UAE Festivals: A Vibrant Journey through Top 20 Dubai’s Cultural and Music Events

Eslam Mobarak
Published 1 month ago on 25 May, 2024-392 views
Top 20 UAE Festivals and Dubai's Cultural and Music Events and Abu Dhabi

UAE festivals are renowned for their rich cultural heritage and unique celebrations. From religious holidays to art and entertainment events, the UAE hosts diverse festivals that engage locals and visitors. In this post, we will look at ten major UAE festivals: Eid al-Fitr, Dubai Shopping Festival, Abu Dhabi Festival, Al Dhafra Festival, UAE National Day, Dubai Jazz Festival, Liwa Date Festival, Sharjah Light Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, and Global Village. These events capture the spirit of Emirati traditions, arts, and entertainment, giving attendees a memorable experience.

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UAE Festivals

The United Arab Emirates is one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and undoubtedly one of the most powerful in the area. Aside from the magnificent architecture and wide deserts, the UAE is also noted for its cultural diversity. The United Arab Emirates is home to some of the most global cities in the Middle East, and there are a variety of cultural and religious festivals to attend while vacationing in the town of Sheiks.

Join an exciting journey to the United Arab Emirates, where vivid Arabic celebrations await guests. In this guide to the top festivals and events, you’ll learn about the region’s rich tradition and cultural tapestry. Discover the appeal of the UAE’s holiday festivities, which include glittering camel racing and time-honored customs amidst the dunes.

Whether you desire the throbbing intensity of metropolitan parties or the quiet elegance of traditional emirate gatherings, our exploration will provide an unforgettable experience. Join us as we reveal the rich tapestry of festivals waiting for brave adventurers in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula.

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Top 20 Captivating UAE Festivals

UAE festivals weave together a tapestry of traditions, vivid celebrations, and highly intriguing cultural experiences. From religious festivals like Eid al-Fitr to art and entertainment extravaganzas like the Abu Dhabi Festival and Dubai International Film Festival, these gatherings bring people together, creating solidarity and appreciation for the country’s rich past. Whether you’re looking for cultural immersion, shopping delights, or artistic expression, UAE festivals cater to a wide range of interests and offer exceptional experiences for everyone.

Welcome to the United Arab Emirates, a lovely place full of exciting things to see and do! In this article, we will tell you about some incredible festivals and events that take place here. Consider a large party with lots of fun occurring! You will see many vibrant colors, hear lively music, and learn about unique traditions passed down through the years. This will undoubtedly leave you with memories that you will cherish, whether you are a child or an adult with a youthful spirit. The following are the top cultural festivals and events in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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Shopping Festival Dubai

Shopping Festival Dubai
Shopping Festival Dubai

Visit the Dubai Shopping Festival for an interesting shopping experience! This happens every year between January and February. It began in 1996 as a way to make people excited about shopping in Dubai, and has now grown into a month-long celebration! During this event, you can get great offers and discounts on the items you want to buy. But it’s more than simply shopping!

There are also live performances featuring singers, dancers, and other entertainers. You can even see incredible pyrotechnics in the sky that light up like magic! So, if you enjoy shopping and want to experience the energy and enjoyment of Dubai, this festival is ideal for you.

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Abu Dhabi Festival on March

Abu Dhabi Festival on March
Abu Dhabi Festival on March

This amazing occurrence happens every March. It debuted in 2004 and brings together talented musicians, dancers, and artists from around the world. This festival will feature incredible performances. Musicians would perform lovely music, dancers would demonstrate their astounding moves, and artists would present incredible artwork. You can also visit exhibitions that stimulate your thinking and workshops where you can try out various artistic activities.

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Al Dhafra Festival

Al Dhafra Festival
Al Dhafra Festival

Let’s go on an adventurous excursion to the Al Dhafra Festival, which takes place from December to January. This celebration is all about commemorating the Emirati people’s distinct customs and heritage, particularly those related to the desert. Imagine viewing fantastic camel races in which the camels gallop quickly. You can also observe falconry shows, in which trained falcons demonstrate their flying abilities. In addition, traditional music and dance performances will entice you to dance.

They also have a camel beauty contest to determine the most attractive camel. Another is the date packaging competition, in which participants demonstrate how skillfully they can package luscious fruit dates. Overall, the Al Dhafra Festival is a unique view into the UAE’s fascinating past and strong relationship to the desert.

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Liwa Date Festival on July

Liwa Date Festival on July
Liwa Date Festival on July

Enjoy some tasty dates at the Liwa Date Festival! It takes place every July, and it is all about honoring this unique fruit that is significant in the UAE. At this event, you can sample many types of dates and observe a bustling market where people purchase and sell dates. There is also a tournament in which people climb date palm trees! It also provides an opportunity to learn about the significance of dates in Emirati culture. You can also learn how dates are grown in a way that is environmentally friendly and sustainable.

