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20 Amazing family activities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to do over the long weekend this UAE National Day Holidays 2022

20 Amazing family activities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to do over the long weekend this UAE National Day Holidays 2022

by Tabitha BardaNovember 27, 2022

Looking for the best things to do with the children this UAE National Day 2022? These family-friendly activities will keep the kids happy and entertained as you celebrate the UAE turning 51 years old.

Face painting, falcons and fun at Al Barari Playground

This beautiful, family-friendly playground in Al Barari is hosting some brilliant, UAE-themed family-friendly activities over the long weekend. We’re most intrigued by the ‘falcon-grooming’ activity, but there will also be camel rides, a bouncy castle, henna designing, hair braiding, arts and crafts, a petting zoo and mascot dancing!

That’s all on top of the usual fabulous facilities, which include a water play area, climbing structure and zipline, a giant swing, toddler swings, and vegetable patch access.

DETAILS: National Day activity schedule is as follows:


  • 1 December: 12pm – 8pm
  • 2 December – 4 December: 9am – 8pm
  • Entry ticket to the park is Dh35 per person (under 90cm children are free), and each National Day activity will incur an individual charge, ranging from Dh35 – Dh55.
  • Book tickets here or call +971 56 401 8106 or +971 56 686 7439 for more information.

Savings on superb STEAM fun at OliOli with limited-edition Family Pass

Just in time for the National Day long weekend, experiential play museum OliOli is launching its limited-edition Family Pass offer – with amazing savings for groups of 2+ children – and the same number of adults go free! Starting from Dh229 for 2 children and making it easier for the whole family to celebrate, kids and adults can create joyful memories in the spactacular, STEAM-inspired OliOli galleries, filled with interactive exhibits, hands-on activities and tonnes of wholesome fun – as well as enjoy the return of its much-loved festive temporary exhibition – Magical Winterland! OliOli features interactive multi-level galleries with more than 45 immersive exhibits inspired by ideas from leading global educators, development psychologists, artists and fabricators, designed to spark a lifelong love of learning.

DETAILS: Family Pass starts from Dh229 for 2 Children + 2 Adults and is valid for visits from 1 – 4 December. Learn more and book tickets at the OliOli website.

Bungee, battle zone and ball pits at the Dubai Rugby Sevens

Every year National Day also heralds the arrival of the Dubai Rugby Sevens, which this year has a bigger and better kids’ area than ever, featuring an indoor supervised soft-play tent, plus face painting, games, mascots and other children’s activities. Families can sit in a dedicated area, where there is a fun and convivial atmosphere, and parents can intersperse watching the sporting action with supervising the kids. There are three distinct zones for children of different ages this year:

Zone 1 (babies – 6 years): soft play area, ball pit house, arts and crafts, lego. This is area has seating for parents and is shaded from the sun.

Zone 2 (7-12 years): inflatable park, racetrack, trampoline and bungee. A DJ will also be there playing kid-friendly tracks for the ultimate party atmosphere.

Zone 3 (13 – 16 years) inflatable battle zone, ‘meltdown’ sweeper, mechanical bull, go-kart circuit and bumper cars. Plus air hockey, soccer darts, foosball and arcade basketball.

DETAILS: From 1-3 December. Children under 12 years old are free, but tickets must be reserved on the app. Those ages 12 and upwards muct buy a full price ticket, which starts from Dh375. For more information and to buy tickets click here.

Sweets, fireworks and street entertainers at Riverland Dubai


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Riverland Dubai will transform its rustic, Venetian-styled waterside walkways into a huge UAE-themed outdoor party this UAE National Day, with roaming entertainers and pop-up tents lining the atmospheric streets, offering activities such as face painting and henna art, as well live cooking stations serving up delicious Emirati delicacies and sweets. Based in Dubai Parks and Resorts – the home of Dubai’s top theme parks such as Legoland and Motiongate – Riverland itself is totally free to enter, and features multiple kid-friendly areas such as an outdoor playground and trampolines, which are available all year round. This long weekend a National Day wall called Love the UAE will be installed and will host traditional Emirati entertainment, including Al Ayala dancers. Come nightfall, be mesmerised by a spectacular firework show that will light up from both above and below, as the glittering light display reflects in the glassy canal waters.

