Dubai Events & Festivals

Events and FestivalsA wide range of events form an important part of the entertainment options depending on the time of year holidaymakers visit Dubai. Be it the golf or tennis championships, or horseracing events, spectator sports are great to watch and ensure a vibrant social scene. There are also a variety of concerts and festivals with international artists, bands and musicians held most frequently in winter when the weather is Dubai is awesome. Here are just a sample. More details are available in the relevant course modules and on the Definitely Dubai website:

Dubai Shopping Festival

The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has played a major role in promoting Dubai to the stature it enjoys around the world today as shoppers paradise. Today, DSF is a leading global event that employs innovation to offer the finest in shopping, winning, and family entertainment.

Held in January-February every year, it attracts world-renowned entertainment events to Dubai, many of which make their Middle East debut during DSF. DSF also highlights the latest destinations and attractions in Dubai that are a symbol of the emirate’s growing popularity and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Dubai Summer Surprises

Dubai Summer Surprises is the hot weather counterpart of the Dubai Shopping Festival. For ten weeks, there are special events in many of the shopping malls with themes changing weekly. This annual festival event was launched in the summer of 1998 by the Dubai government in order to promote Dubai as a family holiday destination in the region. It focuses on fun, knowledge, and entertainment for kids during the yearly summer vacation and attracts families year after year.

The Dubai Summer Surprises normally runs during the months of June to August. The weeks of the DSS are divided into themes called surprises and named according to the activities being held during that period. The different surprises are organized by various government departments, in association with the shopping malls, hotels, and sponsoring companies.

In addition to the above, Dubai plays host to world-class sports events. Here are three. A calendar of other sports events is provided under the section on Sports Tourism.

Horse racing – Dubai World Cup

The brainchild of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai World Cup is a fitting tribute to his love of horses and of horseracing.

The inaugural Dubai World Cup meeting was held in 1996. Today, the world’s richest horse race is held at the iconic Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse. More than 50,000 race goers attend the Dubai World Cup meeting each year.

Golf – Dubai Desert Classic

The Dubai Desert Classic, first played in 1989, is the torchbearer of professional golf in the Middle East. This annual tournament forms part of the PGA European Tour and is usually hosted in January/February each year.

The history of the tournament goes back to 1986 when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai approved an innovative concept of developing a grass golf course in the desert. Just two years later, Emirates Golf Club was opened and shortly afterwards, the idea of stepping even further ahead by establishing a world-class golf tournament was conceived. The event has grown in size and popularity since 1989.

The Dubai Desert Classic offers the absolute best experience for spectators and out-of-town guests wanting to see the best players in the world up close and personal.

Powerboat Racing

Powerboat racing in Dubai is an electrifying spectacle for those who would prefer the combination of speed and thrill. The people of Dubai are very passionate about this sport and it has become an integral part of sports and recreation in Dubai. The city has been the host to some of the biggest powerboat races in the world.

An important leg of the UIM Class One World Powerboat Championship, the biggest powerboat-racing event in the world is held in Dubai. The Dubai Grand Prix is the final round of this championship and is generally held in December.

The tournament witness’s contestants round the globe. The thrilling sight of innumerable buzzing boats rushing in the blue waters of the Arabian Gulf is enjoyed by thousands of people.

The most famous powerboat racing team in Dubai is the Victory Team. A regular participant in the biggest powerboat races, this team has brought laurels to the Dubai’s sporting culture.

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