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The special Feasts and Events in UAE

In addition of traditional holidays that are related with the tradition of Islamic religion in UAE, you can experience very interesting events throughout the whole year in various months. In the UAE you can see celebrations connected with the traditional culture of these countries and secular celebrations and events related to sports, shopping and tourism.

Traditional Islamic holidays are governed by the lunar Hijri calendar and are variable. Hijri calendar starts on the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. The Islamic calendar is lunar and the year has 354 days,which is 12 months,their length alternating between 30 and 29 days. UAE thus have their year shorter for about 11 days then our year, which follows the Gregorian calendar. Both the calendar are moving towards each other and about once every 33 years the difference between the dates is reduced by one year.

UAE citizens have day off on National Days. The residents keep all Muslim holidays take for example Islamic new Year or Birthday of Prophet Muhammad-Milad al-Nabi, which fell on 20th of March in 2008.



The major Islamic holiday is Ramadan (name of the month), which is celebrated in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when believers hold fasting from dusk to dawn. That’s why all the restaurants are closed during the day and people are allowed to eat as desired just at night.

In recent years, mainly due to the number of foreigners who permanently live in UAE, many restaurants are open. Their entry is decently veiled in order not to see the guests as they eat.

As tourists we should respect these rules in any case and realize, that it’s not suitable to eat and drink on the street in these days. It’s even forbidden and it may happen, that a violation of these rules will be warned or you can expect the police prosecution.

Pregnant women, children or the sick and elderly don’t have to follow the fasting.

Date of the next Ramadan falls on 20.7.2012 - 18.8.2012. On the last day of Ramadan is celebrated the festival of Eid Al-Fitr,accompanied by celebrations and family visits. Feast of Eid Al -Adha is a four day holiday, that celebrates the pilgrims traveling to Mecca. The wealthier families usually sacrifice a sheep,and meat is shared with poor.


Other Events

In the UAE people also celebrate secular holidays like New Year on January 1, although the Islamic falls on another day or the National public holiday on December 2, it’s a day when seven emirates signed a joint agreement on the establishment of the UAE federation in 1971. More and more visitors are attracted to prestigious world class events. For example horse-race Dubai World Cup or Desert classing PGA - tournament of elite golfers. The famous Dubai Shopping Festival, which is held from January 15 until February15, attracts every year more and more shoppers with bargain prices.


Sports Events

New Year in Dubai is started with marathon of top runners from all around the world. The next famous sporting event follows in February, namely Dubai Tennis Open. Rather unusual celebration takes place in March, it’s celebration of the Irish National Day-St.Patrick’s Day, which is taken as celebration of children’s birthdays. The winter season starts in October with regular horse racing, dignitaries from all over the UAE watch them from their VIP tribunes. Among the most popular traditional sports events in UAE are camel racing, visitors, who want to see them are heading especially to the city of Ras al-Khaimah.

Entry is free and racing takes place in winter, usually on Friday. As a tourist you can use the option of diving under the supervision of an instructor and see the beautiful underwater world, take a ride on camels, sometimes combined with unique skiing on sand dunes,or experience trips to the desert in off-road vehicle Off Road Safari. In case you have your own off-road vehicle, there is a special Overnight Drive Event for you which is two-day drive over the desert lasting through the night.

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