DETAILS: Free to enter, activities happening December 1 to 3; from 10am; free entry; Dubai Parks and Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Road;

Fireworks and free flag cake at Mondoux Dubai

In honour of the nation’s 51st anniversary, French restaurant Mondoux’s pastry chefs are creating a giant flag mosaic out of custom crafted cream and berry cakes – and every diner will be gifted a slice, for free, this National Day long weekend! Guests visiting for dinner will also have an opportunity to catch the JBR fireworks at Mondoux The Beach JBR, or perhaps watch the stunning light display at the Burj Khalifa, while enjoying the beautiful panoramic view of the city’s skyline from Mondoux’s lush green terrace at Dubai Creek Harbour.

DETAILS: The offer is valid at both of the restaurant’s locations, Mondoux Dubai Creek Harbour and The Beach JBR, over the UAE National Day long weekend, from Thursday, 1 December, until Sunday, 4 December. For more information,contact Mondoux The Beach, JBR, on +971 50 9857380 and Mondoux Dubai Creek Harbour on +971 50 1189401.

Slime, fishnet making and cultural heritage at Waterfront Market


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Be immersed into the atmosphere of traditional Emirati cultural village at Waterfront Market in Deira, Dubai, this National Day with its pop-up heritage village. Festivities are already in full swing, with a full schedule of events planned in honour of the UAE’s 51st National Day running from 25 November until 4 December. Expect live entertainment, including traditional dancers, cultural parades and roaming street performers. Plus the kids’ area features slime workshops, fishnet making, VR and arcade games, arts and crafts and henna art.

DETAILS: Free to attend, running November 25 to December 4; from 2pm; Deira, Dubai;

Jugglers, fireworks and a National Day parade at Al Seef

What better way to celebrate the UAE’s heritage than in the beautiful cultural village of Al Seef? Based near Dubai Creek, this waterside haven is designed to look like a traditional Emirati fishing village, and this Winter it has a host of entertainment and activities happening every night, from 4pm until 10pm. There is a jam-packed calendar of events over National Day, with live music, kids’ entertainment shows, child-friendly workshops, a National Day parade, jugglers, acrobats, fireworks and much more, all in the historical heart of Dubai.

DETAILS: Free entry, based in Al Seef, near Dubai Creek. National Day activities are as follows: 2 – 3 December – catch the National Day Parade plus Ayala Dancing from 5pm until 8pm, followed by a breath-taking fireworks show from 8pm on 2 December only. Then on 4 December there will be a Khaleeji Band, Tanoura Dance, Female Qanunist and String Art from 4pm-10pm. See the full schedule of events.

Sparklers, singing and shows at Global Village’s carnival spectacular

Iconic Dubai theme park Global Village has a series of fabulous shows and live music lined up for the upcoming National Day long weekend. While this Dubai-favourite destination always has hundreds of fun rides and activities for children in its carnival area, it’s going to be turbocharged over 1 – 4 December, with 33 musicians taking to the stage to perform a variety of Emirati folk songs, the UAE National Anthem and other rousing music. In a celebration of the UAE’s characteristic diversity, the main stage will also host a range of cultural shows from the 27 pavilions represented at the destination. And every evening at 9pm you can be awestruck at a glittering fireworks display. PLUS! There’s a special offer just for families this National Day: The Global Village Family Pack costs Dh150 but will give you credit to spend in Global Village worth a whopping Dh420 per pack! Get your pack at select Zoom outlets across UAE.

DETAILS: National Day celebrations running from 1 – 4 December, Global Village tickets from Dh18 per person when booked online, see Global Village website for more details.

A patriotic 51% off all movie tickets at Reel Cinemas

UAE movie fans can enjoy a whopping 51% off (in honour of the UAE’s 51 years) on all movie tickets and experiences at any Reel Cinemas location for the whole three days of the UAE National Day 2022 celebrations. Current showings include a new Adventures of Paddington film, The Big Trip 2, Super Furball, and the festive-themed The Nutcracker and the Magic Flute. Reserve your seats in advance now on the Reel website, as tickets are bound to sell out!

DETAILS: Offer available at Reel Cinemas locations across the UAE. Book tickets in advance at 

Make UAE-themed candy, rice jars and bath bombs at Woo-hoo!

