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National Day Events in Abu Dhabi

by Abu Dhabi Travel Planner

Looking to visit Abu Dhabi over the National Day weekend in early December?

It is an amazing time to be in Abu Dhabi. Not only are you almost guaranteed beautiful mild weather in early December, but there is also always so much going on! Overlapping this year with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend we are at overload!

National Day is celebrated on 2 December to mark the day the country of the United Arab Emirates was formed in 1971 under a Federal Constitutional Monarchy.

You can learn more about the recent history of Dubai and the 7 Emirates of the United Arab Emirates here.

In 2019, the UAE Government also announced that Commemoration Day (previously known as Martyrs Day) had been moved to 1 December 2019 to coincide with National Day Celebrations on 2 & 3 December.  Most UAE residents are granted a 5 day weekend to celebrate.

You can see a full listing of Dubai public holidays here. 

Abu Dhabi National Day Fireworks

On 2 December 2019

  • Zayed Heritage Festival 8pm
  • Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium 8pm
  • Madinat Zayed, Al Dahfra 8pm
  • Abu Dhabi Corniche 9pm

These are all free firework displays.

Qasr Al Watan, Presidential Palace Abu Dhabi

From 1pm on 2 December the public are invited to attend Qasr al Watan. There will be a welcome procession, followed by entertainment inside the Great Hall from 4pm and 6pm including Ayalah dancers. Children will have the opportunity to dress up and learn the steps at the Ayalah dance.

Come night, the exterior of Qasr al Watan will be illuminated with the colours of the UAE flag. Usual entry charges will apply for general admission and grounds only passes.

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

Following the conclusion of the Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday 1 December, Monday 2 December will see the track transformed for National Day celebrations from 3pm through to a fireworks display at 9pm.

Throughout the afternoon enjoy live performances, Ayala dancers, a classic cars display, F1 Fanzone, heritage village, food stalls and market stalls.

You can also enjoy three days of activity over at Yas Marina promenade with theatre performances (4pm, 5.30pm, 6.30pm), roaming entertainment, heritage arts, face painting from 1 to 3 December.

Other things to know about the National Day Holidays in Abu Dhabi

  • Schools, Government offices and most businesses will have 3 days off to celebrate this special occasion – visitors should be mindful of this if they need any sort of visa processing etc.
  • If you have a car, public parking is free! (but be mindful everywhere can be INCREDIBLY busy!) Take public transport if you can.
  • Want to get dressed up?  Go for it!  Traditional dress of the colours of the UAE flag, locals and residents alike wear the UAE’s colours of red, green, white and black with pride, you should feel free to do the same.
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