The annual celebrations for National Day spread across the whole of the UAE, and are a wonderful opportunity to relax and join in with the locals as they have fun, celebrate their culture and their history. So, if you’re staying with Premier Inn in Dubai during this year’s party, what can you do to make the most of National Day? Here’s our pick of the top things to do.
Watch the fireworks
You’ll have plenty of opportunity to watch the displays, as there’s lots of them throughout the celebrations. And with the glittering backdrop of the Dubai skyline, it’s definitely one you’ll want to capture on camera. The best spot to capture the full glory of the display is from the beach, but get there early to grab a good spot. The Burj Khalifa fireworks show is one of the biggest displays on the planet, and focuses on celebrating national pride in the UAE. The best viewing spots are on Business Bay, Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard Road, Dubai Water Canal, and Boxpark. Don’t be tempted to buy your own fireworks and join in, though, as it’s illegal to buy them in the UAE.
Head to one of Dubai’s theme parks
Dubai is full of fantastic family-friendly attractions, from the Wild Wadi Theme Park, to the Dubai Mall. However, recently there’s been a sudden rush of new theme parks opening, including Legoland Dubai, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Hub Zero, and Bollywood Parks Dubai. With so many parks open on National Day, it’s easy to find some entertainment for the children as well as the grown ups.
Go ghost hunting
If you have a taste for the unusual (and are not too easily scared), why not try a spot of ghost hunting in some of the region’s most haunted spots? Tours will take you to the ancient fishing village of Jazirat Al Hamra, or the crumbling Al Qasimi Palace in Ras Al Khaimah, which has been empty for 25 years, abandoned, it’s said, because of so many paranormal events.
Hit the shops for some serious sale bargains
Dubai has some of the best shopping in the world, from unusual crafts and handmade objects through to high-end luxury designer brands. The holiday signals the start of the National Day Sale, where participating malls, boutiques, shops, and stores offer up some fantastic bargains. So, whether you’re after jewellery, clothes, perfume, or some souvenirs of your travels to Dubai, this is the day to hunt down a great deal.
Head away from the crowds
It’s wonderful to be a part of the celebrations, and if you don’t mind the crowds then head to the usual top spots in the centre of the city. However, if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, head a little off the beaten track. Old Dubai’s Bastakiya Quarter gives you a glimpse into the city’s history, with winding passageways and cobbled streets. Hatta enclave lets you experience Emirati traditions, while the wonderful Heritage Village in the Shindagha area is packed with interest from doll making to traditional music concerts.
Go stand-up paddle boarding
Dubai’s waterfront is a fabulous spot for water sports, and if you’re not into the adrenaline rush of water-skiing or whizzing around on jet skis, why not try something a little more sedate? Stand-up paddle boarding (or SUPs, as it’s often called) is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and is easy to master for all ages. You’ll get your own instructor who’ll teach you the basics, and then you can paddle out and explore the shoreline of Dubai at a leisurely pace.