5 Best Festivals In The UAE You Need To Attend.

Skyline of Abu Dhabi from the Corniche beach

The United Arab Emirates is a diverse destination filled with gleaming, iconic metropolis sized cities, futuristic buildings, vast desert dunes and lush wadis, but one thing that still surprises visitors is the year round festivals that demand your attention! Here are just 5 of the best festivals you must see in the UAE no matter what time of year you visit!

The United Arab Emirates are home to some amazing festivals that cover a wide range of religious, cultural and sports events and cater to every taste no matter what time of the year you visit, so whether you plan a trip specifically to attend one or just happen to be in the UAE when one takes place, these festivals are well worth taking some time to explore and enjoy to really get a different taste of the region. Here are just 5 of the best festivals in the United Arab Emirates.

If you are travelling during one of these festivals it is always a good idea to book ahead for accommodation and tickets if you can, as this is one of those times where things get booked up quickly.


The end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting is a huge time for celebration across the world and one of the most important festivals in the UAE. Anyone who has experienced this anywhere in the world will tell you it is a time of huge celebration, but the UAE as always seems to want to do these celebrations bigger, better, more glitzier and certainly more expensive than anywhere else!

UAE Awafi Festival.

The Awafi festival is a celebration of the culture and the history of the union of the UAE. This mostly takes the form of outdoor sporting events including an epic sand dune race! There are also a ton of exhibitions and events all over the region and yo can always find an event or performance no matter where you are.

Dubai International Jazz Festival.

Love Jazz? A fan of Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday? Then you have to attend the International Jazz festival held every year in Dubai. It is one of the middle east’s longest running and most successful music festivals and are attended by thousands of music lovers around the world. It seems to grow every single year and now spans for over a week, hosting the best in Jazz acts from around the world.

National Day Festival.

The six Emirates came together as as the UAE in 1971 and now that union is celebrated every year as the National Day Festival. Considered one of the most important festivals in the UAE, this is an absolute must attend festival if you are in the region. Decorations are put up on every statue and public building, national monuments are open for public viewing and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in particular hold several events and celebrations.

Dubai Shopping Festival.

Abu Dhabi Shopping Mall

Dubai and shopping are as intertwined as fish and chips, bats and balls or well, the Two Ronnies, so obviously a festival to celebrate the ultimate in capitalist excess would have to be held in the ultimate capitalist destination! There are huge sales in every shopping mall and obviously there is a huge focus on shopping, but there are also fireworks and other events too.

Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.

A Rare Travel Surprise In The United Arab Emirates.


Essential Tips And Advice For Visiting The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque In Abu Dhabi.

Three Days In Abu Dhabi: The Perfect Itinerary For First Time Visitors.

What Can Travellers Wear In The United Arab Emirates: Dress Code Do’s And Don’ts For The UAE.

What Travellers Need To Know About Sharia Law In The UAE.

Why Dubai will never be more than a transit stop for me.

Michael Huxley is a published author, professional adventurer and founder of the travel website, Bemused Backpacker. He has spent the last twenty years travelling to over 100 countries on almost every continent, slowly building Bemused Backpacker into a successful business after leaving a former career in emergency nursing and travel medicine, and continues to travel the world on numerous adventures every year.

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Hi, I'm Michael! I'm a former nurse turned published author and world travelling professional adventurer! I have spent over twenty years travelling over 100 countries and I want to inspire you to do the same! Want to know more about me? Just click here!

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