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Dubai Food Festival

Dubai Food Festival
Dubai Food Festival

If you’re a foodie, go on a delicious experience at the Dubai Food Festival! It happens once a year and is all about trying new and wonderful cuisine. During this festival, you may find food from all over the world, with a variety of flavors. You can also taste wonderful street snacks or have a formal lunch at a restaurant. It’s a chance for chefs to show off their culinary skills and create the most exquisite delicacies. But it’s more than simply eating! There are also enjoyable activities such as cooking demos, where you can learn how to prepare your favorite foods. They also host special events where you may learn about various delicacies and their origins.

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Sharjah Light Festival on February

Sharjah Light Festival
Sharjah Light Festival

This unique event transforms renowned buildings and landmarks into magnificent works of art using only lighting. Imagine traveling down illuminated streets and witnessing incredible light shows that communicate stories about culture, history, and new ideas. This festival will undoubtedly pique your interest, and it makes the entire area feel like a fantastic realm. It is for individuals of all ages to enjoy and have a good time. They created this event in 2010 to highlight the beauty of Sharjah’s architecture and culture. Aside from this festival, Sharjah has several intriguing sites to explore.

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Eid Al Fitr Follows Ramadan

Eid Al Fitr Follows Ramadan
Eid Al Fitr Follows Ramadan

Celebrate the joyous occasion of Eid al Fitr! This celebration follows Ramadan, the Islamic calendar’s unique month of fasting. However, the day of Eid Al Fitr varies each year according to the lunar calendar. During this event, families exchange gifts, eat delicious meals, and have fun with their community. People are doing traditional dances, and there are colorful decorations everywhere, making everything look wonderful. Eid Al Fitr is all about getting together and feeling grateful. It is a time to love and be kind to others while also being appreciative of what we have.

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Dubai Jazz Festival on February

Dubai Jazz Festival
Dubai Jazz Festival

If you enjoy dancing and having a good time, then the Dubai Jazz Festival is for you! This is one of the exceptional events that occur each year. Jazz is a genre of music that combines several forms, such as blues and soul, to create a unique and lovely sound that makes you want to dance and sing along. This festival will feature calm and cool music that will undoubtedly make you pleased. The musicians play with such passion that it’s incredible to watch them. It doesn’t matter your age as long as you enjoy music.

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UAE National Day on December 2nd

UAE National Day
UAE National Day

Get set to celebrate UAE National Day on December 2nd, every year! This is a particularly important festival because the seven emirates merged to become the United Arab Emirates. During this period, there are large parties with parades, spectacular fireworks displays, and shows showcasing UAE culture. Traditional dances are performed, and visitors can learn about the country’s history and accomplishments. This festival provides an opportunity to learn while still having fun.

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Global Village

Global Village in UAE
Global Village in UAE

Get ready for an unforgettable trip at the Global Village, which is open from October to April. The event is like entering a whole new universe where you can learn about many countries’ customs and traditions, as well as sample their exquisite cuisine. The Global Village will wow you with live performances and a plethora of stuff to purchase, ranging from unusual items to fascinating souvenirs. Remember the exciting rides that are suitable for both children and adults. Imagine a place where you can tour the world without leaving—that is precisely the point of Global Village. It resembles a large melting pot of civilizations.

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Dubai International Film Festival

Dubai International Film Festival
Dubai International Film Festival

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the region’s premier cinematic event, presenting a broad range of international and regional films from a variety of genres and languages. In addition to screenings, the festival offers red-carpet premieres, industry workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities for filmmakers and industry professionals. DIFF provides a global forum for cultural exchange, artistic innovation, and storytelling. Typically hosted in November or December in Dubai. Cost Ticket costs vary based on the film screenings, events, and passes.

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Al Awafi Festival

Al Awafi Festival
Al Awafi Festival

The Al Awafi Festival is a dynamic celebration of Bedouin culture and traditions, providing guests with an immersive experience amid the Al Ain desert. Traditional music and dance performances, camel races, falconry exhibitions, crafts marketplaces, and delicious cuisine are among the highlights. Visitors can learn about Bedouin customs, heritage, and lifestyle while enjoying entertainment. Admission to the festival grounds is free every year in October or November; however, some events may need payment or a ticket purchase.

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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Abu Dhabi Grand
Abu Dhabi Grand

Since 2009, the UAE has hosted the dramatic finale of the Formula One World Championship. Under the lights of the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit, the world’s fastest drivers compete on the track for the coveted checkered flag. During race weekend, the entire city comes alive with an undeniable Formula 1 buzz. If you can’t acquire tickets to the race, there are practice sessions and lots of off-track activities to enjoy. If you can’t wait until Grand Prix weekend, Yas Island’s Ferrari World theme park offers plenty of high-speed thrills.

