With so much to celebrate this 40th National Day, residents will be spoiled with choices from mall crawls to parades to delectable treats. City Times has compiled just a few festivities awaiting you this weekend


Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa will be hosting an art show titled ‘The National Pride Art & Cultural Exhibition’ until Saturday.

The lobby will display the work of several local artists, showcasing art that pays tribute to the history and culture of the UAE from 11am to 9pm daily. The paintings will focus on the celebration of the birth of the UAE and will include its people, local culture and traditions, animals and the old way of life.

The property will also offer a traditional and fusion Emirati cuisine lunch buffet at Bastakiya Café & Restaurant, including live cooking stations for freshly baked traditional bread. For information, call 04 351 9111 or e-mail


Dubai-based pop singer Therese Neaime asked everybody in the UAE to be part of her newest music video, set to be released imminently.

“My new song Today is a Holiday is a tribute to this great country we all live in – and I want as many people to be part of my video as possible”, says Therése, whose single is off her new album Stronger.

Therése and film production company GTV launched an online campaign asking the audience to send in short videos of their very own “UAE moment”. Video entries from all over the nation were edited into a three-minute video clip that includes a lazy afternoon at the beach, an adventure in the desert, a barbecue with family and children from five different nations playing together – or what Therese herself describes as “moments that makes this country so special.”

For more info, e-mail


Music and art are embedded in the roots of Emirati culture; in celebration of this heritage on the UAE’s 40th Anniversary and in recognition of the unifying spirit created by music and the arts a magnificent programme of music will be presented throughout Abu Dhabi for all to enjoy. This series of free concerts will feature breakthrough performers alongside established local and GCC artists.

The event will include performances from Kuwaiti artist Abdulla Al Rowaishid, Murex d’Or award winner Hussein Al Jassmi who gained popularity with his hit singles Bawada’ak, Wallah Mayiswa and Bassbour Al Fourgakom and locally reknowned Emirati artist Aryam.

These concerts will run every night between December 1 and 3 at iconic venues across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Al Gharbia and Dalma. All concerts are free of charge and seats can be secured on a first-come, first served basis. Attendees are urged to arrive no later than 8.30pm to secure a seat in the audience. This series of concerts are expected to attract over 70,000 viewers and will be broadcast live on Abu Dhabi Aloula and Emarat Channel to a television audience of one million.

To find out more about these events including information on ticketing, transportation and parking, visit the UAE 40th National Day website at


Eton Institute will hold a free educational workshop for the public titled ‘Spirit of the UAE’, allowing expatriates the opportunity to increase their knowledge about the UAE’s heritage, culture and the local language. It will also include a traditional coffee ceremony and an interactive question and answer session.

The ‘Spirit of the UAE’ workshop will also highlight interesting facts about the seven Emirates that make up the UAE, as well as its Bedouin and trading heritage. The workshop will clear common misconceptions and provide guidance about topics such as greeting a lady in a business setting in the UAE and avoiding social faux pas.

Eton Institute is also giving away 40 free Arabic phrasebooks every day until National Day for visitors at its headquarters located in Dubai Knowledge Village.

For more information or to book your place for the free ‘Spirit of the UAE’ workshop, visit or call 800 3866.


The Burj Al Arab is marking the UAE’s 40th anniversary with a range of celebrations, including a promotion which provides UAE nationals and residents with 40 per cent off room rates up to December 20.

Additionally, a huge UAE flag will be on display in the hotel lobby, and projected onto the hotel’s exterior – a perfect photo opportunity for residents and tourists alike. A National Day-themed cake will be also be on display within the Sahn Eddar lobby, and each visitor will be provided with a UAE National Day book showcasing the momentous growth and prosperity of this great nation so many call home.

Further information can be found by calling 04 301 7600.


Mirdif City Centre is instilling a sense of national pride amongst students through an inter-school arts project called ‘My UAE National Awards Day’.

On display are 20 ‘green’ arts sculptures – all made from recyclable materials such as plastic bottles and cardboard, handmade by students across six participating schools. Inspired by the past, present and future heritage of the UAE, these sculptures reflect three themes: native wildlife, national landmarks and traditional or modern forms of transportation.

On Saturday, the mall will celebrate the 40th UAE National Day by hosting a parade, featuring students from schools in the local community. Under the theme ‘My UAE National Day Parade’, over 150 children will be led by a group of Arabic drummers and costumed performers marching proudly. The parade will culminate in the Central Galleria, where the awards ceremony for the inter-school arts project will take place, and all participating schools will be recognised for their UAE-inspired sculptures.


Majid Al Futtaim Fashion  is celebrating the 40th anniversary of National Day through their Big 40 campaign, offering many discounts and prizes.

The campaign is running at Juicy Couture, Mexx and Jane Norman stores throughout the UAE.  In the lead up to National Day, every 40th customer will receive a Dhs40 gift voucher and customers will have a chance to win a Dhs4,000 shopping sprees.  The grand prize winner of Dhs40,000 giveaway will be announced on Friday. Juicy Couture customers can also treat themselves to a limited edition UAE-branded tracksuit and T-shirt, available in red, green and black and emblazoned with ‘Juicy Loves U.A.E’ in rhinestones.

40 ON 40?

Are you 40 on UAE National Day? If so, you could be one of 40 lucky people to win a dinner for four at participating InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels across the UAE.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is looking for 40 UAE residents who are celebrating their 40th birthday on the country’s 40th National Day.

Visit to find out more details.


The Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel is celebrating this milestone anniversary with a raft of discounts and special offers for all UAE residents.

Residents can share their favourite images of the UAE through the Gate’s Facebook page to enter a prize draw. Images can reflect any special moment, historic landmark or celebration from any of the emirates.

The winner will receive a complimentary weekend stay at the Gate including breakfast, lunch and dinner with a partner, including private transfers for UAE residents who may live outside of Dubai.


Nine-time Grammy winner and Pulitzer Prize recipient Wynton Marsalis is rehearsing the UAE national anthem ahead of an intimate evening with just 250 jazz lovers at the Burj Al Arab, which marks the first time that a musician of Marsalis’ international stature has played the anthem at an event in the Emirate.

A select number of tickets will be available for Marsalis’ Dubai debut on Friday. The trumpeter will play a selection of jazz classics against the backdrop of the Burj Al Arab’s Falak Ballroom.

Ticket options for the anticipated sell-out event include a welcome reception for Dhs1,800 as well as a more informal jazz lounge (Dhs1,500) in the upstairs portion of the venue.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 04 301 7600.