From various cultural events to sporting competitions, the United Arab Emirates boasts an extensive range of events, fairs and festivals that take place throughout the year and are well-known beyond the region. We’ve decided to share some of our top picks for events happening this year in the UAE! Whether you are a resident, passing through on a stopover or on holiday, we have something for everyone!
The United Arab Emirates is home to a diverse population of expats from across the world, and hosts some of the biggest cultural events and festivals in the region. Lately, umpteen large scale events dedicated to consumer lifestyle in the country have helped the economy prosper. The Dubai Shopping Festival has gained a reputation as the world’s biggest shopping and lifestyle festival. The month-long shopping extravaganza offers unique retail experiences, a line-up of exciting entertainment clubbed with amazing offers, sales and shopping deals unlike any other!
When: Now through 1st February 2020
Dubai is known for its diverse and multicultural food offering and this is exactly what Dubai Food Festival aims to showcase. Celebrating the biggest, best and most delicious food experiences in Dubai, the food festival includes a wide range of cuisines from five-star restaurants to your everyday dining options. Where else would you get to experience food and flavors from over 1,000 restaurants and 30 celebrity chefs?? Calling all food lovers experienced or non-experienced to sample authentic cuisines from around the world at this there is something for every budget.
When: 21st February until 9th March 2020
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is Dubai's biggest annual star-studded tennis tournament for every tennis enthusiast around the world! The competition has seen participation from some of the biggest names in the world of tennis, such as Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Goran Ivanisevic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic & Andy Murray, and will entice international tennis talents from the ATP World Tour & the WTA Tour to take part this year. The 28th edition of the event will feature a range of fun & friendly off-court activities for championship goers to enjoy around the grounds.
When: 17th February until 29th February
An annual event in the country is the Dubai World Cup. Popularly known as the world’s richest horse race and a major social event that sees participation from the crème de la crème of thoroughbred horses, trainers and jockeys, Dubai World Cup also serves as an occasion for members of the Royal family, high-profile owners, VIPs and celebrities. Marking the end of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, nine races are conducted over the course of one single night, with millions of US dollars’ worth of prize money awarded to the champions in this unique, not-to-be-missed Arabian adventure.
When: 7th March 2020
The annual Dubai International Boat Show at Dubai Harbour showcases the best of marine design, technology and luxury superyachts from around the world! The event offers a great platform for boat buyers, vendors, boating enthusiasts and the seafaring superrich. Every year the boat show hosts an unmatched line-up of superyacht builders featuring different boat accessories, a range of innovative water sports as well as fun-filled events & competitions for show-goers.
When: 10th March until 14th March
The Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) is the flagship summer shopping festival of the year. Running from June until August, DSS ensures complete entertainment for the entire family, with unbeatable deals on clothes, accessories, electronics, BTS discounts on school supplies as well as not-to-be-missed surprises and fun activities to keep everyone entertained. ‘Modesh’, the yellow caterpillar mascot of DSS can be found in across the city’s shopping malls, hotels, theme parks and entertainment centres. Make sure to take part in the 12-hour mega sale on the first day of the festival and the Deal of the Day discounts.
When: 21st June until 8th August 2020
An initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, (Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council for Dubai Government) in 2017, Dubai Fitness Challenge is an annual event that encourages residents to live a healthier lifestyle by challenging them to participate in 30 minutes of exercise for 30 consecutive days. The entire city transforms into an interactive playground for fitness fanatics as free fitness classes, family-friendly events and activities for all ages and segments of the community are conducted throughout the 30-day challenge.
When: October – November 2020
The Global Village is another annual cultural and shopping festival that provides a fun platform to learn about the art, music, cuisines, and traditions of other countries. As Dubai’s largest open-air theme park in Dubailand, Global Village offers a wide range of entertainment, shopping, cultural and festive events. There is something for everyone in this annual cultural extravaganza that runs from October until April every year, when pavilions are set up to represent more than 75 countries from MENA, Europe, Far East, Africa, The Americas, and South Asia. Every country pavilion has cultural shows, shopping stalls selling unique merchandise, restaurants and leisure activities for the family.
When: Now through April 2020 & from October 2020 – April 2021
Between October 2020 and April 2021, the UAE will host the first World Expo Trade in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. The Expo 2020 will have more than 192 nations from all over the world gather together to showcase their products and craftsmanship. Thousands of business and technology leaders, non-governmental organizations, corporations and other institutions will exhibit their cultural heritage, architectural & technological progress, innovations through hundreds of pavilions. The theme of Expo 2020 is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.
When: 20th October until 10th April 2021