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Abu Dhabi Festival Park

Abu Dhabi Festival Park
Abu Dhabi Festival Park

Abu Dhabi’s Festival in the Park, held in the verdant environs of Umm Al Emarat Park, highlights the seven emirates’ art and culture. The UAE event is family-friendly, with performances and workshops in both Arabic and English. From children’s crafts and drumming classes to stand-up comedy and Arabic cinema screenings, there’s something for everyone. There is even a market where you can buy a variety of locally-made things. The ticketed festival takes place over a single action-packed weekend in spring. So schedule your visit ahead of time to avoid missing out on the festivities.

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The Prophet’s Birthday

The Prophets Birthday
The Prophets Birthday

The Prophet’s Birthday is one of the most important occasions on the Islamic calendar. The day commemorates the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammed. Locals frequently commemorate the anniversary with parades that demonstrate their admiration and love for him. These celebrations typically end with a lunch (and birthday cake) with friends and family. However, be warned that the Prophet’s Birthday is a dry day, which means that alcohol sales are restricted in pubs and restaurants throughout the UAE.

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Dubai World Cup

Dubai World Cup
Dubai World Cup

The World Series of Horse Racing, often known as the Dubai World Cup, is widely regarded as the world’s richest horse race, with a total prize purse of $12 million. Technically a 10-furlong dirt race for thoroughbred horses, the World Cup night has eight distinct dirt races (including a purebred Arabian race) before the final race at Dubai’s Meydan Race Course. The race day, founded by Sheikh Al Maktoum, has grown to be a much-anticipated event in the area and around the world. The Emirates World Series Horse Race Location is Meydan Racecourse, Dubai.

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Dubai Marathon

Dubai Marathon 2024
Dubai Marathon 2024

Another fantastic UAE Festival, this marathon features three different races: 3 km, 10 km, and 50 km. People travel from all over the world to attend this magnificent event, which has a low entry charge. The marathon, on the other hand, is a charity event in which individuals from all walks of life compete enthusiastically in a test of strength and endurance. The location is in front of the Madinat Jumeirah.

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Dubai Desert Classic

Dubai Desert Classic
Dubai Desert Classic

The Dubai Desert Classic is the largest golf event in the UAE. It has been a part of the European Tour since 1989, with a stunning $3 million prize money, and is contested on the Majlisgolfing greens in the cosmopolitan city of Dubai. Because all of the top players on the tour attend this annual event, it is the ultimate golfing spectacular in the UAE. The location is Emirates Golf Club Dubai Desert Classic.

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Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

UAE Airline Festival of Literature
UAE Airline Festival of Literature

This international literature festival is quickly becoming one of the top UAE festivals. Under the direction of Ahlam Bolooki, the festival hosts around 250 different sessions in each edition, with hundreds of writers from around the world. There are writing and poetry workshops, readings, conversations, and a variety of other activities for both children and adults. The festival focuses on developing future writers and encouraging talent within the country. The location is the Intercontinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City.

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Eid al-Adha

Eid al Adha in UAE
Eid al Adha in UAE

Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, is one of Islam’s most important festivals. It recalls Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH)’s willingness to sacrifice his son in service to Allah. It is a big Muslim celebration that lasts three to four days in June. The majority of Muslims attend special prayers at major mosques and Islamic centers around the world, including in the United States.

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What is the national festival of the UAE?

The UAE National Day (Arabic: Al Yawm Al Watani) is observed on December 2 each year to commemorate the foundation of the United Arab Emirates.

What cultural festival is held in the UAE?

The Al Dhafra Festival celebrates Emirati heritage and traditions, providing a fascinating peek into Bedouin life. Highlights include camel beauty contests, falconry demonstrations, traditional dances, cultural shows, and handicraft marketplaces.

What are the most famous festivals in Dubai?

List of Dubai Festivals:
1. Eid Al Fitr
From May 24th to 26th.
2. Eid Al Adha
From July 3rd to August 2nd (depending on the Islamic calendar).
3. Dubai WorldCup
Last Saturday of March.
4. Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif
On October 28 or 29, 2020 (depending on the Islamic calendar).
5. National Day Festival
on December 2nd.

What are some festivals in the UAE?

The UAE’s culture is a delightful blend of Arabic customs, ancient Bedouin traditions, and modern global influences. The festivals celebrated in the UAE combine religious and contemporary events. Eid, Diwali, and Christmas are widely celebrated in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


UAE Festivals, from the traditional Awafi Festival to the glamorous Dubai International Film Festival, offer a rich tapestry of cultural experiences. Whether it’s the religious festivals of the UAE or the thrilling Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, these events are a testament to the UAE’s vibrant traditions and modern allure. Today’s UAE festival, like every other, promises a unique blend of heritage and innovation. Head up and experience the time of year at these UAE festivals, when joy and vibrancy fill every vacuum in this state alliance. Plan a trip to the UAE to experience the magnificence of these festivities!

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