Dubai Events, Things to Do and Festivals

(Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE)

Photo of fireworks over the Burj Al Arab HotelDubai is world-famous for its annual festivals, and this city of superlatives knows how to stage a world-class event. One of the most noteworthy yearly events is the Shopping Festival in January, when high-profile stores offer lower prices on popular items. Shopping bargains are offered again during the ten-week Summer Surprises Festival.

Islamic events are widely observed throughout the year, offering plenty of things to do, see and enjoy throughout Dubai. Observances such as Ramadan and the Ascension of Muhammad are synchronised with the phases of the moon, so their dates annually drift against the Gregorian calendar.

Dubai Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015

Further picture of the Burj Al Arab and seasonal fireworks


  • Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) - late January to late February, the city's reputation as a shopping Mecca is especially clear during this month-long festival. Stores across the city feature great bargains, and street entertainment (including fireworks) is staged on a regular basis


  • Desert Classic - the Emirates Golf Club hosts this prestigious, six-day golf tournament each February


  • World Cup - the Emirate World Series holds an important horse race in Dubai every March. Competitors from around the world race for a chance to win the first prize of a staggering US$6 million


  • Bride Show - the entire month of April is set aside for Dubai's extravagant bridal exposition. Events are held across the city, though the main stage is in the International Exposition Centre


  • Arabian Travel Market - held early in May, this trade show has carved out an important niche in the Middle Eastern trade market. Citizens of nearly 100 nations attend


  • Summer Surprises - the city's ever-popular summer festival lasts for some ten weeks and includes outdoor concerts, themed expositions and impressive discounts at citywide shopping centres


  • Eid al-Adha - late in July, Muslims across the city celebrate the ascension of Muhammad the Prophet


  • Ramadan - the Islamic month of Ramadan is a time of somber fasting for Muslims, who abstain from pleasure and indulgence from sunrise to sundown. Participants do not eat during daylight hours


  • International Middle East Textile Exposition - this show features a range of textile-related expositions staged in hundreds of displays throughout the International Exposition Centre


  • Eid al-Fitr - when the month of Ramadan comes to a close, locals across the city celebrate with feasting and family gatherings


  • Rugby Sevens - as the international rugby season kicks off the city hosts the games each November. The event lasts three days and features a host of peripheral entertainment


  • National Day - December 2nd, the city celebrates its independence from Great Britain. Patriotic events are hosted at the city's prominent monuments