Dubai celebrates a good number of festivals and events throughout the year with a large attendance. If you’re planning a visit to Dubai anytime, keep the wonderful Dubai festivals in mind.
Here is a list of the top Dubai festivals that you simply should not miss this year. Start getting your travel plans ready!
Dubai’s Religious Festivals
Dubai celebrates Eid Al Fitr, the ‘Feast of Breaking the Fast’, in July, at the end of Ramadan and Eid Al Adha, the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’, in September. During these festivals, mosques are decorated with lights and flowers. The city comes alive, malls are packed and shoppers enjoy discounts and massive sales. There will be colorful parades, firework displays, and traditional dance performances in Dubai parks and resorts and all public places.
Dubai Shopping Festival
Although the Dubai Shopping Festival is a January event, it actually begins on the 28th of December. It’s the greatest opportunity for millions of bargain hunters, who flock to the city to during the month-long festival, to buy designer goods on the cheap. Many world-famous designers create collections especially for the festival. The city adds to the frenzy by putting up a host of events – rock concerts, music and dance performances, children’s entertainment and firework shows.
(Explore hotels, vacation rentals, and hostels for the Dubai Shopping Festival)
This is the UAE’s much-awaited golfing event, when the world’s leading swingers swing their clubs for the generous prize money. The Emirates Golf Club plays host to this annual desert golfing event. Tourists and golf fans throng the city to enjoy the fireworks, dance performances and parades on the final day of the tournament.
(Explore hotels and vacation rentals for the Dubai Desert Classic)
Dubai International Jazz Festival
The Dubai International Jazz Festival is held at the Dubai Media City. Attended by jazz lovers from all over the world, the festival began in 2003 on a small scale. Today, the festival attracts more than 500,000 fans. The world’s top jazz talents have performed at the festival, including greats as Toto, Stanley Jordan, Jamie Callum and Robin Gibb.
Dubai Food Festival
Officially known as the Festival of Taste. Held between April and May, the Festival of Taste is a much-talked-about event for food lovers. For one full week, top global chefs churn up their very best specialties. There are cooking sessions and demonstrations by famous chefs as well. Visitors throng to the Festival of Taste not just to sample the food, but to learn tips and tricks from the top chefs. It’s a vibrant event where food lovers meet and greet each other and enjoy a fabulous time together.
Dubai International Film Festival
This film festival is organized to recognize art-house and independent cinema. Top Hollywood and Bollywood actors are invited, such as Morgan Freeman, George Clooney, Hrithik Roshan and others. The festival is held mainly to promote filmmaking in the UAE. Movie lovers get to watch many great movies for free, and enjoy associated events and performances as well.
National Day Festival
The National Day Festival on the 2nd of December commemorates the Emirates’ independence from English rule. Many of Dubai’s major monuments put on special events, waiving entry fees. Many special events and performances are held throughout the city. Hotels and restaurants participate by cooking top Emirati dishes and offering freebies to visitors.
Dubai Art Fair
This Dubai Art Fair is held in the Madinat Jumeirah, as a celebration of art and culture. Top artists are invited to display their work at this festival and share the secrets of their success. There’s also a great sale of fabulous art by well-known and not-so-well-known artists. It’s a chance for investment-minded people to pick up works of art on the cheap.
Dubai Summer Surprises
The Dubai Summer Surprises is a summer shopping festival. For 10 whole weeks, shoppers run about taking advantage of top bargains. Every mall hosts entertainment events, along, food fests and various themed competitions. All of the UAE awaits this festival, especially shoppers, designers, shopkeepers and merchants!
Motexha Textile Show
The Motexha Textile Show is an annual extravaganza of textile exhibitions. This event sees more than 500 exhibitions of fabulous indigenous and global textiles and clothing. The Dubai International Exhibition Center sees exhibitors from Europe, India, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Turkey and others put up their stalls. High-end manufacturers of clothing from all over the world showcase their products, and top buyers from the UAE and the world buy them. The Motexha Textile Show is a place where deals are made, and the most influential buyers and designers get an edge on the UAE fashion scene.
Other Annual Events in Dubai
A more low-key, but still exciting event is the UAE Desert Challenge – a bike and car rally that lasts for five whole days. There’s also the Emirates World Series-Dubai World Cup horse-racing event which sees the best trainers and horses take part. Dubai’s endless festivals and events have something for everyone, right from shoppers to racing fans to foodies to music fans.
About the author
A postgraduate in Mass Communications, Neha loves everything about life. Traveling is extremely close to her heart and writing comes to her naturally. An avid trekker & explorer, who often takes off some time from her busy life for mountaineering, she loves meeting new people and gets attached to their culture very easily. Her ambition is to explore as many places as she can in her life. She strongly believes in Gandhian principle – “simple living high thinking”.