Where will you be this National Day?

Here's the list of events happening over the next four days

My earliest memory of a UAE National Day was the dawn that broke out on a country celebrating 12 years of independence.

For an impressionable four-year-old who had just mastered the words of the national anthem, “Ishy Bilady”, the day held a joyous promise of festivities where the young and the old, nationality no bar, took to the streets to embrace a nation that was home in every sense of the word.

Fast forward 27 years later and another National Day rolls around on December 2, only this time, the new dawn will break out on a country that has redefined itself as an able competitor on the global arena, yet never losing sight of its identity and its rich heritage.

Emirates 24|7 is commemorating this momentous occasion of the UAE’s 39th birthday by experiencing what this country has to offer. So if you are a culture vulture or are simply looking for a more contemporary celebration to simply enjoy the long weekend, pick a treat that’s right for you and have a happy National Day.

Theatrical Delights

Zayed and the Dream

December 2, 3 and 4

The Palladium, Dubai Media City

History meets art in the legendary story of seven horsemen, travelling across the sands of time on a journey in search of the one who will leave his mark on the Arabian desert, and carve his name as the hero of civilization.

Produced by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, this theatrical extravaganza has been realized by the renowned Caracalla Theatre of Beirut.

Over 100 foreign artists from Spain, China, Ukraine and the UAE will weave a magical tale that simply should not be missed.

Tickets start at Dh175. Call: 800 4669

Khalifa and Al Watan musical show

December 2

Abu Dhabi Corniche, National Federal Council parking

Head to the capital and experience this musical extravaganza that relives the spirit of the UAE and highlights the achievements of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

The one-hour show commences at 8.30pm.

Call: 800 411 111

Glengarry Glen Ross

December 3 and 4

The Shelter, Al Quoz Industrial 4

Picture 1980s America, with the real estate boom finally slowing down. Four salesmen are pitted against each other in a cruel sales contest: first prize is a Cadillac, second prize is a set of steak knives, while the third prize is ‘You’re Fired!’

The play focuses on two days in the lives of these desperate men as they attempt almost anything to sell unwanted real estate to unsuspecting, gullible clients.

Put together by local theatre group, Theatrics, if you find an uncanny resemblance to life post recession, then you wouldn’t be too far off the mark.

Call 050 8749752

Nemr Abou Nassar Live

December 3

Al Murooj Rotana Hotel

Lebanon’s king of stand-up comedy, Nemr Abou Nassar, returns to the UAE with a hilarious new 90 minutes of laughter as part of his ‘Epic’ Middle East tour. Join this hilarious Lebanese, as he takes on the epic issues of daily life under his banner: No Politics, No Religion, One Love!

Tickets starts at Dh195. Call: 055 642 4970

Let it Snow

December 3 until 6

Centrepoint Theatre, Mall of the Emirates

As National Day celebrations mark a prelude to the festive season, come and revel in the look, feel and sound of “Let It Snow”, as Olivier Award-nominated actress Alison Jiear performs with her extraordinary live band and a specially-formed local choir.

This musical celebration brings to life some of the best-loved songs of the season and fabulous music that’s less well known but equally evocative of this special time of the year.

Tickets start at Dh120. Call: 04 341 4777

Live Concerts

Arab Stars

December 2, 3 and 4

Abu Dhabi Corniche, National Federal Council parking

Fans of popular Arabic and Khaleeji music should go no further than the capital this long weekend, with a sea of Arab stars descending on the corniche.

On December 2, Ariam, Najwa Karam and Husain Al Jasmi will take to the stage from 10pm.

The following night, Eidha Al Minhali, Hamada Hilal, Nancy Ajram and Sabir Al Ruba’ai will get their groove on.

The spectacular concert line-up will conclude on Saturday with Mansour Zayed, Hamad Al Ameri, Dyana Hadad and Khadim Al Sahir wowing the crowds.

Call: 800 411 111

Akon

December 3

Dubai World Trade Centre

Even we’ve lost count of the number of times this hip-hop singer has jetted into Dubai – and this is not counting the private gigs he’s jigged too. But if you are a fan that go no further than the Dubai World Trade Centre, as he’s sure to be a crowd puller in sunshine city (think 10,000 at least).

