United Arab Emirates National Day 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

United Arab Emirates National Day is annually celebrated on 2nd December. This day marks the UAE’s formal nationalisation in 1971 which led to the formation of UAE as a sovereign state. 

The UAE consists of seven emirates and was founded on 2 December 1971 as a federation. Six of the seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah) combined on that date. The seventh, Ras al Khaimah, joined the federation on 10 February 1972. 

The UAE national holiday will be a major state occasion – and it is the 51st instalment of the momentous day. According to the Emirates News Agency, the Organising Committee is “inviting everyone that calls the UAE home for nationwide celebrations to mark the 51st UAE National Day”. 

Event United Arab Emirates National Day
Date December 2, 2022
Day Friday
Significance The day marks the UAE’s formal nationalisation in 1971
Observed by United Arab Emirates


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United Arab Emirates National Day History: 

Artifacts uncovered in the UAE show a history of human habitation, transmigration and trade spanning over 125,000 years. Through the three defined Iron Ages and the subsequent Hellenistic period, the area remained an important coastal trading entrepôt. As a result of the response of the Al Azd to the message of Muhammed, the area became Islamised in the 7th Century, a position consolidated by the Ridda Wars and the bloody and definitive Battle of Dibba. The Islamic era saw the area emerge once again as an important centre for trade, centred particularly around the ports of Julfar, Dibba and Khor Fakkan.  

A number of incursions and battles took place along the coast when the Portuguese, under Afonso de Albuquerque, invaded the area and disrupted the Arab trade networks, triggering a decline in trade and a rise in regional conflict following the fragmentation of Hormuzi authority. In 1820, Britain entered the picture and offered protection to the tribes in return for some control over the land. Desperate for peace, the numerous tribes accepted this offer and let Britain be in charge of settling their disputes. In 1968, Britain removed itself from the picture after it started experiencing financial losses. 

A British decision, taken in early 1968, to withdraw from its involvement in the Trucial States, led to the decision to found a Federation. This was agreed between two of the most influential Trucial Rulers, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum of Dubai. The two invited other Trucial Rulers to join the Federation. At one stage it seemed likely Bahrain and Qatar would also join the Union of Arab Emirates, but both eventually decided on independence. 

On December 2, 1971, the emirates announced their independence from Britain and became the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Later on, Ras Al Khaimah, the seventh emirate also joined this union. To mark the unity of the seven emirates and the declaration of the United Arab Emirates, the flag of UAE as we know it today was raised, and the first president of UAE was selected who was Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Sheikh Zayed as he was the Emir of Abu Dhabi and thus was the richest amongst the seven emirates. 


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United Arab Emirates National Day Significance: 

The United Arab Emirates National Day marks the foundation of the Emirates as one united nation. This day gives an opportunity for grand celebration for the Emirati identity. The majestic country will be celebrating its 51st national day on 2nd December 2022. UAE is standing as one independent and powerful nation in the Middle East. Going through years of struggle, hardship, and conflicts, the UAE we admire has a great history that needs to be glorified and remembered and this day serves as a nice way to know all about it. 

The UAE National Day is known as the day of freedom and the foundation of the UAE as an independent and powerful nation. After being separated and formed as UAE the nation flourished with its gas and oil industry and today is known as a powerful nation in the Middle East. The drastic development and growth lead to higher tourism and corporate opportunities for expats. Remembering and putting importance on the struggle and need for independence, UAE National day is celebrated in the country with a thought of patriotism. 

UAE National Day is a historic occasion that sheds light on how the United Arab Emirates was formed. It is essential to celebrate the day so that future generations are reminded of the history of the nation they reside in. Remembering the past often instills a love for the country in the hearts of the youth and also inspires them to do even more for the nation they live by contributing for the overall growth and development of their country. This day is a moment of pride for all the Emirati citizens. 

This day also celebrates the Emirati identity of the country. It provides a chance to every Emirati citizen to proudly display their love and patriotism for the country by celebrating their culture, cuisine, traditions and everything which is Emirati! This day celebrates unity as the formation of the UAE shows exactly how much strength there is in the unity instead of differences. Celebrating UAE National Day yearly is a reminder of this very strength and thus it urges the people of the country to always have unity, respect and brotherhood for each other. 


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United Arab Emirates National Day Celebrations: 

This day is a public holiday in the country so it gives people chance to celebrate this day with full patriotism and energy. Hence grand celebrations are held all across the country to mark the event. Fireworks, car rallies and dance shows are the most common activities. Over 57% of UAE residents anticipate seeing fireworks during the UAE National Day weekend. 

In terms of activities, people will usually dress up in UAE national flag colours and decorate their homes, workplaces, cars and streets to celebrate the day. Palm trees are decorated with lights from the colours of the flag. Hotels and other public sites are decorated with flags and lights. Some UAE residents also organise some sport challenge to celebrate it. 

Downtown Dubai is lightened with fireworks while the Burj Khalifa displays the UAE flag. It is crowded with people seeking to see the massive national day fireworks and celebration. Shopping centres, malls, and institutions are decorated with the flag. 

Heritage Villages are set all over the UAE in order to celebrate this event traditionally. Holidays are given from the National Day until two days later. Air shows are conducted while military processions are held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre for the rulers of the Emirates, members of the Federal National Council, and Emirati citizens. 

Most Searched FAQs on United Arab Emirates National Day: 

1. When is United Arab Emirates National Day celebrated? 

United Arab Emirates National Day is annually celebrated on 2nd December. 

2. How many days do people get off work on National Day in UAE? 

There are two days of holiday for National Day in the UAE. 

3. What are the seven emirates of UAE? 

The seven emirates of UAE are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

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