Dubai Travel Guides

January

Dubai Shopping Festival: although Dubai is well known as a shopper's paradise at anytime of the year, the month of January is particularly good for bargain hunters. Throughout January, over two million visitors flock to Dubai for the month-long Shopping Festival, which seems to involve every shop in the city, with concerts, street theatre, firework shows and other events offering a welcome break from the city-wide shopping frenzy.

February

Dubai Desert Classic: this annual event, held at the Emirates Golf Club, is now one of the most popular golf tournaments in the European tour, with many of the world's leading golfers returning every year for the chance to play for generous prize money on what is generally regarded as the best golf course in the Middle East. The tournament consists of a challenge match on day one, a pro-am competition on day two and four further days consisting of the main competition.

March

Emirates World Series-Dubai World Cup: every year Dubai is home to the world's richest horse race, with a six million US dollar prize fund ensuring the annual presence of the world's best horses, jockeys and trainers. The action takes place at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, where state-of-the-art facilities and a superb track provide race goers with a unique and atmospheric venue at which to enjoy some of the international calendar's highest quality racing.

April

The Bride Show: during April, Dubai plays host to the annual Bride Show, which features a variety of events centred on the theme of weddings. The event attracts hundreds of exhibitors from all over the region, with the main events being held at the Dubai International Exhibition Center.

Dubai Summer Surprises: this 10-week festival kicks off in June and is the summer equivalent of the Dubai Shopping Festival, with concerts and activities spread around the city's many shopping centres, aimed at encouraging people to 'shop, save and celebrate'. The 10 weeks are divided into separate themes such as food, the arts, adventure and nature, while many of the city's hotels offer special 'shopaholic' packages to encourage visitors.

September

Motexha Textile Show: this annual trade fair is the largest of its kind in the Middle East and attracts exhibitors and shoppers from right across the region. The main fair is located at the Dubai International Exhibition Center and features over 500 exhibitors spread throughout 30 international pavilions that cover every branch of the clothing and textile industry.

November

Dubai Rugby Sevens: every year, the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club plays host to the first round of the IRB Sevens Series, with 16 international teams competing over three days for the prestigious trophy. The three days of competition are accompanied by various other shows and events designed to keep visitors of all ages entertained, while those new to rugby will find the fast and furious matches a good introduction to the sport.

December

National Day Festival: Dubai's National Day Festival is an annual day of celebration to commemorate the Emirates' independence from Great Britain, with many of the city's leading monuments opening their doors to the public and putting on special events throughout the day.

Dubai International Film Festival: Dubai has recently joined the long list of cities that celebrate the film industry with their very own festival, with film screenings and other events showcasing the best of Arab and world cinema. The festival's importance is set to grow in the coming years, as the number and quality of the films on display increases.

Religious Festivals

Ramadan: the Muslim festival of Ramadan lasts for a whole lunar cycle of 30 days and is observed by Muslims all over the world. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims must refrain from consuming anything for pleasure between the hours of sunrise and sunset, with all forms of food, drink, cigarettes and even sex being prohibited. Non-Muslims are also expected to observe the strict abstinence rules during this time, as breaking them in public is seen as highly offensive and disrespectful. The sighting of the moon that signifies the end of Ramadan brings about several days of wild celebration, with locals and visitors alike indulging in feasts and parties across the city.