When is UAE's National Day 2022 and why is it celebrated?

Everything you need to know about the UAE’s 51st National Day celebrations

What is UAE National Day?

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The UAE's National Day is just around the corner, with citizens and residents encouraged to come together and celebrate 51 years since the founding of the Emirates.

Several official celebrations are set to take place and employees from the public and private sectors will have days off work.

Here is all you need to know about the public holiday.

When is the UAE's National Day?

The UAE's National Day is celebrated on December 2 every year.

This year, National Day is a Friday, the end of the working week for most in the UAE.

It is preceded by Commemoration Day, which is on November 30, but is typically held on December 1. The day is dedicated to those who lost their lives serving the country.

The UAE government has announced nationwide public holidays for the public and private sectors for Commemoration Day and National Day.

This means many employees across the country will receive two days off, beginning on Thursday, December 1, for Commemoration Day, followed by a public holiday to mark National Day on Friday, December 2.

As December 3 and 4 are a weekend, many people will be treated to a four-day break from work.

Why does the UAE celebrate National Day?

The UAE celebrates National Day to commemorate the formation of the country in 1971.

The holiday marks the day that six emirates bound together to form the UAE, with Ras Al Khaimah joining as the seventh emirate the following year.

UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, led efforts to unite the emirates and became the first president.

His son, Sheikh Khalifa, served as president 2004 until his death in May.

This year will mark the first time that President Sheikh Mohamed will oversee National Day as leader, having been elected this year.

This year marks 51 years since the country’s foundation, an event that takes place against the backdrop of significantly relaxed Covid-19 restrictions.

What events are planned for National Day 2022?

Preparations are gathering pace for this year's showpiece ceremony, with details of the show set to be revealed closer to the time.

The official organising committee — led by the team that put together the Emirates' landmark Golden Jubilee event last year — is inviting government departments, private companies, schools and other organisations to download a special National Day kit, which will include the brandmark of the celebrations.

It will be made available on the National Day website and more information will be posted on social media platforms.

What happened last year?

Last year, the country celebrated its Golden Jubilee and huge celebrations took place.

The official 50th National Day celebration took place in Hatta, the Dubai exclave that is home to some of the country’s most stunning landscapes, including the Hajar Mountains and Hatta Dam.

The show took place on a floating stage within a lake built in the middle of the dam, with light displays, water projections and fireworks designed around the theme of the relationship between the Emirati people and nature.

Elsewhere, there were several firework displays and events across the Emirates, including at Expo 2020 Dubai.

This article was originally published on November 14, 2021

Updated: November 24, 2022, 10:06 AM