As the UAE gears up to celebrate its 51st National Day on December 2, plenty of venues are putting together meal deals, concerts and family-friendly activities. Fireworks will be another big draw, as lavish displays of pyrotechnic prowess are put on during the public holiday.
A number of venues have confirmed they will hold a fireworks show, while Burj Khalifa will host an LED display this year.
Here are some spots to catch them across the Emirates.
Al Maryah Island
Head to the promenade on Al Maryah Island at 9pm on Friday and Saturday to catch an awe-inspiring fireworks display dominated by the four colours of the UAE flag.
The show is open to the public, although the 5.4km waterfront stretch of the mall's promenade is also home to a number of cafes and restaurants — from Bentley Kitchen and Loca to Nusr-et to the Michelin Guide-lauded 99 Sushi and Almayass — so you can watch the spectacle while enjoying a meal.
The programme starts from 4pm and runs until 1am on Friday and Saturday, combining cultural and entertainment events, from folkloric and military shows to the Global Civilisation Parade that features performers from all over the world.
Under the theme Hayakum, which means welcome in Arabic, this year’s Sheikh Zayed Festival, which runs for four months, continues the event’s tradition of honouring local customs and showcasing UAE heritage.
Bawabat Al Sharq Mall
The shopping centre in southern Abu Dhabi's Baniyas area promises to hold the “biggest fireworks show yet in the history of the mall”. In keeping with the National Day theme, the colours of the UAE flag will dominate the fire and light show, which can be enjoyed on Friday at 9pm. More details are at bawabatalsharqmall.ae.
The storied hotel's full programme of festivities for the National Day holiday started on Monday. A fireworks display is set to take place on the hotel's beachfront on Friday evening and expected to start between 9pm and 9.30pm.
The Grand Dome will double as a family-friendly cultural village with themed activities, a falconer and a dates exhibition. It will also host traditional Al Ayala dance performances from 3pm to 6pm.
Elsewhere, those who sign up for the picnic in the Palace Gardens can catch the National Day air show, while the Palace terrace will put on a live Khaleeji concert at 7.30pm on Thursday and Saturday.
Yas Island is hosting a number of celebrations across its theme parks and hotels from Thursday to Saturday, including a fireworks display, which can be viewed from Yas Bay at 9pm on Friday.
Elsewhere, visitors can catch an Al Ayala dance performance at Ferrari World, Warner Bros World, Clymb and Yas Waterworld, which will also put on other live entertainment, including oud players and rabab performers, plus falcon handlers, henna artists and face painting.
The Creek-side venue is known for its traditional architecture set in part of the development, warm hospitality and year-round live shows. Head here on National Day to enjoy a parade from 7pm to 9pm, plus waterfront fireworks displays between 8pm and 10pm.
There will also be a number of other activities in the area until The area will also host a series of activities until Sunday, including Al Harbia and Ayala troupes, a majlis with Arabic coffee and dates, henna and falconry artists, a stage show and arts and crafts workshops for children.
The waterfront extension of Dubai Festival City Mall will put on a four-and-a-half-minute fireworks display starting at 9pm on Friday. The 3,000 fireworks will light up the night sky in synch with the mall's famed Imagine laser and fountain show, resulting in a sensory experience that melds light, water, fire and music.
The Beach at JBR will have fireworks on Friday at 8pm. These can be enjoyed from the many dining and leisure destinations dotted along both The Beach (PF Chang's, The Cheesecake Factory, Bosporus), as well as Bluewaters Island (The London Project, The Selfish Bull, Shi et al), which is accessible via a walkway. The bridge itself is also a cool spot to watch the action.
Across the bridge from JBR, Bluewaters Island will host its own display on Friday, also at 8pm. The island will put on a line-up of themed entertainment from 4pm to 10pm on Friday and Saturday, including Ayala, Al Harbia and Lewa troupes dancing to Emirati folk tunes along the avenues, plus henna artists, traditional handiworks on sale from local artisans and falconry corners.
The waterfront destination on Palm Jumeirah will host not one but two celebratory shows on National Day. At 9pm on Friday, guests can expect a dazzling fireworks show set against the backdrop of the dancing waters of The Palm Fountain.
The two shows will be a treat for the eyes and ears, as the fountain will be set to the tune of Ya Salam Ya Dubai.
The song, which translates as “Oh my, My Dubai” is a duet by Swedish-Moroccan producer RedOne (real name Nadir Khayat) and Bahraini-Saudi singer Rashed Al-Majed. It was originally released as part of last year's Dubai Shopping Festival, and is an up-tempo track that blends Al-Majed's Khaleeji rhythms with RedOne’s signature euphoric dance beats. The track's bilingual verses celebrate the city’s dynamism and diversity.
The two shows can be viewed from any of The Pointe's fountain-facing restaurants — from Alaca, Al Safadi and Zor on the west side to A Cappella, Samakje and Social Distrikt on the east.
Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of fireworks in the UAE throughout the years