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Start the new year with a shopping spree at one of the city’s biggest festivals, the Dubai Shopping Festival (26 December 2019 – 1 February 2020), followed by an action-packed month of prestigious sporting events. Dubai’s polo season starts on 24 January with the first of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup’s five tournaments, the Silver Cup, while over at the Emirates Golf Club, some of the world’s greatest golfers will tee off on 23 January at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Even the live concerts calendar fills up with heavyweight appearances by British star Robbie Williams, Egyptian sensation Amr Diab and Bollywood icon Sonu Nigam.
From sports to literature, February guarantees something for everyone. Celebrating all things gastronomy, Dubai Food Festival invites everyone to indulge in Dubai’s wealth of fine dining experiences, curated menus, hidden food stops, masterclasses and more. Bookworms can delight in the annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which brings discussions with recognised writers to Dubai, while pop lovers can see Bastille, Stormzy and more at RedFest DXB from 6-7 February. One for the sporting fans, the celebrated Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which has seen victories by Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, returns for another season of high-energy matches.
March is art season in Dubai. Creative souls will love the latest edition of the region’s largest contemporary art fair, Art Dubai, where they can enjoy exhibitions, talks and panels by leaders of the global art world. Meanwhile, zombies, superheroes, villains and movie stars will make an appearance at the annual Middle East Film and Comic Con – the region’s biggest pop culture fair from 5-7 March. It’s also off to the races with the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse on 28 March. Dress to the nines for this grand affair and catch majestic horses and their gifted jockeys compete for a USD$35 million prize purse.
The Islamic fasting month of Ramadan begins towards the end of April, offering visitors and residents the opportunity to experience Arabian hospitality at its finest. Watch as the streets light up with regular Iftars and Suhoors (meals served during the fasting month), vibrant night markets and a sense of peace and serenity. Earlier in April, there's World Art Dubai, where you can indulge in your affinity for art, in case you didn't get enough of it in March. At this affordable retail art fair, enthusiasts can explore collections from over 150 international galleries. And if you’re a fan of One Direction, don’t miss former band member Louis Tomlinson perform at the Coca-Cola Arena on 18 April.
The end of Ramadan brings Eid Al Fitr, one of the most significant holidays on the Islamic calendar. Families come together for delicious feasts to mark the occasion and, citywide cultural displays, shopping offers and entertainment raise spirits. From malls to buzzing destinations like City Walk, a great many experiences pop up to give visitors and residents a memorable glimpse into local traditions. Add an edge to your celebrations with rock legends Iron Maiden, who are performing in Dubai for the first time in 11 years on 27 May.
The region’s largest indoor sporting venue, Dubai Sports World, carries on sports fun through the summer at Dubai World Trade Centre. Explore all the activities available, from group fitness sessions to competitive tournaments and pitches for rent. Football, volleyball, table tennis and parkour – athletes of all levels and ages will find something to match their interests. For little ones, there will be special clubs and camps to keep them busy and active all summer long.
It’s time for Eid Al Adha, the second major holiday on the Islamic calendar. It marks the end of the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca – one of the greatest religious observances in Islam. Also known as the greater Eid, Dubai’s festivities go into full swing with a packed week of activities. Tour the city’s retail destinations for roaming entertainment and captivating stage shows to delight the whole family and keep an eye out for special sales.
This month will see the city host the decade’s most anticipated event, Expo 2020, starting 20 October. See future-defining innovations from around the world, which are sure to to inspire, delight and astonish all ages. If you’re going to be in the city in October, we recommend you pack your sneakers for the annual Dubai Fitness Challenge. The challenge encourages individuals to perform 30 minutes of physical activity for 30 days to promote healthier living, with thousands of free group classes and exciting fitness events.
Make the most of Dubai’s cool outdoors roaming through the Dubai Design District at the region’s largest creative festival, Dubai Design Week. With tons of interactive installations and workshops, the six-day event showcases innovative designs by graduate students and renowned studios from around the world. Its sister showcase, Downtown Design, celebrates imaginative products and limited-edition creations, setting the tone for interior, graphic, product and furniture design in the Middle East.
This month is Dubai’s favourite! Start off with a series of parades, activities and performances marking the UAE National Day on 2 December. Look forward to one of the longest-running sporting events in the city, the Rugby Sevens, which is much more than a series of rugby matches thanks to concerts by A-listers, family activities and more. And of course, Dubai’s New Year’s Eve is sure to delight you with awe-inspiring fireworks and parties year after year.
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Site last updated [20/02/2020]
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