The UAE is one of the richest countries in the world due to its oil exports, and thriving trade and tourism.
Aside from its riches, the country is also known for its unique culture in the Arab world, combining tradition with modernity, and this is reflected in its many festivals and celebrations.
Read below to learn the top 3 festivals in the UAE that you should know about.
Be Amazed at the Activities in the Al Dhafra Festival
The Al Dhafra festival may be one of the most unique and biggest celebrations of Dubai’s local Bedouin culture. Celebrated in the UAEs capital city of Abu Dhabi in its Al Dafra region, the festival puts into the spotlight the Bedouin life and culture, which has been kept alive for generations.
The festival, which started in 2008, was organized by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism and Culture under the direction of the UAE’s president, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It was established as part of an effort to protect the Emiratis’ environmental and cultural heritage.
During the festival, people witness different types of competitions including camel beauty contests (involving tens of thousands of camels), a sheep beauty contest, palm date and date packaging competition, camel milking competition, camel and purebred Arabian horse racing, dog races, and falconry. Participants also showcase unique Emirate handicrafts including khoos, palm fronds, and talli.
Check Some Great Bargains at the Dubai Shopping Festival
Aside from being home to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, Dubai has also become synonymous with other modern things, including its nightlife scene, infrastructure in general, and of course, shopping. No wonder there’s a specific festival in Dubai celebrating shopping.
The Dubai Shopping Festival, which usually lasts for seven weeks, takes place at malls and retail outlets across the city, be they small or big shops. During the festival, the streets are decorated with beautiful lights, and many shopping establishments offer promotions, deals, and raffles to customers. Thus, you can find expensive items such as gold, jewelry, and even electronics at a much lower price. Moreover, there are also entertainment shows for families with children to enjoy during the night.
The event started in 1996, and its original purpose is to give the city’s retail trade a boost. Since then, the event has become a hit with the city’s residents, expats, and tourists.
Eid Al Fitr
Eid Al Fitr, (more commonly referred to as Eid) is one of the most important religious celebrations in the UAE. Eid signifies the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting, and is celebrated worldwide by Muslims. Thus, wherever you are in the UAE, expect celebrations everywhere. You will also witness plenty of events such as discounts in shopping malls, or firework displays if you are staying in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
Emirati women usually prepare for Eid by arranging and cleaning their house, while men, during the event, perform traditional dances such as the Al Rafah.
Aside from the festivals in the UAE, know more about the country by checking out its delicacies, and attractions. To start, check out these two articles from MSM Unify, Must-See Attractions When You Study in the UAE, and Food You Must Try While Studying in Dubai.