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Celebrate the Emirates in Abu Dhabi

It's no wonder that last year, the same company that handles fireworks at Rio de Janeiro's New Year celebrations was on hand to put on a show for Abu Dhabi. Two days in December are dedicated to celebrating the day when the seven trucial sheikdoms (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain) became the independent United Arab Emirates, and festivities go big or go home. National Day is celebrated all over the capital, with more than a dozen fireworks displays, traditional handicraft demonstrations, games, performances, and many outrageously patriotic vehicles dressed up in national colors for the annual car parade. Expect elbow-to-elbow crowds around the corniche and generally heavy traffic around the city.