Immersive indoor play area Woo-Hoo in Al Quoz, which features 10 galleries dedicated to different activities, is hosting some fun, National-Day-themed workshops over the long weekend. The UAE themed rice jar is a hands-on sensory activity that even the youngest children can get involved with, while the scrummy National-Day coconut candy activity will engage little ones’ minds and taste buds in a sweet yet simple food preparation task. And the UAE bath bomb will inspire all of their senses as they make a fragrant, fizzy, UAE-flag coloured bath-salts bomb to have lots of bubbling fun with during bath time.

DETAILS: All three activities are running on 1, 2 and 3 December at the following times:

Coconut Candy making: 10am – 11am and 1pm – 2pm.

UAE themed rice jar: 11am – 12pm and 2pm – 3pm.

UAE bath bomb: 12pm – 1pm and 3pm – 4pm.

All workshops are Dh70 per child and that includes one hour of gallery exploration after the activity. Book tickets here.

5* UAE hotel staycay with 25% off at Sofitel The Palm Dubai

Instead of paying sky-high prices for flights abroad over the long weekend, drive on down to The Palm Jumeirah instead for a fabulously relaxing, family-friendly staycation this UAE National Day 2022.  Sofitel, The Palm’s National Day sale means you can save 25% on your staycation when you book for at least two nights or more. With beach access, family-friendly pools, the brilliant Amura Kids’ Club and a host of child-friendly restaurants, this is a great option for UAE families with little ones.

DETAILS: See the Sofitel website for details on the 25% off offer.

String art and sweet treats at Times Square Center

Famously community-minded mall Times Square Center will become a hub of National Day activity over the long weekend, with an amazing array of entertainment going on. Browse the work of creative artists and designers in the UAE-themed pop-up market, savour a selection of delicious delicacies, and take part in cultural kids’ workshops, including Cultural Flag String Art, Handprint Flag String Art and Arts and Crafts.

DETAILS: Free to attend, 28 Nov – 4 Dec, 5pm – 8pm, Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Road. See Times Square Center website for more details and full schedule of events.

Stress-free glamping in the desert with BnBME

Do you love the idea of camping in the desert, but hate the sandy hassle that goes with it? The Glamper By BnBme experience could be just what you need. Choose between an evening-only option (running from 4pm until 10pm) or the all-night alternative, and then look forward to enjoying a live BBQ banquet cooked for you by a dedicated chef, along with a bonfire for singing around, outdoor cinema set-up for your own star-spangled movie night, atmospheric music of your choice and cosy family-style seating – all held in a secret desert location that you will only discover after booking. The package can be customised to your preference and can be followed by an overnight glamping set-up if desired.

DETAILS: Glamper by BnBme package starts for Dh700per event for the evening-only set-up, and 1,000 for the overnight set-up.

Build the world’s largest Lego UAE flag at Legoland Dubai

Children are invited to take part in building the world’s largest UAE LEGO® Minifigure Flag at Legoland Dubai this National Day, where they will also be able to compete in a fun National-Day-themed scavenger hunt for the chance to win amazing prizes, and take photos against the iconic ‘LEGOLAND Dubai Salute LEGO® Model’, proudly made from over 100,000 LEGO bricks. Plus families can check out the limited-time UAE National Day dinner at Bricks Family Restaurant during their visit and kids can eat for free.

DETAILS: National Day activities are included in the LEGOLAND Dubai full day ticket price of Dh295 (when booked online in advance, Dh330 if not). Complimentary entry for children under 3 years – ID is required. Thu-Sat 10am-6pm. Dubai Parks & Resorts, Dubai,

Football fun and traditional festivities at Emaar Malls

Is your little one football mad? Celebrate National Day by getting active at the Dubai Mall, Dubai Hills Mall and The Springs Souk, which are hosting a variety of interactive, football-themed pop-ups to in honour of the Qatar World Cup. Engage in a variety of interactive games ranging from creating a digital avatar dressed in your team’s colours, testing your footy knowledge in an interactive quiz, shooting goals in a hybrid power kick game, trying out a one-on-one game of sitting football, and getting competitive on the stationary foosball table. PLUS! There will be a whole host of National Day-themed entertainment at all of the malls, including a rotating schedule of four shows at Dubai Mall, flag dancing and mascot meet-and-greets at Dubai Hills Mall, Dubai Marina Mall and The Springs Souk, and fascinating burqa-making and live calligraphy workshops.

