25 Most Popular Fairs and Festivals in Dubai

Last Updated on November 7, 2020 by Darrif William

Dubai needs no introduction, being a millennial city, it attracts tourists from all over the world. The city has become a popular destination where celebration and enjoyment never ends. This is merely due to the fact that numerous festivals and events adorn Dubai’s yearly calendar. These events and fairs in Dubai beguile participants from across the globe. In this, we are going to cover Dubai’s famous 25 festivals you must attend when holidaying in the city.

1. Dubai World Cup


The Dubai World Cup is a horse racing events organised annually at the famous Meydan Racecourse. The race considered to be the world’s richest race with prize money of US $35 million. With the presence of the world’s best breed horses, trainers and jockeys the thrilling race takes place at the racecourse. Boosting world-class facilities along with electrifying ambience the race attracts both locals and tourists.

Date: Saturday 30 March
Location: Meydan Racecourse
Duration: 1Day

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2. Middle East Film and Comic Con


Abbreviated as MEFCC, the annual event takes place in the month of April. It features games,  cosplay, quizzes, competitions, and film screenings. It is one of the most popular events in Dubai to attract people of all ages. The event offers a great platform for budding Emirates to expose themselves to the word of comics, gaming and animation. Popular Hollywood stars also make an appearance which alludes more visitors.

Date: 11 – 13 APRIL 2019
Location:  Dubai World Trade Center
Duration: 3 Days

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3. Swim the Burj


The iconic hotel Burj Al Arab in the month of April gears itself for ‘Swim the Burj’ event. Competition is open for all people above the age of 16 years, and participants can compete in two different categories 1,600 meters and 800 meters swimming race. Again, an interesting event attracting locals and tourists. The event offers a great chance to watch participants swimming on the backdrop of the hotel.

Date: 12 April 2019
Location: Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Duration: 1 Day

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4. Arab Fashion Week


Started in the year 2015, the Arab Fashion Week supported by the Arab Fashion Council today has become the world’s only Ready-Couture fashion event. The event showcases designers from across the world and region that also includes 22 Arab League countries. Since its inception, the four-day event is in pursuit of joining the elite list of foreign fashion week events.

Date: 24 – 28 April 2019
Location: Dubai World Trade Centre
Duration: 3 Days

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5. Al Gaffal Dhow Race


The Al Gaffal Dhow Race is one of the most prominent watersports show of Dubai. It is annual event glorifying the old commercial activity of pearl diving. Dhows are indigenous traditional boats that were used by the native fishermen in the past for peal diving. People who take part in this event are mostly Emiratis and for them participating in the event is a matter of national pride.

Date: 27 April 2019
Location: Dubai
Duration: 1 Day

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6. Dubai Summer Surprise


The Dubai Summer Surprise is a month-long event offering visitors a range of attractions. Commonly known as the DSS, the sole aim of this event is to encourage people to visit Dubai during the offseason. The month-long event is divided into three events food, art, adventure and nature. Modhesh a life-size yellow mascot represents the festival helps in attracting the younger generation.

Date: 21 Jun – 3 Aug 2019
Location:  Dubai
Duration: 06 Weeks

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7. Dubai Fitness Challenge


The Dubai Fitness Challenge inaugurated by HH. Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai in 2017. The month-long event encourages locals and visitors to take part in 30 minutes of exercise every day to lead a healthier lifestyle. The free fitness classes which take place daily turns the city into a fitness enthusiast.

Date: 26 October to 24 November 2018
Location: Dubai
Duration: 28 Days

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8. Dubai Design Week


Since its inception in the year 2015, Dubai Design Week has become an annual festival in Dubai with a sole aim to promote design and creativity in the region. It features over 250 exhibitions, workshops and talks that are all free for the visitors to attend. The Dubai Design Week builds an ecosystem for the global design community and local talent to interact and expose themselves to the outside world.

Date: 11-16 November 2019
Location: Dubai
Duration: 6 Days

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9. National Day Festival


National Day is an annual celebration celebrating the merger of seven emirate states into one nation known as the United Arab Emirates. The festival marked by car rallies, fireworks, dance shows and various activities taking place all over the Emirates. Heritage Villages are set up across the UAE to celebrate the event in a more traditional way.  Arguably, it is one of the top festivals in Dubai locals awaits eagerly to celebrate.

Date: 2 December
Location: UAE
Duration: 1Day

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10. Dubai Rugby Sevens


The Dubai Rugby Sevens originated in the year 1970, an annual social event held at The Seven Stadium in Dubai. A total of 300 teams compete to take part in the prestigious tournament. Gear yourself to be the part of the three-day carnival and enjoy the crazy weekend. Apart, from the game, the event also features various other attraction keeping visitors engaged.

5 December–7 December 2019
Location: The Sevens, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 03 Days

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11. Dubai International Content Market


The Dubai International Content Market held in Dubai every year offers a platform where people can network, buy, sell, co-produce, finance and distribute entertainment content across the spectrum. It is the prominent content and entertainment market festival in the MENA region. It ferments ecosystem for professional in the field of media, internet and content to interact and do business.

Date: 9-10 December 2019
Location: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
Duration: 2 Days

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12. Taste of Dubai


The Dubai Festival of Taste is an annual food festival held at the famous Dubai Media City. The festival beguiles food lovers in which famous and top chefs from across the globe come together and prepare delicious dishes for numerous events. It also gives tips on cooking and how to make it presentable. Sure, the Festival of Taste is one of the topmost food fairs in Dubai.

