UAE National Day: Everything You Need to Know

The United Arab Emirates is one of the largest oil trading states and tourism hubs globally, which has a population of over 9.5 million people.

Do you know?

The UAE national flag was designed by Emirati, Abdullah Mohammed Al Maainah. It was adopted and hoisted by the first president to display the establishment of the new United Arab Emirates on December 2nd, 1971.

Let’s talk about National Day, its history, and why is it celebrated? Moreover, the list of some places you should visit on this wonderful day.


Keep reading.

Read About: Saudi National Day, Qatar National Day, Oman National Day

When is UAE National Day?

When is UAE National Day Image

The National Day of UAE is also known as Union Day in the UAE.

It is celebrated each year on December 2nd with great zest and zeal.

Al Yawm Al Watani (National Day) marks the union between the six states on December 2nd, 1971, followed by the seventh state next year.

This Day is not a commemoration of the British withdrawal from the UAE but marks the federal unification of modern-day UAE states.

What is History Behind It?

History of UAE National Day

British decided to withdraw from the Eastern Mediterranean colonies in 1968. This led to the idea of the united colonization of the Emirate States.

A meeting was soon formed between Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Makhtoum who further invited the other Gulf Emirates to unify.

The rulers of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Al-Ain, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain joined hands in December 1971.

The Emirates Federal Constitution approved this principle on December 1st, 1971. The seventh state Ras Al Khaimah also decided to join the next day and became part of UAE on February 2nd, 1972.

So the day of December 2nd, 1971, marks the unification of the modern-day UAE, becoming a single entity on the world map.

This day is also called ‘This is Zayed’ Day as he became the first president of UAE after this unification.

How Is It Celebrated?

How Is UAE National Day Celebrated Image

Every year, December 2nd is a hallmark of unity, solidarity, and cohesion among the UAE people.

This day is celebrated across the seven states of UAE with great enthusiasm as it represents their unanimity, comradeship, and harmony for the world to acknowledge. Make sure to keep Emirates ID with you while going to events.

As this day symbolizes the formal nationalization, it is an occasion for gusto festivities and merriment.

Like New Year’s Day or any other festive holiday, the National Day of UAE is honored and celebrated with many gifts, decorations, and fireworks.

  • Fireworks:

Each year, over 57% of people anticipate spectacular fireworks at various Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi locations. The famous fireworks at the Burj Khalifa are a sight to behold.

This kaleidoscope of colors brings vibrancy, pomp, and brightness to the festival.

  • Parades:

Patriotic parades are made in the streets of Dubai and other states to honor Union Day.

One of the most famous parades is the Boat Parade at the Dubai Marina Yacht Club. They use the UAE flag’s prominent colors, which are black, white, green, and red. These colors reflect Arabian unity inspired by an Arabic poem by Safi Al-Din Al Holi.

  • National Day Gifts:

People give each other gifts and trinkets to show their brotherhood and love.

The exchange of different presents consists of flowers, cakes, potted plants, delicious edibles, corporate gifts, and other personalized items.

These souvenirs are National Day-themed and carry a sense of patriotism.

  • School Celebrations:

On the arrival of Union Day, many schools host related events, cultural contests, debates, and plays to celebrate.

Children will dress up in the cultural “kandoora,” “dishdasha,” and “thoub” (Arab robes) and perform “youlah” and other folk dances.

  • UAE Military Parade:

The United Arab Emirates army organized a parade on National Day at Adnec (Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre).

Military troops (male and female soldiers) and their armored vehicles parade in front of an eager crowd. Military jets and helicopters fly above with UAE flag emblems.

The UAE police also take part in this parade. A massive crowd admires this parade by raising flags and making cheers to their efforts.

  • Heritage Villages:

Heritage Villages are established across the United Arab Emirates to showcase the proud history, culture, and traditional arts and crafts of the UAE and its people.

  • National Day Activities:

People take part in many enthralling activities to memorialize this great day. Children enjoy treasure hunts, raffle draws, and face painting.

Families head out to theme parks, carnivals, and other recreational sites to enjoy this day.

Car rallies, fireworks, parades, barbeques, picnics and arts, and craft exhibitions are held for enjoyment.

  • Flag Decorations:

People dress up in the colors of their flag. Small trinkets to many buildings in the UAE would be decorated in the flag colors of black, white, green, and red.

They furnish their homes, cars, offices, and streets with flag symbols. Palm trees, hotels, and other public sites glitter with the hues of flag colors as people celebrate National Day’s joy.

Many shopping malls, sports centers, and institutions are embellished with flag imagery and shades.

Popular Places to Visit on UAE National Day

Places to visit on UAE national Day

1. Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest flower garden.

2. Splash n Party Dubai’s water park where children can enjoy fire and magic shows along with living underwater mermaids.

Credit: Anjili Samtani Radia

3. Marina Circuit hosts fireworks, live music, exotic dancers, and traditional arts and crafts display on National Day.

Marina Circuit

4. Nation Towers military processions are held here on National Day for the Emirates rulers, members of the Federal National Council, and Emirati people. Air shows are also conducted here.

5. Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, where citizens imprint their hands on the communal wall in flag colors to show respect to the UAE army’s martyrs.

6. Downtown Dubai would be crammed with local citizens and tourists like National Day fireworks, shopping sprees, and celebrations.

Read More About Facts: Where is Dubai


December 2nd is viewed as a public holiday filled with engaging activities to commemorate the history and nationalism of the United Arab Emirates. Moreover, on the arrival of National Day, Emirates Airlines offer special ticket discounts. Many businesses and shopping malls also provide their customers with discounts in honor of National Day.


Saudi Iqama Check
Iqama validity is one of the major concerns of an expatriate living in Saudi Arabia. The Iqama expiry date is also mandatory…..

Iqama Expiry

Emirates ID Guide
EID – Emirates ID is called بطاقة الهوية in Arabic. It is the most important document in the United Arab Emirates like Iqama in Saudi Arabia.

Emirates ID

Qatar ID Check
Same to other Gulf countries Qatar also issues an ID to its residents. This in Qatar is called Iqama same as in Saudi Arabia.

Qatar ID Check

Kuwait MOI Civil ID
Kuwait contains around 70% of expatriates and this makes it unique from all other countries in the gulf or MENA region.

Kuwait MOI Civil ID

Oman Resident ID
Every expat who is a resident in the Sultanate of Oman should have a Bataka or resident identity card also called Oman Iqama.

Oman ID Check

Traffic Violations in Saudi Arabia
The heaviest fine is for drifting that is 20,000 for the first time, 40,000 SAR for second and 60,000 SAR for the third violation.

Traffic Violations in Saudi Arabia

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top