Top 20 photos to remember the UAE's spectacular National Day celebrations

Action-packed events took place across the country

From a spectacular fireworks show in Abu Dhabi to a dazzling ceremony in Hatta attended by UAE leaders – plus numerous festivities across Dubai – the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations have been forever etched into hearts and minds.

On December 2, the Emirates marked its National Day, celebrating 50 years of the country’s formation.

Action-packed events took place across the UAE that saw thousands of people enjoying firework shows, traditional Emirati dancing and music, and children wearing outfits in national flag colours.

World leaders congratulated the UAE on this special day, including the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II, who paid tribute to the relationship between the two nations and recalled memories of her trips to the UAE.

Glittering show in Hatta

The official National Day celebrations took place in Hatta, which was attended by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

An enormous circular, rotating, structure that rested on a platform surrounded by water was the main stage.

Images projected onto the object, along with narration, told the story of the Emirates.

Firework shows around the structure lit up the area, with the stunning Hatta mountains providing a stunning backdrop.

About 140 performers from all over the world were recruited for the show, which had taken around 1.5 million man hours and more than 1,400 people to organise.

Three young girls read letters they wrote, including one to Nora Al Matrooshi, the first Arab female astronaut.

Crowds flocked to Expo 2020 Dubai

In honour of the National Day, there was free entry to the Expo 2020 Dubai for everyone.

It may have been one of the busiest days at the world’s fair in terms of the number of visitors, with scores of people turning up as early as 10am.

The Dubai Police band and traditional Emirati dancing wowed the crowds.

A gravity-defying stunt by Dubai Police saw an officer fly around the Al Wasl Plaza dome with a jetpack.

The flagship event was the Golden Jubilee show at the dome, where an immersive theatre experience took place.

There were celebrations in other parts of Dubai, too. Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, lit up with the UAE flag.

Thousands of people also turned up at the Dubai Festival City promenade, where fireworks, a laser and water show, and National Day parade thrilled the crowds.

Fireworks in Abu Dhabi

In the capital, there was a spectacular fireworks display on the Corniche.

The festivities started early in the day, as people had picnics and barbecues to mark the UAE’s special milestone.

Sheikha Fatima Park also officially opened to the public on National Day.

Updated: December 4th 2021, 4:57 PM