Yet to be announced
Location: Dubai World Trade Centre

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13. Dubai Shopping Festival


The Dubai Shopping Festival by far is one of the most awaited shopping festivals. Being a shopper’s paradise, the festival attracts tourists and shopping enthusiasts from all over the globe. The shopper’s delight takes place in the month of January and involves virtually every shop in Dubai, offering great deals and discounts on an array of products. Also, various concerts, children’s entertainment and shows adorn the month-long shopping extravaganza.

Date: To be announced soon
Entire Dubai City
Duration: 1Month

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14. Dubai International Film Festival


Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the premiere film festival in Middle-East. The festival has attracted famous Hollywood stars such as Morgan Freeman, George Clooney and prominent members from the global film fraternity. It also inspires young independent filmmakers and art-house cinema to get a larger recognition from the audience.

Date: To be announce
Location: The Sevens, United Arab Emirate

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15. Dubai Bake Festival


Dubai Bake Festival offers locals and tourists to take part in one of the most awaiting baking events in the region. An annual festival held at the Green Park in Dubai Investments Park offers visitors to take part in various baking workshops and activities. People here can also buy the latest baking tools and can also sample delicious baked goods.

Date: Yet to be announced
Location: Dubai
6 Days

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16. Emirates Airline Festival of Literature


The Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature an annual festival held in Dubai, U.A.E. It features a whopping 250 sessions and various events, which include master classes, poetry reading, panel discussions and interactive workshops. The festival also conducts a special workshop for children to encourage local talents. Plus, visitors also get a golden chance to meet famous authors.

Date: To be announced soon
Location: InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City
Duration: 2 Days

17. Dubai Desert Classic


Dubai Desert Classic since its inception in the year 1989 has gained worldwide recognition. In this event, renowned golfers from all over the world take part to win hefty prize money. Emirates Golf Club hosts this prestigious event attracting tourists to enjoy the great game. The golf event has propelled Dubai as one of the prominent venues to play the game.

Date: 23rd – 26th January 2020
Location: Emirates Golf Club Dubai
Duration: 4Days

18. Dubai Marathon


If you are a fitness freak then Dubai Marathon is for you. It is a charitable event that takes place in the month of January to February. Dubai Marathon is an open event in which a person can take part by submitting a small fee. The event is divided into three parts to include a wide number of participants. The first is a 3km run, second 10 km and third 50 km marathon. The winner of every marathon gets a hefty prize.

Date: 24 – 27 January
Location: Emirates Golf Club
Duration: 4 Days

19. The Bride Show


The Bride Show a premier lifestyle and weeding annual event take place in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The show attracts more than 300 exhibitors consisting of fashion designers, cosmetologists, hairstylists and wedding planners. Several international brands take part in the mage event, other show includes cookery, marriage guidance and more.

Date: 5- 8 February 2020.
Location:  Dubai World Trade Centre
Duration: 4Days

20. Dubai Tennis Championships


Another world-class event, Dubai Tennis Championships attracts best tennis players with likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and many. Aviation Club serves as the venue of Dubai Open with championship consisting of ATP and WTA. It is one of the top events in Dubai and acts as a centrifugal force attracting tourists from across the globe. The Dubai Tennis Championships gives a fantastic chance to attend and watch your favourite players.

Date: Sunday, 17 February and ended on Saturday, 23 February
Location: Aviation Club Tennis Centre
Duration: 7 Days

21. Dubai International Jazz Festival


Dubai International Jazz Festival gives you another reason to visit this incredible city. It is an annual festival held at the Dubai Media City and attracts tourists from every spectrum. The warm ambience along with electrifying setting makes it a must-attend event. Famous celebrities to take part in this event are Toto, Jamie Cullum, Stanley Jordon and more.

Date: Wednesday 20 February and Friday 22 February
Location: Dubai Media City / DMC Amphitheatre
Duration: 3 Days

22. Dubai International Boat Show


Dubai International Boat Show an annual event and Middle-East’s biggest boating and lifestyle show. The event has a wide range of outdoor adventure to attract visitors from across the spectrum. Different collections of boats, yachts and more from over 40 countries take part in the event. Other attractions include watersports villages, incredible sea toys, fly board championship and the lists goes on.

Date: 10 -14 March, 2020
Location: Dubai
Duration: 5Days

23. Sikka Art Fair


The SIKKA Art Fair is a flagship initiative of Dubai art season held every year. The event supports the Emirati artists and offers a platform to showcase their talent. This trade fair in Dubai conducts various discourse and diverse programmes which includes all the audience. Live music, interactive workshops, art films along with fascinating art attracts both locals and visitors.

16-24 March 2019
Location: Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
Duration: 9 Days

24. Art Dubai


Art Dubai fair which held every year in the month of March in Dubai entices artists from the region and world. Since its inception in the year 2007, the art festival attracts significant visitors which is increasing with every year. The fair sees a congregation of regional and international curators, collectors and patrons. It has undoubtedly become the major event for any art connoisseur to visit.

Date: 20 Mar – 23 Mar
Location: Madinat Jumeirah
Duration: 4 Days

25. Dubai Kizomba Beach Festival


Gear yourself for an unforgettable and electrifying beach festival in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. The beach festival held at stunning Bin Majid beach resort situated at Ras Al Khaimah. The venue, 50 minutes away from Dubai includes workshops, animation and various theme parties. Party all day and night and relax at the beach.

Date: 21 March 2019
Location: Courtyard by Marriott Al Barsha, Dubai
Duration: 1Day

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