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UAE National Day (2024) – Celebrations, Significance & History

Ultimate guide to UAE National Day to know when, why, and how it is celebrated

The UAE National Day is one of the country’s most important and celebrated days. This signifies the independence of the country from the hand of British rulers.

Every year on December 2nd, the UAE celebrates National Day to celebrate the day the UAE gained independence from Britain. This day features political rallies, fireworks, laser shows, and music festivals. People organize charities, cleaning initiatives, and so forth to aid their communities.

This Dbd guide will cover the timeline of the UAE’s independence and several ways to celebrate UAE Day. You will also learn about the history of the UAE National Day and its significance to the population.

So, if you want to learn more about the UAE National Day, let’s get started!

UAE National Day timeline

Let’s take a look at some major events that took place in UAE that led to the day of UAE National Day.


Britain offers protection to tribes in exchange for some land. The tribes accept the offer after being fearful for their life.


Britain leaves UAE after facing severe financial losses.


6 of the 7 rulers of the emirates unite and announced the establishment of the United Arab Emirates.


Ras Al Khaimah’s ruler announces he is joining the union.


New flag of the United Arab Emirates is raised and Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is elected the first president of the UAE.


UAE announces its first national anthem.

What is UAE National Day?

inarticle image-uae national day-The map of UAE showing 7 UAE emirates-01

UAE National Day is a historical holiday celebrated in the UAE. It symbolizes the day when the seven emirates united to become one country.

On 2nd December 1971, the six trucial states under British protection and Ras Al Khaimah joined forces to form one country and declared themselves independent from British rule.

After the monumental achievement, the people of UAE celebrate UAE Day every year by hoisting flags in their homes. They also participate in various programs announced in their locality.

Every year, on National Day, the government declares a public holiday.

When is UAE National Day in 2024?

The UAE celebrates its National Day on December 2, a date that marks the country’s union in 1971. [1]U.ae, “UAE National day celebrations, … Continue reading

The holiday is celebrated with lots of joy, and people take the day off from work to enjoy festivities with family and friends.

Fireworks, parades, and concerts are held throughout the UAE to mark the occasion. 2021’s celebrations were especially significant as it coincided with the country’s 50th anniversary.

How many days of holiday is for UAE National Day?

In 2024, the National Day falls on the 2nd of December. There is only a one-day holiday in the UAE for this event.

However, in 2024, people will have a two-day holiday as National Day falls on Friday and the following day is a holiday anyway. [2]U.ae, “Public holidays of UAE, … Continue reading

Why is UAE National Day celebrated?

The UAE Day is celebrated because it was a historic day when the seven emirates merged to form one country. It is also celebrated to commemorate the country’s independence from British rule.

UAE National Day is a time for people to come together and celebrate the UAE’s achievements over the past 50 years. The government announces a national holiday for people to enjoy the festivities with family and friends to celebrate this special occasions.

This year’s celebrations mark the 51st anniversary of the formation of the UAE. Several events and activities will take place across the country, including fireworks displays, concerts, and street parties.

So, whether you’re a resident or a visitor, make sure you join the festivities and help celebrate this important milestone in UAE’s history.

What is the history of the UAE National Day?

The UAE (United Arab Emirates) is a large federation that comprises seven emirates: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm Al-Quwain. The nation obtained its independence from Britain on December 2, 1971.

The history of what is now the UAE dates back thousands of years. But the events that are the most relevant to UAE National Day started taking place in the 1800s.

In 1820, Britain offered protection to several rival tribal groups who settled in different regions. In return, Britain asked for limited authority over the land. At the time, they accepted the offer to protect themselves from other invaders.

Over a century later, in 1968, British royals decided to withdraw their support and left the tribes to fend for themselves. Three years later, in 1971, the leaders of six of the seven emirates decided to unite and form the UAE.

Ras Al-Khaimah was the only remaining emirate. The emirate joined in 1972; thus, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was formed as we recognize it today.

The UAE has been a constitutional monarchy since its inception. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan served as the president from 1971 until he died in 2004.

The first National Day was celebrated on December 2, 1972. The day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Union Treaty between the six emirates that formed the UAE. The treaty established the UAE as a federal state with Abu Dhabi as its capital.

Now let’s take a look at some of the memorable aspects of UAE that highlight the history of UAE and its National Day.

UAE national flag

inarticle image-uae national day-a simple flag of UAE

The UAE flag is one of the most recognized national symbols. In 1971, when UAE became a country, the flag was chosen in a contest.

The contest winner was Abdullah Mohammad Al Maena, an Emirati citizen. He won prize money of AED 4,000 for his work on the design.

