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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Join the party: National Day celebrations to be held across UAE

It is not just on Sunday, either, with all seven emirates making the most of a long weekend

National Day celebrations will span the seven emirates. Pawan Singh/The National
National Day celebrations will span the seven emirates. Pawan Singh/The National

The biggest birthday party of the year is almost here - as the UAE unites in celebration of National Day.

Patriotic residents will be flying the flag with pride on the 47th anniversary of the founding of the country on Sunday, with a whole host of events taking place across the seven emirates to mark the joyous occasion.

Fireworks will light up the sky, live concerts will be music to the ears, theatre shows will take centre stage, while parades and air shows will give everyone a chance to get in on the fun.

It's not just on Sunday, either.

National Day is a long weekend for many workers, giving the public a chance to soak up the atmosphere and attend one of the wide variety of activities on offer from Friday to Monday.

Here are just some of the highlights of an action-packed National Day programme in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi

Thousands are set to pack into Zayed Sports City Stadium for a show nine months in the making.

This is Zayed. This is the UAE, a high-energy tribute to the UAE's Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, will feature more than 1,500 performers, including live musical displays, theatre, dance and cinema.

The show is expected to get underway at 5pm on Sunday with tickets, priced at Dh60, available at www.uaenationalday.ae, Virgin Megastores and Ticketmaster.

The massive stadium show is just one of a wide variety of events in the capital.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be hosting cultural performances from 10am until 8pm on Saturday and Sunday, wile a spectacular firework show will ensure the festivities go off with a bang at Al Maryah Island, from 4pm until 10pm on both days.

For sporty types, there will be a traditional rowing race on the Corniche, starting at 3pm on Saturday, with a second race on National Day itself at 5pm. Emirates Heritage Club has organised the events.

Dubai

If you are in need of some 'light entertainment', you won't be left disappointed in Dubai. Spectacular firework displays will be held across the emirate, including at super cool attraction, La Mer, from 9pm on Saturday and Sunday, at Dubai Festival City Mall, along with a laser show, from 9pm on National Day itself and at The Beach, in JBR, from 8pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Culture spot Global Village will be playing host to a concert by singer Hamad Alamri from 9pm on National Day, while there will also be a double -header of music shows in Burj Park from 6pm until 1am on both Saturday and Sunday.

A cultural and heritage show will take over Mall of the mirates, in Al Barsha, from 4pm until 9pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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Sharjah

Make the most of the winter sunshine by heading out to Dibba Al Hisn Marina for a maritime parade at 2pm on Saturday.

Al Dhaid Sports Club is also swinging open its doors at 3pm on Friday for a National Day Festival.

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Ajman

Flag Park in Ajman will be a hive of activity on Saturday and Sunday, with folklore bands to listen to and traditional foods to sample during a day of fun events, running from 4pm until 10pm.

Ajman Culture and Knowledge Centre will be welcoming visitors on Saturday for Year of Zayed, UAE My Country Festival, plus dance displays and art activities, running throughout the day.

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Umm Al Quwain

The northern emirate will be pulling out all the stops for National Day. At Umm Al Quwain Culture & Knowledge Centre, events will be held from Friday until Sunday, including arts and crafts workshops, a junior chef event, art exhibitions and talent shows, from 4pm until 9pm.

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Ras Al Khaimah

A Year of Zayed ceremony will be held opposite Julfar Towers. It will feature a National Day concert, with Hussien Al Jasmi and Eida Al Menhali. The show will get underway at 8pm on Saturday.

Masafi Culture and Knowledge Centre is laying on a raft of activities on Friday, such as a military orchestra show organised by RAK Police (4pm to 4.40pm) and cultural community performances celebrating Egypt and Jordan (6.15pm to 8.30pm).

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Fujairah

Wedding bells will be ringing at the emirate's Heritage Village on Friday. An Emirati Hritage Wedding event will be held from 5pm until midnight, organised by Fujairah Culture and Media Authority.

On Saturday, the village will be transformed into a concert venue for a musical performance led by Abdullah Bel Khair and Hatem Al Iraqi.

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The full National Day programme is outlined in a PDF document by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development and is available here.