Tickets start Dh350. Call: 04 367 6699

Top Drive

3rd Downtown Dubai Classic Car Show

December 2 until 4

Emaar Boulevard

Hundreds of classic cars from different eras and of varying models will line up at specially erected pavilions on Emaar Boulevard, specially for National Day.

Colourful parades of the classic cars, as well as keenly contested 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.

Competitions will be held for the ‘best car’ in 14 categories including a Public Choice Award to be voted by the public. Call: 04 367 3664

Carnival Parade

December 2

Abu Dhabi Corniche, starting from Al Hilal Bank

Enthusiasts who want to join in the parade and show off their spruced up cars and head down there by 10am. The two hour parade will be a sight not to be missed.

Call: 800 411 111

UAE National Day Parade Ride

December 2

Starts at Wonderland Theme Park, Dubai

In what is surely one of the most anticipated bike events of the year, the UAE bikers community is gearing up to a full day programme with over 250 bikers expected to parade in the streets of Dubai and Hatta.

Organised by the Phoenix Riders – a Dubai-based Riding Club – the parade will encompass all UAE motorcycle clubs and is being held in collaboration with the Dubai Police and the Hatta Cultural Association.

The event will kick off in the parking of Wonderland Theme Park at 9am where all bikers will gather and enjoy a mix of activities and media interaction, including cutting of a giant UAE flag-shaped cake. This will be followed, under Dubai Police escort, by a parade in the streets of Dubai, along with a special bike display performance on Jumeirah Beach Road.

Call: 050 450 8417

Top DJ acts

Atelier featuring Michael Gray

December 2

Godolphin Ballroom, Jumeirah Emirates Towers

For those looking for a more contemporary way to close the National Day celebrations, why not head to Jumeirah Emirates Towers to catch British DJ Michael Gray spin the decks, who is sure to play his massive hit, “The Weekend”.

Strictly for 21 years and over. Event starts at 10pm.

Tickets priced at Dh100. Call: 050 565 5427

Roger Sanchez Live

December 2

Sanctuary, Atlantis The Palm

Grammy Award-winning American House music DJ, Roger Sanchez will undoubtedly get the party started when he takes to the decks at Sanctuary on Thursday night.

Expect all the hits, especially his club anthem, “Another Chance”.

Tickets start at Dh150, with tables starting at Dh2,000. Strictly above 21 years only.

Sander Kleinenberg Live

December 2

Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah

Say hello to this amazing Dutch Progressive House DJ and Producer, who will be jetting into Dubai for night only to celebrate the UAE National Day in style. Also warming up will be DJs Mr Mr, Da sendri, Mark Pickup and Shef Codes.

This event is part of a two-day electronic music extravaganza, with Wednesday at Trilogy featuring a DJ set by Booka Shade, followed by Mathew Charles, Kristian Valdini and Mark Pickup.

Early bird tickets are Dh150 for both nights. Call: 050 624 5751

Holidays

Federal ministries and departments will remain closed from Thursday, December 2, 2010 to Sunday, December 5, 2010, to mark the UAE's 39th National Day and the new Hijri year 1432, according to a circular issued on Sunday by Humaid Al Quttami, Minister of Education and Chairman of the Federal Government Human Resources Authority.

The circular said work will resume on Monday, December 6, 2010.

The minister said the government entities will be off work on December 2 and 3, 2010 on the occasion of the country's national day as per para 5 of article 100 of the federal cabinet no 13/2010 from the federal law no 11/2008 on human resources in the federal government. The article allows shifting of official holidays to the beginning or end of the week if they fall between two days of working.

Accordingly, the new Hijri year was moved to the start of the week to fall on Sunday, December 5, 2010.

The private sector will enjoy Thursday, December 2, 2010, as a paid holiday to mark the UAE's 39th national day, according to a circular issued by the Minister of Labour, Saqr Gobash.

The private sector employees will have a paid day off on Saturday, December 4, on the occasion of the new Hijri year 1432.

 

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