The UAE’s flag contains four distinct colors that we can see today. Each of them represents a meaning:

  • Red represents Power.
  • Green represents Success.
  • White represents Peace.
  • Black represents Dignity.

UAE national emblem

inarticle image-uae national day-UAE Emblem

The national emblem of UAE is represented by a falcon. On the national emblem, there are seven stars around the falcon. Each star represents one of the seven states of the United Arab Emirates.

A falcon is an important part of Emirati traditions for the citizens of the UAE. It is also the national bird of the country, which is why it is chosen for the national emblem.

UAE national anthem

The national anthem of the UAE is known as “Ishi Biladi” which means “Long live my nation”. The lyrics for the national anthem were written by a poet named Arif Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan in 1986.

Similarly, Mohammad Abdul Wahab, a famous Egyptian composer, was the one who composed the national anthem for the United Arab Emirates.

National bird of UAE

inarticle image-uae national day-National Bird of UAE

Falcons are an integral part of Emirati culture and have been revered for centuries. The national bird of the UAE, the falcon is a symbol of strength, power, and courage.

These birds come in a variety of colors and each is uniquely beautiful. Falcons can often be seen in Emirati symbols and remind people of the country’s rich cultural heritage.

National fruit of UAE

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You might be surprised to know dates are the national fruit of UAE.

If you ever visit Dubai or other parts of the UAE you will taste some of the best dates ever. They are found everywhere in the UAE. They are also used in plenty of amazing dishes in the UAE.

National flower of UAE

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The Tribulus Omanense is the national flower of the United Arab Emirates. It is a member of the Zygophyllaceae family and is also commonly known as Yellow Seeb. 

The Tribulus Omanense produces small, yellow flowers that blossom throughout the year. The plant is mostly found in warm, arid areas of the UAE, such as in the Al Hajar Mountains.

Due to its ability to thrive in harsh conditions, the Tribulus Omanense is a symbol of strength and resilience. It is also said to represent infinite love between a mother and her children.

National animal of UAE

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Arabian Oryx is the national animal of the UAE. It is also known as “Al Maha” in Arabic and is mostly found in the desert area of the UAE.

Oryx is a rare species and it is believed that they are close to extinction at the present. To preserve their species, the UAE has played a significant role.

When was the first UAE National Day?

The UAE National Day was marked by the events in 1971 on December 2nd on the occasion of the federal unification of six out of seven emirates. This event marked the formal nationalization of the UAE. [3]U.ae, “UAE National day celebrations, … Continue reading

A year later in 1972, another emirate was added to the federation when Ras Al Khaimah decided to join the other emirates. Thus, on December 2nd, 1972, the anniversary of the unification was celebrated for the first time.

Where to celebrate UAE National Day?

There are plenty of places to celebrate UAE National Day in the country.

Some of the places that you can visit to celebrate the National Day of UAE are as follows: 

  1. The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping malls in the world, and it celebrates National Day with great enthusiasm. The mall hosts many activities and events, along with special performances, sales, and discounts at many stores.

In addition, the mall is decorated with flags and banners, and there is a large celebration in the central atrium.

  1. Burj Khalifa

On National Day, the Burj Khalifa light show is not to be missed. The building is illuminated with the colors of the UAE flag, and there is an incredible display of fireworks.

The day also features traditional music, dance performances, and a food festival with dishes from around the UAE. The best way to enjoy the celebrations is from one of the observation decks. You will be able to see all the action from there.

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, celebrating National Day at the Burj Khalifa is an unforgettable experience.

  1. The Beach

The UAE National Day is a great time to enjoy the country’s beautiful beaches. From the world-famous Corniche in Abu Dhabi to the stunning white sands of Fujairah, there are plenty of options for beach lovers.

In addition to sunbathing and swimming, many beaches offer a variety of activities, such as camel riding, windsurfing, and kayaking. There are also plenty of food and drink stalls, so you can refuel after a day in the sun.

  1. Hatta

Another place to visit while celebrating National Day is Hatta in Dubai. Hatta is located high in the Hajar mountains in the exclave of Dubai.

In 2024, the government announced they would have a major program in Hatta which will begin at 5:30 pm on 2nd December. Don’t miss it if you live near the area.

  1. Spots to enjoy Fireworks

The entire UAE celebrates National Day with a spectacular display of fireworks. There are plenty of great places to see the fireworks, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

You can check out the Dubai Festival City, Burj Al Darab, Bluewaters Island, or Etisalat Beach in Dubai. If you’re in Abu Dhabi, you can visit Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Corniche, Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, Al Dhafra, or Al Maryah Island.

