Best Festivals in UAE

Best Festivals in UAE

Whether you have a penchant for high-speed cars or the swift elegance of camels, our 2023 guide to the best festivals in UAE promises a diverse array of entertainment to captivate all.

The UAE, a realm of thrilling experiences and captivating cultural diversity, offers an ideal opportunity for newcomers to immerse themselves in the local culture through the exploration of festivals. From exhilarating dune buggy races to soul-soothing jazz melodies, and from charming camel beauty pageants to retail therapy, this nation hosts a vibrant tapestry of events suitable for the entire family and those seeking a memorable date night. Explore these vibrant, lively and best festivals in UAE.

Best Festivals in UAE

Best Festivals in UAE

Best Festivals in UAE are as follows…

Dubai Shopping Festival

When it comes to global fashion hubs, Dubai now stands proudly alongside Paris and Milan. If you’re moving to this vibrant city and have a penchant for retail therapy, why not elevate your shopping experience by indulging in the Dubai Shopping Festival? Since its inception in 1996, this festival has consistently been the preferred destination for savvy shoppers seeking remarkable deals. But the experience goes beyond just shopping, as it also features concerts, delectable food, and a variety of entertainment options suitable for the entire family. Just remember to pace yourself, as this festival spans over a month, affording you the luxury of time – a gesture your credit card will undoubtedly appreciate.

Eid Festivals: Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha

Eid Al Fitr, often simply known as Eid, signifies the conclusion of Ramadan, the sacred Islamic month of fasting. This festival holds immense religious significance in the Islamic world, and in the UAE, the entire nation unites to commemorate this occasion. Regardless of your location, you will encounter an array of festivities in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, ranging from discounts at department stores to awe-inspiring fireworks displays. The celebration doesn’t conclude here, as there are two Eid holidays each year; with Eid Al Adha following the annual Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj and occurring a few months after Eid Al Fitr.

UAE National Day

National Day holds a significant place in the UAE’s annual calendar, commemorating the country’s momentous occasion. Celebrated on December 2nd, it signifies the UAE’s formal independence from the UK and the unification of its seven emirates. During this special day, the locals proudly adorn themselves in the national flag’s colors and participate in a multitude of festivities, including captivating dance performances, concerts, and more. The heart of these jubilant celebrations is the Zayed Stadium, where innovative presentations narrate the rich history and culture of the UAE, featuring everything from military fly-pasts to mesmerizing dance exhibitions. If you’re seeking a genuine taste of UAE culture, you’ll undoubtedly discover it here.

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Best Festivals in UAE

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Since 2009, the UAE has been the thrilling host of the grand finale of the Formula 1 World Championship. The dazzling Yas Marina Circuit, illuminated by vibrant lights, sets the stage for the world’s fastest drivers as they compete for the coveted checkered flag. The entire city springs to life with an unmistakable Formula 1 fervor during the race weekend. For those unable to secure tickets for the race itself, practice sessions offer a thrilling alternative, and there’s an abundance of off-track entertainment to relish. And if you’re eager for high-speed excitement outside of Grand Prix weekend, Yas Island’s Ferrari World theme park is always ready to deliver thrills and spills.

Al Dhafra Festival

Al Dhafra stands as one of the world’s grandest celebrations of the indigenous Bedouin culture. Situated near the Empty Quarter, this festival offers a captivating glimpse into a spectrum of Emirati traditions, including falconry, camel racing, handicrafts, and live music performances. The children’s village is a haven for young ones, offering engaging activities such as art workshops and cooking classes. However, the entire family will be enthralled by the renowned Mazayna, the festival’s centerpiece. Essentially a camel beauty pageant, it holds immense significance for locals, and it’s not difficult to understand why, considering the impressive prize pool of approximately $15 million USD. Yes, you read that correctly. This is one beauty contest you won’t want to miss.

Best Festivals in UAE

Dubai International Film Festival

If you’re a dedicated film enthusiast, be sure to mark the Dubai International Film Festival on your calendar. This highly anticipated UAE event attracts some of Hollywood’s brightest stars to the city, offering fans and critics the opportunity to preview and discuss their latest cinematic endeavors. However, for many, the festival’s most compelling aspect is its commitment to supporting local filmmakers. It stands as one of the primary champions of Arabic cinema, having showcased more than 5,000 domestically-produced films since its inception in 2004. If you’re eager to experience a different facet of your new home, this event is a must-see.

Dubai International Jazz Festival

Since its inception in 2003, the Dubai International Jazz Festival has evolved into one of the most renowned music festivals in the Middle East. Alongside featuring world-class jazz artists, the event has welcomed award-winning international icons such as Ricky Martin and Alicia Keys. So, whether you’re a jazz aficionado or a pop enthusiast, the Dubai International Jazz Festival offers something special for everyone. This festival is held at the Media City amphitheater, so it’s advisable to secure your tickets in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on the experience.

Awafi Festival

Looking for an escape from the city buzz? Consider heading north to experience the well-loved Awafi Festival. Each spring, the arid dunes of Ras al-Khaimah’s desert come alive as thousands of locals gather to participate in this event that pays tribute to the rich ethnic and cultural heritage of the northernmost emirate. In addition to cultural attractions like theatrical performances and workshops showcasing local craftsmanship, you’ll discover a heritage village and a traditional souk market. For those seeking exhilaration, there’s even more to celebrate, with hundreds of locals engaging in intense car and dune buggy races across the rugged desert terrain.

Abu Dhabi Festival in the Park

Set within the serene confines of Umm Al Emarat Park, the Abu Dhabi Festival in the Park is a jubilant celebration of art and culture stemming from the seven emirates. This family-friendly event offers a diverse range of performances and workshops conducted in both Arabic and English. From creative kids’ craft sessions and invigorating drumming workshops to side-splitting stand-up comedy and Arabic film screenings, there’s something for every age group. To top it off, a market offers the opportunity to acquire a variety of locally-crafted products. This ticketed festival unfolds over a lively weekend in spring, so plan your visit in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on the joyous festivities.

Best Festivals in UAE