UAE National Day ~ Of pride, glory, love hope and leqaimats!

By Team FoodeMag: The UAE is such a hotpot of different nationalities and cultures which is what makes it so unique and special. The UAE National Day is a time to celebrate the UAE, it’s history, traditions and culture, not to mention its rapid progress and achievements. Can you keep up with everything happening? There’s so much going on!

Celebrations of any kind always make us feel nostalgic. We love how food, family and friends come together at major points in our life and the combination of all these can be simply amazing and memorable. We took to our Instagram feed to canvas what some of our Emirati pals are going to be doing on National Day. We’re also sharing what we will be up to and would love to hear about your plans too!

Leqaimats are deep fried dough balls made from flour, saffron and sugar and then drizzled with date syrup, white sesame seeds and pistachios.

Leqaimats are deep fried dough balls made from flour, saffron and sugar and then drizzled with date syrup, white sesame seeds and pistachios. If an Emirati dessert can be termed epic – this is it, and pops up as one of the most popular food nostalgias when we talk to Dubai residents – both locals and expats. After Shawarma, of course!


Debbie hearts out…

What are your plans for the UAE National Day?
I’ll be visiting the Heritage Village (which is under renovation), the Creek and the Spice Souq – this is the part of Dubai which I love and where you really get to absorb the history & heritage of Dubai. The Creek has always been a special place for me, full of happy memories.

What will you be eating as a signature dish/favourite dish?
I’ll most likely be ordering a mix of Arabic/Lebanese dishes, in one of the restaurants alongside the creek and people watching.

What’s your first memory of UAE National Day?
I was here on a business trip and didn’t really know what to expect. I spent my first National Day sat in a cafe on the Beach Road watching the procession of decorated cars passing by and feeling how proud everyone was to celebrate the day. Later, I was at Ibn Battuta Mall shopping and watching Traditional Dance displays and celebrations taking place in the Mall.

Mixed chargrill platter arriving at the table in one of the creekside restaurants - still sizzling on it's mini charcoal pit.

Mixed chargrill platter arriving at the table in one of the creekside restaurants – still sizzling on it’s mini charcoal pit.


Shop selling traditional spices and touristy artefacts in the heritage Bastakiya area - a retail experience here can beat the most popular city shopping malls hands down!

Shop selling traditional spices and touristy artefacts in the heritage Bastakiya area – a retail experience here can beat the most popular city shopping malls hands down!


Dhows, or traditional boats still plying the Dubai creek, an integral part of the city's landscape.

Dhows, or traditional boats still plying the Dubai creek, an integral part of the city’s landscape.


Dhows lit up in fairy lights and sailing into the sea while tourists enjoy a dinner and belly dancing experience - still tops the list of 'things-to-do-in-Dubai'

Dhows lit up in fairy lights and sailing into the sea while tourists enjoy a dinner and belly dancing experience – still tops the list of ‘things-to-do-in-Dubai’


Sheesha comes in many flavours here, just like your freshly squeezed fruit juices - think apples and strawberries!

Sheesha comes in many flavours here, just like your freshly squeezed fruit juices – think apples and strawberries!


Ishita hearts out…

What are your plans for the UAE National Day?
We’ll be camping in the desert with my family – two girls and also our two dogs (the latter for the first time, so we are not staying overnight this time!). I love the bonfire in the desert, the uninterrupted night sky gleaming with stars and watching the sunrise. I am not a morning person and sunsets are one of my favourite moments which I almost capture everyday – so I look forward to these rare sunrise experiences in my life!

What will you be eating as a signature dish/favourite dish?
We will be barbequing – so lots of dips – Garlic sauces and Hummous for sure. Hope someone will bring Luqaimats!

What’s your first memory of UAE National Day?
I was spellbound when I saw the fireworks over the Dubai creek for the first time and that still holds special place in my heart. In the later years, the parades and teh processions around the JBR area – it fills my heart with so much pride and happiness when I see everyone wearing the UAE flag colours, waving the UAE flags.

It's so easy to organise a desert outing here - even petrol stations stock all that is required starting from dried logs of wood to instant barbeque kits. Pre-marinated meats and various dips can be bought from almost any supermarket.

It’s so easy to organise a desert outing here – even petrol stations stock all that is required starting from dried logs of wood to instant barbeque kits. Pre-marinated meats and various dips can be bought from almost any supermarket.


I never tire of capturing the sunset against the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa - it may sound cliched but I simply adore this iconic structure.

I never tire of capturing the sunset against the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa – it may sound cliched but I simply adore this iconic structure.


Setting up a temporary home in the desert for a camping can be quite fun, and something that I would love to do more often - specially in the winters.

Setting up a temporary home in the desert for a camping can be quite fun, and something that I would love to do more often – specially in the winters.


The desert at Al Qudra is so easily accessible and near the city, yet feels like you have travelled really far!

The desert at Al Qudra is so easily accessible and near the city, yet feels like you have travelled really far!


iheartdubai

Others heart out…

Abdullah Al Qassab (Instagram handle: @theqassab)  
What are your plans for the UAE National Day? Usually I volunteer. I remember once I went to clean after the parade with bunch of friends and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid called to meet us after that and said he was very happy to show the true love. The other thing I do is plan with the whole family to go to a resort.
This year I will focus on my kids, read to them about the UAE and it’s founding fathers. My son asked me about the names of the men in the Logo of the National Day.

What will you be eating as a signature/traditional or memorable dish?
Oh my favorite is the traditional desserts. Balaeet which is like sweet noodles kind of and the Luqaimat.

What’s your first memory of the National Day?
In school I was fascinated with all the different performances and the national songs and since then I loved the idea of organizing such programmes and I always did. Later on, I started to do something good such as giving back to community.


Arwa A. Lootah (Instagram handle: @alefarwa)
What are your plans for the UAE National Day?
We usually come to our beach house in Dibba to celebrate the National Day. My parents, sometimes my brothers or husband go to the fish market here and then we’d have what they have bought for lunch. Today, it’s sea bugs (lobsters) and other fish! Then at night we usually have a barbecue.

What will you be eating as a signature/traditional or memorable dish?
We don’t have a specific dish for the National Day. That’s reserved for Eid.

What’s your first memory of the National Day?
My first memories of the National Day are the celebrations at school and watching Sheikh Zayed on TV attending the celebrations.


AJ Mohammed (Instagram handle: @DubaiNameShame)
What are your plans for the UAE National Day?
The National Day will be spent with family in Dubai and Ajman… a good family meal and a drive to admire all of the celebrations.

What will you be eating as a signature/traditional or memorable dish?
A full lamb mandi – home made of course!

What’s your first memory of National Day?
The National Day has changed so much over the years … but memories will always be sharing the day with family and friends.


Maha Falaknaz (Instagram handle: @almahaaaaa)
What are your plans for the UAE National Day?
I will be celebrating with my family.

What will you be eating as a signature dish/favourite dish?
Harees – it is one of the best Emirati dishes.

What’s your first memory of the UAE National Day?
Traditional culture.


Tariq Al Suwaidi – Zawaya Cafe (@zawaya.cafe)
What are your plans for the UAE National Day?
I’ll be spending national day with family enjoying the many activities happening around the country.

What will you be eating as a signature dish/favourite dish?
Lots of Arabic coffee, balaleet (local sweet noodles) and of course Luqaimat (traditional donut balls covered in date syrup).

What’s your first memory of the UAE National Day?
My first memory is dressing up for the National Day activities back in school.


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