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Dubai and Abu Dhabi during the 43rd UAE National Day

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In only a weeks time the United Arab Emirates will be celebrating its 43rd National Day, and in city's throughout this young gulf state a diverse series of attractions have been lined up to mark the 1971 unification of the seven emirates. At CityXplora we've picked out some of the best events taking place in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in and around December 2nd. As we offer the Big Bus hop-on hop-off tour as our primary sightseeing excursion in both of these cities, most of that which we've selected should lie along an easily navigable route.

From November 29-30 jump off at stop 18 on the Big Bus Dubai tour, where you'll witness a world record attempt for the biggest collaborative graffiti painting taking place on the Jumeirah Beach Park. The project is called Rehlatna, or 'Our Journey', and will consist of a 2180 metre temporary wall arranged in the shape of the UAE's borders. The public is encouraged to spectate as over 100 artists from all across the world gather to illustrate crucial stages in the development of the nation.

In Abu Dhabi visit stop 9 on the Big Bus tour, Heritage Village, where a series of activities will be taking place on December 2nd entitled 'Zayed, The Source of Goodness to the World'. This festive event includes music by the countries military as well as folk and children's carnival bands. There will also be a sprawling photography exhibition and a water-borne parade known as the 'Union Voyage'. Five traditional sailing vessels baring national images, flags and slogans will sail into the Abu Dhabi Breakwater having completed a voyage along the entire coast.

From 9pm on December 1-2 in Abu Dhabi head along to Khor Al Maqta or the Abu Dhabi Corniche (stop 6). At these locations the capital's largest and most vibrant fireworks displays will be taking place. Amidst the fiery spectrum of colours the prominent hues will be those in red, green and white, reflecting the key constituents of the national flag. While on the Abu Dhabi Corniche be sure to also look out for the free-to-access balloon rides, which will be available for the duration of the national celebrations.