The Museums Department at Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature, organising multiple activities in celebration of the UAE’s 47th National Day, with the aim of ensuring the society’s satisfaction and happiness.

Muna Faisal Al Gurg, Acting Director of the Museums Department, said: “We are eager to involve all our sectors and our museums in the National Day celebrations to affirm the spread of happiness on this day, especially as these cultural landmarks embody many elements of the Union, including history, culture, and heritage. It will be our pleasure to welcome large numbers of visitors who will participate in the various activities, events, and workshops held to commemorate the day.”

The Museums Department’s celebrations will extend over five days, where the UAE National Day Celebration in collaboration with Dubai police took place on 28 November and featured a number of activities including: a military band; the National Anthem; poems, and heritage performances; a human mosaic of the UAE map and Sheikh Zayed; and an artistic painting activity.

On the next day, the Department celebrated Commemoration Day with many activities that included a tour of Etihad Museum; a minute of silence, a prayer, and raising of the flag; a military ranks workshop; and a Sheikh Zayed family tree workshop for students. The activities over these two days received media coverage by 'Sama Dubai' on the 'Sabah Al Khair Ya Bladi'.

During the evenings of the first and second of December, the Dubai Folklore Society will present a traditional folk dance at the gardens surrounding Etihad Museum and a workshop entitled ‘Founding Fathers’ that will shed light on the seven Founding Fathers. It will also introduce participants to the section of the Museum that is dedicated to them which comprises of three parts: large portraits of the Founding Father, an interactive screen displaying the Al Nahyan family tree, and some photographs and personal possessions of the late Sheikh Zayed.

Over the first three days of December, the Etihad Museum will present a workshop entitled ‘The story of the UAE flag’ that will recount the story of how the UAE flag’s design came to be, viewing previous flags before the Union, and exploring the meanings behind the colours of the UAE flag, signifying it’s importance to all Emiratis. A workshop entitled ‘The Story of 2nd December’ will also be presented that focusses on the Union House that will highlight the most important event in the UAE’s history, and the flagpole where the first UAE flag was raised. The workshop will explore key events that took place during that period, including the creation of a short picture story about the events of the 2nd of December 1971, and the role they played in the Union of the Emirates. Over three days, a social media competition will also take place aiming to encourage the public to visit the museum, take selfies at specific sites in the museum, and post it on their social media channels.

The celebration, held at the Dubai Museum on the 2nd and 3rd of December, will feature a traditional Harbiya band, and a traditional Emirati food corner where popular drinks and dishes will be served, contributing to the promotion of national identity by increasing awareness of heritage among the largest segment of society and visitors of Dubai. Dubai Museum is attracting a growing number of visitors and tourists with 1.5 million people having visited the museum so far this year.

To celebrate the occasion, the Coins Museum located in Al Fahidi hosted a number of activities, featuring a lecture by Dr Moataz Mohamed Osman, a researcher and international legal arbitrator, on the history of coins pre- and post-union, where rare and unique coins in the UAE were on display for visitors. The lecturer presented the many variations of currency that were used in the region prior to the Union and what followed till the introduction of the current Emirati Dirham.

On this occasion, the museum also organised a series of workshops on gypsum carving, painting and drawing, and Arabic calligraphy.

Dubai Culture aims to enhance Dubai’s cultural scene and draw attention to the UAE’s rich heritage. The Authority’s mandate is to build bridges of constructive dialogue between different civilisations and cultures to enhance Dubai's position as a creative and sustainable global city for culture, heritage, arts, and literature, with the aim to empower these sectors by developing creative and innovative projects and initiatives locally, regionally, and globally.


Source: Cicero and Bernay