Two day long holidays have been announced as part of the 48th National Day celebrations of the UAE. The UAE cabinet announced residents will be given December 2 and 3 as a public holiday for government and private sectors, making it a four-day weekend for those with a typical Sunday to Thursday work week. Work will resume the following day.
This year, the UAE’s celebrations of its National Day on December 2 will be a little different as a celebration of achievements rather than personalities. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum will be awarding teams behind the most important projects on the UAE National Day. Some of the nominated projects that would have made the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan happy are Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Metro, Cleveland Clinic, Prince of Poets and Million’s Poet, the Arab Reading Challenge, Khalifa University, American University in Sharjah, Union Museum and Mars probe.
7 Best Road Trips for Long Weekend
If you are excited to kick-start the long weekend, here are some best road trips in and around UAE that can help you enjoy the long 4-day weekend on UAE National Day. These are perfect if you’re looking for affordable, family-friendly, nature-oriented attractions.
Salalah – Hatta (Oman)
The drive north to this exclave is almost as spectacular as the scenery that welcomes you upon arrival. Well known for its annual monsoons, banana plantations, sandy beaches, the lush green city is a must-see for all nature lovers. Since years, Hatta has been used as a summer home offering plenty of activities for the more adventurous, but if you really want to relax, you can book a room in the recently refurbished JA Hatta Fort Hotel and just enjoy the scenery from your balcony. The adjoining Hajar Mountains make for a really picturesque backdrop. By car, the trip takes you half a day’s journey, where you can spot the scenic Dhofar mountain range on the way. Hatta also boasts a beautiful heritage village and two military towers from the 18th Century.
Jebel Jais (RAK)
For adventurers enjoying hiking, trekking and camping, there’s no other place in the UAE better than Jebel Al Jais. Located between the UAE and Oman, Jebel Al Jais is the highest point at the country, at over 1,800 meters. With the installation of the world’s longest zipline in January, Ras Al Khaimah has become one of the hottest attractions for adrenaline junkies in UAE and the entire Gulf region. With a large number of beach resorts and exciting activities, including Ghost Town, an abandoned village that’s believed to be haunted, the city makes for the perfect weekend getaway.
Take an afternoon trip to this eastern emirate as the approach is most beautiful at sunset. After stopping for some Instagram pics, pitch up at one of the numerous hotels dotted along the coast. Filled with scenic views of the Hajar Mountain ridge, the emirate is ideal for mountain-climbing and hiking in the Hajar Mountains. Not to forget the stand-up paddleboard safari to Dibba Rock, where you can also go snorkelling and scuba diving. Fujairah is also home to Fujairah Fort and Al Bidyah Mosque, two of the oldest historical monuments in the UAE. The Ain al-Madhab therapeutic hot springs are also a popular choice for residents and visitors alike.
Bluewaters Island (Dubai)
Explore all that Bluewaters Island has to offer. With about 200 retail, dining and entertainment outlets, it blends island serenity with urban buzz. Located off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), it gives visitors the chance to enjoy a day on the beach before walking down the boulevard. Perhaps you can ride the Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel.
The peninsula, often referred as Norway of Arabia is well known for its incredible aquamarine water, cliffs, and inlets all along the coastline. The drive to Musandam is worth all the efforts as the peninsula not only offers stunning landscapes, but is also a hive of sporting activities. From kayaking, snorkelling and swimming to fishing and dolphin watching, Musandam has a wealth of aquatic options to offer. There are tremendous trekking and cycling routes in the mountains around Khasab, too.
For those interested in attractions closer to the city, you can check out a wide variety of events including comedy and music shows, exhibitions, and festivals.
Dubai Fitness Challenge – This weekend, look for the outdoors Yogafest Dubai which will be held on November 15-17 at Dubai Internet City Amphitheatre.
Dubai Miracle Garden – The lush garden has much more than Mickey Mouse and his Disney friends. New additions include gigantic floral felines at the gate, three jolly elephants that spout water in different styles and angles, adding to the visual dramatic experience at the section called Lost Paradise and a Floral Castle for the garden dining experience.
Tangle from Polyglot Theatre – Best for families with kids looking for a creative way to unwind! Tangle from Polyglot Theatre, offers live music for kids 2 to 12 years of age.
Waterlight at Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park – The unique monumental interactive public light installation Waterlight is another attraction at Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park. It evokes a feeling of being immersed underwater via LED lights and lenses. Entrance is free but seats are available.
Enjoy the long weekend, everyone – especially now that you know there’s only two weeks to wait until the next one.