Dubai Festivals

Dubai celebrates various festivals and events throughout the year in order to attract tourists and making sure their stay is enjoyable.

Dubai's cultural ideology is firmly embedded in the Islamic civilization. Here, Islam is more than just a religion, it is a way of life that governs even the smallest of everyday events, from marriages to what to eat and drink.

Ramadan is the sacred 9th month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims celebrate the revelation of the Holy Koran. Muslims observe fast from dawn till dusk. While fasting, Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sexual affairs. Visitors are also required to abstain from consuming these items in public.

Eid Al Fitr
Eid Al Fitr also called as ‘Feast of Breaking the Fast’ is a major Muslim festival and is celebrated at the end of Ramadan. The festival is celebrated for three days and starts after the morning prayers. Gifts are also exchanged between the friends and relatives.

Eid Al Adha
Also called as the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’ it is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, and it honours the keenness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son for the command of god. The celebrations lasts for four days and a sacrifice is made of a cow, camel, ram etc. depending on the region.

January - February:
Dubai Shopping Festival

Although Dubai is well known as a shopper's paradise throughout the year, the month of January is particularly good for bargain hunters. Right through January, over two million visitors flock to Dubai for the month-long Shopping Festival, which seems to involve every shop in the city, with concerts, children's entertainment, firework shows and other events offering a welcome break from the city-wide shopping frenzy.

January - February:
Dubai Marathon

Dubai Marathon is a charitable funding event which allows one to take part for a small fee with the chance of winning a hefty cash prize. There are three types of races enabling the event to attract a wider scope of entries: the 'fun run' which is only a 3km run for those who have not got the best fitness levels, the over 15's run which is a 10km road race and the long distance, 50km marathon which is only suitable for 18 year olds and over.

February - March:
Dubai Desert Classic

This is the most popular golfing event in the UAE. Many of the world's leading swingers return every year for a chance to play for the generous prize money. The competition is held at the famous Emirates Golf Club and generally attracts many tourists, who particularly enjoy the exhilaration on the final day.

February - March:
Dubai International Jazz Festival

This annual festival is held at Dubai Media City and appeals to many tourists who have enjoyed the engaging line ups in the past and the warm friendly atmosphere. Recent line ups have included, Toto, Robin Gibb, Stanley Jordan and Jamie Callum.

February - March:
Dubai Tennis Championships

This is one of the most exciting events that brings together some of the best tennis players in the world, including Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova. The Dubai Open is held at the Aviation club, and the championships consist of an ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and a WTA (Women's Tennis Association). It is a fantastic opportunity to come and watch some of the best stars play under the sun.

March - April:
UAE (Abu Dhabi) Desert Challenge

This rally is a part of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and is the last race that starts off in Abu-Dhabi and finishes in Dubai. The duration of the rally lasts for five days and is very popular with fans of fast cars and bikes.

March - April:
Art Dubai

The annual Art Dubai fair has been a significant showcase for artists from throughout the region. It has been instrumental in drawing on the city's enigmatic mix of artists', curators' and art lovers, thereby creating a growing platform for innovative artwork and local talent. The thriving contemporary art galleries and success of Art Dubai, make Dubai an essential visit for any art connoisseur.

March - April:
Dubai World Cup

Every year Dubai is home to the world's richest horse race, with a US$10 million dollar prize fund! Amidst the presence of the world's best horses, jockeys and trainers, the action takes place at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, where state-of-the-art facilities and a superb track provide race goers with a unique and atmospheric venue at the city's largest social event.

April - May:
The Bride Show

During April, Dubai plays host to the annual Bride Show, which features a variety of events centred on the theme of weddings. The event attracts hundreds of exhibitors from all over the region, with the main events being held at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.

April - May:
Festival of Taste

Held at Dubai Media City, this is strictly dedicated to the lovers of food. It runs for a period of one week, where top global chefs come and prepare their most delicious specialties for various social events and even give tips on cooking and presentation.

June - July - August:
Dubai Summer Surprises

Commonly known as DSS, Dubai Summer Surprises is represented by a life size yellow springy mascot, Modhesh, who adds comical value and is especially attractive to the younger generation. DSS was implemented in order to encourage tourists to visit at the peak of Dubai's heat wave. The 10 weeks of DSS are divided into separate themes such as food, the arts, adventure and nature, as well as hotels in Dubai offering special 'shopaholic' packages in order to attract more guests.

September - October:
Motexha Textile Show

This annual trade fair is the largest of its kind in the Middle East and attracts exhibitors and shoppers from right across the region. The main fair is located at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre and features over 500 exhibitors spread throughout 30 international pavilions that cover every branch of the clothing and textile industry.

November - December:
Dubai Rugby Sevens

Every year, the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club plays host to the first round of the IRB Sevens Series, with 16 international teams competing over three days for the prestigious trophy. The three days of competition are accompanied by various other shows and events designed to keep visitors of all ages entertained, while those new to rugby will find the fast and furious matches a good introduction to the sport.

November - December:
Dubai International Film Festival

This film festival encourages independent and art-house cinema to get a better recognition from the public with special guests attracting large audiences, such as George Clooney and Morgan Freeman.

November - December:
National Day Festival

Dubai's National Day Festival is an annual day of celebration to commemorate the Emirates' independence from Great Britain. Celebrated on the 2nd of December each year it's a chance to see many of the city's leading monuments as they open their doors to the public and put on special events throughout the day.

Recommended Activities

4x4 Dubai Desert Safari

Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

Hot Air Balloon Flight

Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

Dubai Seaplane Flight

Duration: 40 mins (approx.)

Dubai Sandboarding

Duration: 4 hours (approx.)