Dubai, which is a religious country, is home to various festivals and holidays throughout the year and attracts more tourists from all over the world. If Dubai is your favorite destination among all 7 emirates, do not miss these occasions below when it takes place lots of enjoyable activities and events.
1. Dubai shopping festival
The Middle East’s biggest shopping festival takes place in Dubai and includes many smaller events like Festivity and Lights, Shopping and Glamour, Sports & Adventure, Multi Cuisine Food, and Cosmopolitan Culture. Though Dubai is a heaven for shopaholics throughout the year, January is still the best month for bargain hunters. Every January, over two million visitors flock to Dubai for crazy shopping across all stores, making Dubai becomes a cosmopolitan city. During the season, the city is frequently filled with colorful lights. Furthermore, the Dubai Shopping Festival is not only about shopping. There will be firework displays, pop-up fashion shows, and plenty of entertainment activities for people of all ages.
This year, Dubai Shopping Festival 2020 will last for one month, from 26th December 2019 to 1st February 2020.
Dubai has been known as a shoppers’ paradise for over the last 20 years since UAE Vice President first celebrated an epic shopping festival in 1996 and received a huge number of visitors. The festival brings to every shoppers special discounted prices and tax-free shopping in all malls and even markets. This is one of the yearly festivals in Dubai, that not only attracts tourists worldwide but also people from the other emirates. They all come to take advantage of the bargain deals along with concerts, children’s entertainment, firework shows, and so on. Moreover, Dubai is an excellent shopping destination in the world for Gold. The Shopping Fest will offer heavy discount and best deals for Gold, every year. In this gold market, Middle East’s reputed jewelry retailer showcase top limited international jewelry collection, some of which have never been seen before.
Major places for shopping are Global Village and big malls. In addition, Al Rigga Street, Night Souk, Al Fahidi For, Gold Souk, The Layali Dubai Concert, Promenade at Dubai Festival City, DSF Desert Camp, Asianet Film Awards, Al Seef Street, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai Gold Souk, Festival Waterfront Centre, Lamcy Plaza, Dragon Mart, Mercato Shopping Mall, and Lulu Village,…. are also other places where you can make the most of Dubai Shopping Festival and get things that you look for. Drawing in more than 5 million guests annually, Global Village is Dubai’s most well-known shopping destination, featuring 27 themed pavilions, which represent over 75 cultures.
The opening time of Global Village is often from 4 pm to midnight on weekdays and 4 pm to 1 am on weekends and public holidays.
If you are going along with your family, taking your kids to Dubai Dolphinarium where there are various fun activities to keep them occupied. Moreover, they also have chances to meet their favorite cartoon characters like Pokemon, Casper or Tarzan.
One of the most colorful parades and art activity is Carnival, which is held every weekend during the month-long festival. There will be spectacular parades with performances by famous international artists and sometimes by acrobats, dancers, percussionists, musicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, cyclists, and so on. Furthermore, there are also jazz performances and live concerts. The DSF also offers Desert Camp which mainly focuses on the Emirati heritage. Highlights are a barbecue facility and food court offering sumptuous local foods, among others. Tourists who would like to get themselves indulged in a little bit of shopping can buy traditional items from the souks here. As you take some time off from shopping, learn about the rich cultural history of the place located at the Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest existing building in Dubai, which was built in 1787.
2. Dubai International Jazz Festival
The first edition of Dubai International musical event took place in January 2003, has won 8 distinctive awards since then and attracts a huge amount of international tourists worldwide. Held at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Jazz Fest is another anticipated music festival in Dubai. It is the chance to meet big names in the Jazz community such as Duran Duran, John Legend, and Ricky Martin Mariah Carry,...
This year, Dubai Jazz Festival will last for 3 days, between Wednesday, February 26 and Friday, February 28, 2020, at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.
Brought to you by Emirates Airlines, the Dubai Jazz Festival 2020 is expected to be a large event ever. Jazz fans can expect to hear popular songs from the hit groups, which have sold more than 10 million albums worldwide, including Apologize, which was later remixed by Timbaland; All the Right Moves, Counting Stars. The first day is headlined by Ms. Lauryn Hill, a super talented artist who was a singer, songwriter, and rapper and is sure to entice you with her contemporary sound and voice. Otherwise, on the second day, February 27th, Lionel Richie will perform hits like “My Love”, “Easy and Three Times A Lady”... with the support from an American jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra. They are known for their signature sound, which is a combination of jazz, R&B, funk, and pop.
