Dubai’s calendar offers numerous events and festivals, catering to tourists, locals, and business visitors. Most are packed into the high season, between November and March, when the climate is most pleasant.
The city hosts several major sporting events, offering huge cash prizes and drawing the world’s top sporting personalities. The year starts with the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon in January. In March the Dubai World Cup at the Meydan Racecourse offers total prize money of $35 million, making it the world’s richest horse race.
Other major sporting events include the Dubai Desert Classic, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and the Rugby Sevens.
Dubai is the only city in the world that hosts two entire festivals dedicated to retails shopping. The month-long Dubai Shopping Festival begins in December and features promotions, bargains galore, and plenty of entertainment. A similar festival, Dubai Summer Surprises, starts in July.
The arts are not forgotten. The Dubai International Jazz Festival in February features renowned artists. Art Dubai is a contemporary art fair held the following month featuring impressive works from the world’s leading galleries.
The city is also a popular venue for trade shows and conferences. Some of the biggest are the Arabian Travel Market in April and the Dubai International Boat Show in February.
Visitors should aware of special restrictions in effect during the holy month of Ramadan.
Countrywide celebration to mark the accession of Sheikh Khalifa as President of the UAE.
The largest boat show in the Middle East.
Annual rugby union sevens tournament. Part of the IRB Sevens World Series. One of the biggest events on the social calendar.
Public holiday to celebrate the formation of the UAE.
Cookery demonstrations, music, entertainment, and more.
Month-long retail event offering huge discounts on a wide range of goods.
Specatular firework and light shows at locations such as the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain, Burj Al Arab, and Atlantis.
International art show at the Madinat Jumeirah.
The world’s richest race meeting.
Ramadan is the name of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During Ramadan all Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk.
Religious holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
Travel show and exhibition for tourism professionals.
Photo Credit: Katiekk/Shutterstock