No matter where you go, you’re sure to have a great view of the fireworks. They will start on December 2nd, 2024, after 8 PM.

  1. Expo Program

The Expo program organizes plenty of shows to celebrate the occasion, such as the amazing drone show. However, you may have to pay a certain price to visit the expo. It normally costs around AED 80 to AED 100 to visit the Expo program.

Even though it costs money, the experience is worth it. You will get to see some amazing displays of patriotism and unity in the country.

  1. Global village

The Global Village is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Dubai, and it is also the perfect place to celebrate UAE National Day. During UAE Day, there will be live music concerts along with hundreds of stalls where you can buy gifts and souvenirs.

So whether you’re looking for a festive atmosphere or just a great place to shop during National Day, Global Village is the perfect destination.

  1. La Perle Aquatic show

La Perle is a place where you can witness patriotism, artistry, and creativity all in one. The National Day aquatic show is one of the best spectacles to enjoy. It is held in Al Habtoor City in Dubai, and you will surely be amazed by the talent and artistry of the performers.

If you haven’t experienced something like this, you will definitely remember the moment for a long time. Ticket prices range from AED 209 to AED 884, which are quite expensive, but it is an event that you do not want to miss out on.

  1. Yas Island

What could be better than spending time with family and friends at Yas Island? Yas Island is the perfect place to spend National Day with plenty of rides and attractions to enjoy. And with special discounts and even a free pass to stay in WB Abu Dhabi on offer, there has never been a better time to visit.

  1. Louvre Museum

On National Day, the Louvre Museum hosts a variety of programs and shows to highlight the achievements of Emirati soldiers in their wars. This year, the museum will showcase audio-visual works depicting the country’s progress over the past five decades.

You can enjoy watching photos and clips of the UAE’s history while a DJ plays Emirati-themed music. In addition, you can also enjoy roller skating at the Louvre Museum. The event is organized by Dubai’s best skating group, Madrollers.

Hence these are some of the best places to enjoy and celebrate National Day. You can either soak yourself in the patriotic atmosphere or just enjoy the shows and programs that take place everywhere. The choice is yours.

How can you celebrate UAE National Day?

As the United Arab Emirates National Day approaches, the people of UAE prepare themselves for a day of celebration. They buy flags & decorations and organize various cultural events & shows.

The day highlights one of the significant victories of the people when they became united and have been ever since. It is a day for everyone to come together and celebrate their culture and history.

There are many different ways to celebrate UAE National Day, but all of them are united by one common goal: to show the world the strength and resilience of the Emirati people.

So, if you are unsure how you can celebrate the occasion, then take a look at some of the ideas below:

Take part in charity events

You can celebrate UAE Day by participating in a major charity event where collections are donated to poor and disabled children in UAE.

The main motto of National Day is to bring people closer together, and there is no better way to do it than by helping each other out.

Watch the grand fireworks display

inarticle image-uae national day-fireworks

Several events in the UAE show fireworks events, such as Burj Khalifa, Yas Island, Dubai Festival City, Etisalat beach, and more. You can either visit these places to view these fantastic fireworks or organize your own with the help of your community.

However, you may have to take permission from your local community’s authority to organize such events. Fireworks displays are a great way to celebrate any occasion, and National Day is no exception.

Not only do they provide a vibrant and exciting spectacle, but they also bring people together in a spirit of celebration.

Enjoy musical performances

The United Arab Emirates National Day is a time for celebration and joy. One of the best ways to enjoy the occasion is to watch some fantastic musical performances. From traditional Emirati music to modern pop, there is sure to be a concert that will appeal to everyone.

The Dubai Mall is one of the best places to catch a performance, as it features several top-notch musicians worldwide.

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, head to Yas Island, where you can enjoy live music in a relaxed setting.

March in parades and rallies

One of the most popular ways to mark National Day’s occasion is by participating in a rally or a parade. These events are typically filled with patriotic fervor as people wave flags and chant slogans to support their country.

While some rallies are organized by political organizations or businesses, many people simply come together to show their love for the UAE. No matter how you choose to celebrate National Day, it is sure to be a memorable event.

Enjoy the street parties

UAE is famous for having random street parties to cherish or celebrate special occasions. On National Day, the streets’ celebrations are even more significant and grander than ever.

Numerous organizations and event managers organize street parties in UAE. There, you can eat free snacks & drinks, watch laser shows, participate in musical performances, and do many more things.

The previous year’s National Day was no different, with street parties all over the country to help people celebrate. In Abu Dhabi, there was a huge party near the Corniche, with live music, food stalls, and a laser show.