3. Diwali festival
Diwali, also known as “festival of lights”, is celebrated at the end of autumn, usually falls in October and November. There is no good place like Dubai for this colorful and vibrant event to take place. The festival is spread across five days and marks the start of the new year on the Hindu calendar. Moreover, Diwali is also the most significant Hindu Festival that celebrates Good over Evil.
Here are our picks of highlight activities to do during the time of Diwali festival:
- If you are traveling to Dubai at the right time of the festival of lights, watching the firework is a must-not-miss activity. Dubai Festival City Mall always offers a great view to witness an extravagant and fantastic firework display. The firework is expected to begin after 8 p.m, so be sure to find a suitable seat before the show starts.
- Go shopping at the Diwali Mela (Market): Visitors can head down to Diwali Mela at Al Seef street to shop for some traditional jewelry, handcrafts, colorful Indian costumes... People can find many gifts for their family and friends, ranging from sweets to gold and silver jewelry.
- Enjoy the live concert at Bollywood theme park: Bollywood park is commonly horned to host various shows and festivals. Numerous Bollywood celebrities perform at shows here, along with multiple concerts by famous singers.
- Enjoy various types of entertainment facilities in the Pointe, a waterfront complex of upscale shops and restaurants. Careem, which is one of the popular transport apps in Dubai offers all rides to and from The Pointe for tourists who wish to join the celebrations. The Pointe houses several fine dining restaurants, fast food outlets, and cafes to satisfy the food cravings of all its visitors — no matter what their preferences are. The Pointe is easily accessible via The Palm Monorail that is connected with the Dubai Tram and Metro Stations.
4. Marathon Festival
Dubai Marathon is a charitable funding event that allows participants to take part in with a small fee but get the chance to win a hefty cash prize. Therefore, it has become one of the biggest annual events in Dubai that have witnessed thousands of participants and the numbers are still growing every year. Taking place every January, Marathon Festival offers three types of races which include a 3 km “fun run” for beginners, who do not have a good fitness; a long-distance race, which is 10 km and 50 km roads for only 18-year-old and over runners.
This event is held on 24th January 2020 at Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim Road with entry fees start from AED 183 (USD $50).
Spectators can cheer the runners on and enjoy the festive ambiance filled with healthy snacks and sports accessories from all the top brands, so head down with family or friends for a fun, sporty day in the sunshine.
5. Eid al-Adha
The celebration of Eid-al-Adha is the second largest religious holiday celebrated by Muslims annually, after Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. This is also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, which remembers the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), who was commanded by God to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. The exact date of Eid al-Adha bases on the lunar calendar and different for each country. In Dubai, this year the festival will fall on 31st July, 1st, and 2nd August.
Dubai Eid al-Adha is a spectacular time as the city erupts with firework and entertainment activities. While in the area, explore the newest section of City Walk for some of Dubai's freshest options in dining and shopping. It is also an occasion for Emirati people to prepare a variety of dishes, visit friends or relatives, and exchange Eid Al Adha greetings and gifts. During the first day of the holiday, there are several traditional customs that Muslim devotees follow:
- Performing ablution and offering Fajr or the first of the five obligatory daily prayers.
- Make houses super clean.
- Dress up new clothes.
After Eid al-Adha prayers are over, Muslims obey a traditional custom by sacrifice an animal (normally cow, goat or ram) to pay respects for Abraham. The animal can be male or female, however, there are certain rules that must be followed like the required age, good health and not in handicap status. The sacrificed meat must be divided into three parts —one-third for the host family, another third is distributed amongst close relatives and the rest is given to those less fortunate, poor or homeless people.
These days off is a big chance for both business and shoppers. Shopping hubs and malls get into the spirit of the festive season and are always crowded by people who wish to get big discounts. Therefore, many tourists flock to Dubai this time for shopping while big clothing brands offer sales for Eid collections.
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