Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Tue February 09 2016

6 Dubai Festivals We Can't Wait to Check Out

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | February 09, 2016

6 Dubai Festivals We Can't Wait to Check Out

TravelPulse file photo.

Dubai’s ability to respond quickly to changing market dynamics led the country to a very successful year for tourism and an upcoming slate of  high-end events are projected to help the city continue its growth spurt.

Annual figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) showed that Dubai attracted more than 14.2 million overnight visitors last year – making it the fourth most visited city in the world. This was an increase of 7.5 percent over 2014 and was double what the United Nations World Travel Organisation’s (UNWTO) predicted.

One of the ways in which Dubai continues to distinguish itself in the eyes of visitors is its roster of high-end events. The International Festivals and Events Association has named Dubai a "World Festival and Event City" three years in a row and the city’s ever-evolving calendar includes a bigger than ever Dubai Food Festival, the Dubai Comedy Festival now in its second year, a renewed Dubai Shopping Festival, and the upcoming inaugural XYoga Dubai Festival taking place this month.

Festival City

Dubai’s reputation as a festival city is well-deserved. It offers a growing calendar of activities and events throughout the year but most take place during the spring and winter months — so, right now — when temperatures are milder.

XYoga Festival Dubai

This two-day festival in its innaugural year invites people to find inner peace, outer strength and to hone their flexibility. Internationally acclaimed yogis will be on hand to for classes and there is plenty of retail therapy for those seeking yoga-related products. It’s one of the largest festivals of its kind and is free for participants. Dates are from Feb. 19-20.

Global Village

Now in its 20th year, Global Village is a five-month festival that began in November of last year. It’s one of the largest seasonal festivals in the region and is a combination of an open-air theme park, several individual festivals, shopping and entertainment. In a way, it is similar to Epcot at Disney World where there are 32 pavilions that represent more than 75 countries and cultures. There are shows, concerts, dining, fireworks, activities for families, authentic crafts and more – it even has its own iPhone app.

Dubai International Kite Festival/Dubai Shopping Festival

The sky painted with these colorful kites is sure to be a sight to behold when attending the Dubai International Kite Festival – it is one of the main attractions of the Dubai Shopping Festival and takes place at the Jumeirah Beach behind Sunset Mall from March 17 to 19.

This year, for the first time, Kite Fest will feature a Manja Kite Competition – popular throughout Asia. In the competition, kite fliers try to take down one another’s kites. The winner of the battle keeps the opponent's kite.

Emirates Airlines Dubai Jazz Festival

Jazz greats head to Dubai for this festival beginning on Feb. 24. The three-day event at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre will feature Toto, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Santana, Sting, James, David Gray, La Bomba de Tiempo,  and Chris Botti.

The festival is also known for its arts and crafts with an equally impressive lineup of artists for those who want to build their art collections, buy handicrafts and meet the artisans.

Dubai World Cup 2016

The Dubai World Cup 2016 is the biggest equestrian event in the region – it is also one of the biggest social events of the season. The event pays tribute to the Arabian love affair with horses and takes place at the Meydan Racecourse. It is also one of the richest days of racing in the world. The combined prize is said $30 million for nine high-class races.


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