One nation, many faces

If you’ve been living in the UAE long enough, don’t be surprised if a swell of pride comes over you as the nation prepares to commemorate its National Day on December 2.

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Published: Tue 30 Nov 2010, 8:43 PM

Last updated: Fri 27 Oct 2023, 11:19 AM

By any standard, it’s still amazing to see how far along the UAE has come in just 39 years, transforming from a series of small fishing villages along the Arabian Gulf to a beacon of stability and progress across the Middle East. If you’re looking for an all-out celebration, it won’t be hard to find. From visually explosive fireworks and laser displays to motorcycle and classic car parades, the whole country will be buzzing with activity. Check out these spectacular events taking place throughout the holiday weekend.


The most anticipated bike event of the year will kick off this National Day with the UAE bikers community who will lead a 250-strong biker parade through the streets of Dubai and Hatta. The event is being organised by the Phoenix Riders – a Dubai-based riding club – and will bring together motorcycle enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds to showcase the cultural diversity of the UAE.

The event will kick off in the parking lot of Wonderland Theme Park in Garhoud at 9am, where all the bikers will gather and enjoy a mix of activities including the cutting of a giant UAE flag-shaped cake. This will be followed, under Dubai Police escort, by a parade in the streets followed by a special bike display performance on Jumeirah Beach Road. All riders will then begin their route to Hatta where a range of special socio-cultural activities are scheduled to take place throughout the afternoon, including a joint cars and bikes parade, falcons show and a symbolic Army show performance.


As the UAE celebrates the spirit of unity and solidarity that marks National Day, Downtown Dubai will be hosting the third edition of its famed Classic Car Show from December 2 to 4. A must-see for any motor head, the show will feature a spectacular line-up of classic cars from passionate collectors. Hundreds of classic cars from different eras and of varying models will line up at specially erected pavilions on Emaar Boulevard. Colourful parades as well as competitions for a range of prizes will add to the excitement. Several private collectors are also expected to showcase their exclusive collections – some on public display for the first time ever.


Sharjah is organising a host of ceremonial festivities throughout its parks to mark National Day. Several major competitions, including the selection of the ‘Most Beautiful National Costume’, will be held as well as balloon flights and other entertainment for both children and adults. The events include cultural and recreational activities as well as lectures and lessons on social awareness. The day will also witness highly decorated bridges, streets and shops throughout the Emirate, and the municipality will be distributing 39 cakes in the public parks for visitors.


Mirdif City Centre is celebrating its first ever National Day and they’re coming out big. To mark the occasion, the mall is finally unveiling its unique National Day photo campaign, ‘Many Faces, One Nation’, which is meant to illustrate the unity of the people of the UAE as one combined nation. The project is the result of hundreds of profile pictures taken of customers at the mall in November, and collated to create a giant 3D photo montage in the shape of the UAE map. The mall is planning a huge celebration to unveil the completed project, including a parade. Be there on Thursday, 4pm at the Central Galleria.


The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage is holding a number of cultural and artistic events in various locations across the capital from December 2-4. A number of folklore dance groups and singers from the UAE and the region will be performing in the capital at the Abu Dhabi Corniche, Zayed Al Adil heritage village, Helton Park and Emirates Heritage Club at the Breakwater. On the first day of celebrations, the municipality is organising a musical show performed by school students and a number of folklore dance groups including Abu Dhabi Folk Dance Group. Expect a spectacular fireworks display at Emirates Palace as top stars from the UAE and beyond share in the nation’s celebrations. All residents are invited to take part in the carnival parade featuring the Abu Dhabi police musical band and its cavalier group.

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