take a break and enjoy live Tanoura and Ayyala performances three times a day. Wrap up the evening over a delicious feast at any one of the destination’s food haunts, challenge your loved one to a spooky escape room or pick up an Arabic classic at the newly opened Kalemat bookshop.
When: December 2-3
Where: Boxpark, Jumeirah
Heritage highlights at Al Seef
Al Seef elevates local heritage with its old-world charm and view of bobbing dhows at the Dubai Creek year-long, so there are few better settings to ring in the jubilee anniversary. While parents shop and soak in the sights, little ones can get their creative juices pumping at arts and crafts stations available from 4-10pm. The UAE Marching Band and a 6-piece Ayyala dance group will add great cheer to the atmosphere and early birds on December 2 can catch talented UAE Flag Dancers impress on stage.
Young homegrown actors will bring to life an elaborate play produced specially for the occasion on December 3, and Arabic storytellers will spin evocative tales to have you hooked. Don’t miss out on Jalsat musical performances in between all the fun and be sure to make your way around seven kiosks – each representing one of the emirates – to learn about major milestones in local history.
When: December 1-3, 5-9pm
Where: Al Seef, Dubai Creek
Arts and acts at Al Khawaneej Walk
The greenhouse inspired Al Khawaneej Walk is decking out in all the colours of the UAE flag. The halls will ring with the resounding call of Ayala dancers from 5-9pm on both days, but if you want to see choreography as sharp as a knife, a traditional eight-piece Al Harbia Band from 3-9pm on December 2 will not disappoint.
Settle into a cosy spot at an authentic majlis where a storyteller will take you on a journey into the UAE’s captivating past with three shows a day at 5:30pm, 6:30pm or 7:30pm. For our little Monet’s in the making, an arts competition invites the first 50 artists to design paintings about the UAE to be showcased at the mall for 10 days.The ultimate treat for all Dubai kids, Modesh and Dana are making special National Day appearances at the mall on 2 December.
Be sure to leave plenty of time to explore the unbeatable deals and offers awaiting you at Al Khawaneej Walk. Enjoy 50% off clothes for the whole family, exotic Oud and perfumes, and more at Al Salami and Sons until 5 December. High Street Jewelry is joining in the fun with 20% off all their stylish accessories from November 28 to December 4. And if you spend AED89 at Mumuso and Duozoulu, you’ll receive a special edition 50th National Day mask.
When: December 2-3, 3-9pm
Where: Al Khawaneej Walk, Al Khawaneej
Rare finds at Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Made in the image of a traditional Arabian bazaar, Souk Madinat Jumeirah’s evocative ambiance, lantern-lit halls and treasure-packed shops will take you into the modern past. December arrives here with workshops for the kids within the Heritage area, officially kicking off on UAE National Day.
When: December 2-4 & 9-11, 12-3pm & 5-8pm
Where: Heritage Area, Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Celebrate at Serena Marketplace
Residents of Serena, Al Waha and Al Layan can join in all the action without venturing too far from home. The Mediterranean-themed community centre is gearing up with two whole days of fun with Instagram-ready photo ops. Children can design their own Burqa masks, have their faces painted in vibrant colours, or get their hands messy at themed arts and crafts stations. Don’t miss out on the chance for little ones to take home arts and crafts and a vivacious atmosphere set amid the city’s spectacular winter weather.
When: December 1-2, 2-9pm
Where: Serena Marketplace, Dubailand