In Dubai, there were parties Downtown and at Jumeirah Beach Residence, with free food and drinks. This year will also bring some of the best street parties to celebrate UAE National Day.

Tour the country

inarticle image-uae national day-Tour the country

The United Arab Emirates is a country rich in culture and history, making it the perfect place to go on a road trip. There are many unique ways to celebrate National Day, but one of the best ways to do it is by touring the country.

This way, you can visit some historic landmarks and learn about each place’s cultural heritage and importance.

The UAE is home to many beautiful places so you will find some fascinating places. Plus, traveling around the country is a great way to meet new people and learn more about their culture.

So whether you want to explore the history of the UAE or enjoy its architecture, touring the country is a great way to celebrate National Day.

Host or take part in a clean-up program

The main goal of the United Arab Emirates National Day is to show patriotism and support for your country. One of the best ways to do this is by taking part in or hosting a clean-up event.

This will not only raise awareness for a clean and safe environment, but it will also highlight the noble cause of keeping your country clean.

Many organizations and charity event holders host such programs. So, you can easily find one in your locality and participate.

Or, if you want to make a difference, you can even host a clean-up event in your community. Either way, you’ll be sure to make a positive impact in your neighborhood and celebrate UAE National Day in a significant way.

Visit Motiongate Dubai

Motiongate Dubai is one of the best theme parks in the UAE and worldwide. The venue hosts several spectacular shows such as dance performances, amazing global food cuisines, live shows, and thrilling rides like rollercoasters.

You can also enjoy the park’s laser shows, fireworks, and even magic shows. These shows will be perfect for the entire family if you have kids and want to get them involved in the celebrations.

The park is also home to some of the biggest and best-known Hollywood movie studios, such as Lionsgate, DreamWorks Animation, and Columbia Pictures. These studios will organize several events at Motiongate Dubai, so if you are a movie lover, don’t miss this opportunity.

Organize National Day programs at schools

One of the best ways to celebrate the day is by organizing various patriotic programs to help teach the younger students about the history and bravery of the soldiers that fought for the country.

These programs can include performances by local bands, traditional dances, and exhibitions of traditional crafts. The teachers can also organize some drama or theatrical programs and show documentaries highlighting the important dates and events that led to celebrating UAE Day.

Related Stories

  • Check out the list of public holidays in the UAE and why those days are important.
  • Check out this guide on UAE flag day if you want to know how you can celebrate an important day in the nation’s history.
  • Some of the most important holidays are the Eid holidays in UAE. See how it is celebrated, read its history, and learn its significance.
  • Wanna celebrate this Mother’s day with immense joy and love? Check out this Dbd guide on – Mother’s day in UAE.

FAQs on UAE National Day

How long is the UAE National Day holiday?

The United Arab Emirates National Day holiday is for two days in 2024. The holiday begins on Friday, 2nd December 2024and continues till the next day, which is 3rd December 2024.

Why is UAE National Day important?

The UAE National Day is important because it commemorates the unification of the seven emirates that make up the country. It is also a day to remember and celebrate the bravery of soldiers who fought for the country’s independence.

Does UAE have independence day?

Yes, UAE has an independence day, which is celebrated on 2nd December every year. It is also known as UAE Day or National Day. The day is celebrated in memory of gaining independence from British rule in 1971 and the union of the seven emirates.

Final thoughts

Celebrating UAE National Day is a way to show your patriotism and love for your country. There are various ways in which you can celebrate the day, and we have highlighted some of the best ways here.

You can either participate in political rallies, enjoy fireworks & laser shows, tour the country, or simply hang out on various beaches and enjoy delicious snacks and drinks on UAE Day.

Whichever way of celebration you choose, make sure you have fun and help positively impact your community. After all, it is supposed to be a day of showing patriotism and affection to your nation and its citizens.

We hope you found the information you were looking for in our Dbd guide. You can share this guide with anyone with whom you want to celebrate the day. Have fun!

About the author

Arijit Negi
Arijit Negi
Expatriate Living in Dubai for 18 Years | + posts

Arijit Negi is an expatriate living in Dubai for 18 years. He completed his degree in Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Mumbai. Arijit focuses on providing helpful guides and information for ex-pats living in UAE and visitors to the UAE.

Omar Saeed
Omar Saeed
Middle East Senior Contributor | + posts

Omar Saeed is a Senior Contributor at DbdPost based in Dubai. He earned his degree in Master of Media and Communication from the University of Wollongong in Dubai and covers news, info guides, reviews, and opinion pieces on various topics related to the UAE.


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