DETAILS:  Free to attend. Happening over the whole National Day Weekend at The Dubai Hills Mall, The Springs Souk and Dubai Mall. The pop-ups will be available for guests to enjoy during the following dates:

  •  Dubai Hills Mall: November 19 – December 3
  • The Springs Souk: November 30 – December 13
  • Dubai Marina Mall: December 6 -17
  • Dubai Mall: November 24 – December 18

51% off Fontana aqua circus PLUS Free light show and fireworks in Festival City

Head down to Dubai Festival City Mall this long weekend to catch a cut-price showing of the seriously amazing water-circus show Fontana. The family-friendly aqua theatre spectacle produced by Cirque Du Liban features exciting musical acts, impressive acrobatics and aerial thrills, all combined seamlessly with Dubai Festival City’s dancing fountain to create a stunning show.
With tickets selling for a fantastic 51% off, this is the ideal weekend to go. Plus! IF you get the more kid-friendly 3pm showing then after your show, head to outside Dubai Festival City Mall to catch a very special version of the regular IMAGINE light show; expect a dazzling drone light show, sensational music by DJ Bliss and Fayez Al Saeed, all rounded up with some fabulous fireworks.

DETAILS: Fontana tickets are 51% off from November 30 till December 2nd in celebration of the 51st UAE National Day. Early showing is 3pm – 6pm. Schedule on 2 December at Dubai Festival City Mall:

  • 8pm: IMAGINE show special National Day Edition with Fayez Al Sayeed
  • 9pm: Fireworks display
  • 9.15pm: DJ Bliss

Book your discounted Fontana tickets here. 

Find bubbles and balloons at Boxpark

Boxpark is going all green, red, black and white over the National Day long weekend, with patriotic décor serving as the backdrop to a fantastic selection of immersive family activities. Expect bubble entertainers, balloon benders, a petting zoo, henna artist and National Day parade, plus kids’ workshops and a falconry display.

DETAILS: Free to attend, Fri Dec 2-Sun Dec 4, 4pm-10pm, Bos Park in Al Wasl. See the Box Park website for the full schedule of events.

Be wowed at the National Day live show

A spectacular live show is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) at 6pm every evening from December 3 to 11. Families can marvel at a showcase of moving vignettes that capture the story of generations past, told through breath-taking performances, unique technologies, and projections that highlight the UAE’s rich culture and ambitious future.

DETAILS: Shows start at a kid-friendly 4pm, and tickets cost Dh200 each (free for under 3s) and are available from the official National Day website.

Henna, cupcakes and flying falcons at Deerfields Mall

Deerfields Mall in Abu Dhabi is celebrating the 51st UAE National Day with an array of traditional activities and mouth-watering Emirati cuisine for residents and visitors to enjoy from December 2-4 between 4pm and 9pm.

Expect a traditional Majlis setup with Arabic cooking stations serving Lugaimat, Emirati dates, and Arabian coffee. Mall-goers will also be treated to a live falcon display and photo opportunity, Ayala dancing, henna painting in collaboration with Jumasan Beauty Centre, and a cupcake workshop.

Soak up coastal culture at Bluewaters

Seaside Dubai destination Bluewaters will be marking UAE National Day 2022 with traditional Emirati entertainment and henna artists, so you can stroll along the waterside restaurant, take a bite to eat, and enjoy the patriotic atmosphere.

DETAILS: Free, Fri Dec 2, 5pm-8pm, Bluewaters Island, Dubai. See full schedule of events.

© A WhichMedia Group publication. 2022. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Tabitha Barda
Tabitha Barda is the Senior Editor of Oxbridge educated and an award winning journalist in the UAE for more than a decade, Tabitha is one of the region's shining lights in all that is education in the emirates. A mum herself, she is passionate about helping parents - and finding the stories in education that deserve telling. She is responsible for the busy 24x7 News Desk, our Advisory Boards and Specialist Panels - and Parents United's WHICHPlaydates - a regular meeting place for UAE parents to discuss the issues that matter to them, make friends and network with others. You can often find Tabitha too on Parents United - our Facebook community board, discussing the latest schools and education issues with our parent community in the UAE - and beyond.

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