A practical guide to Dubai
National holidays and celebrations
Most official public holidays in Dubai are based around celebrations in the Islamic Lunar Calendar and are often subject to last minute changes by local government authorities. If you're planning your holiday around a particular celebration, check the dates with us first.
If you're not sure when it is best to go, our travel advisers can help you decide what dates to avoid, and when to catch the big festivals like Dubai's famous festival of shopping.
Main public holidays
- New Year's Day: 1st January
- Mouloud (Birth of the Prophet): February
- Leilat al-Meiraj (Ascension of the Prophet): Often observed in June but changes according to the Muslim lunar calendar
- Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan): A three day celebration
- Al-Hijra: Islamic New Year
- UAE National Day: 2nd and 3rd of December
- Dubai Shopping Festival: Between January and February
- Dubai International Jazz Festival: February or March
- Dubai Desert Classic: Between February and March (International golf)
- Dubai Summer Surprises: June, July and August
- National Day Festival: Early December
- Diwali: The Hindu 'Festival of Lights', its exact date changes every year
Dubai's official currency is the dirham (abbreviated with codes AED and Dhs).
- For the best conversion rates, bring British pounds to exchange in Dubai's banks.
- We don't advise changing money at the airport, as rates are often very poor.
- Larger shops, hotels and restaurants accept credit cards and traveller's cheques.
- Tips and taxes are usually included in most bills so adding a further 10% for service is considered more than generous if you feel it's deserved.
Catering to all palates, Dubai is packed with top notch eateries offering an excellent selection of world cuisine and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Find food from every corner of the world, with Indian, Pakistani and Filipino restaurants being the cheaper options, while French, Thai, Mediterranean and Italian restaurants are found in all price ranges.
For a striking view whilst enjoying exceptional (but very expensive) seafood, we love the underwater Ossiano Restaurant at the Atlantis,The Palm resort – a breathtaking experience on its own. Our other favourites include the Nobu Japanese restaurant, BiCE at the Hilton hotel, and the Blue Elephant at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel.
To sample authentic Arabic cuisine, try the street cuisine at the Heritage and Diving Village, or ask to try a Bedouin wedding feast classic - stuffed camel!
With radiant sunshine all year long and a hot subtropical climate, Dubai is a popular year-round holiday destination.
- September through May is the most pleasant time to visit, with daily temperatures averaging 20°C to 25°C, dropping significantly in the evenings (be prepared for cooler nights, though the temperature is unlikely to drop below the mid-teens).
- Summer can be extremely hot. In coastal areas you may find it more humid, and further inland you may find it drier and hotter due to lack of rainfall with daytime highs of 54°C often seen in August.
- Winters (December to March) are mild, with average highs of 23°C.
- Rainfall is scarce and mostly falls in February, whilst June is the driest month.
Dubai Holidays Browse all
Indulge in a shopping spree in Dubi or hop on the metro to Jumeirah Beach and soak up the sun .
- Free shuttle service to Jumeirah Beach
- Complimentary wireless internet access is available in public areas
- Free shuttle to Emirates shopping malls
Be sinfully self-indulgent and stay at an outrageously luxurious resort on Dubai's exclusive The Palm. You'll be basking in luxury from dawn to dusk.
- stay on the famous Palm in Dubai and enjoy stunning views over the skyline
- choose to upgrade to an amazing Ultra-All-Inclusive experience in the hotel
- Recieve complimentary boat transfers to iconic Dubai Marina or a free shuttle bus to Mall of the Emirates
For an affordable luxury holiday on Dubai's iconic The Palm, head for Sofitel and take the whole family with you, they'll love it
- Boasting a Roof Top Swimming Pool
- Free high-speed internet and wifi
- Located by the famous Jumeirah Marina and close to shops, restaurants, bars and the Emirates Shopping Mall
Relax and enjoy your stay at this five-star resort excellent choice for families
- Enjoy many additional complimentary benefits when staying in the newly refurbished superior rooms
- First child stay free on bed and breakfast up to the age of 14 when sharing with parents
- Amazing choice of award winning restaurants and bars
Chill at The Palm's newest luxury retreat, be wowed by the touches of opulence on every corner and be seduced by our amazing prize tag!
- Choose from 7 dining venues including gourmet options and enjoy access to 5 opulent bars
- Complimentary Access to So Fit "Gym, Sauna & Steam" with 25% disconut at SO SPA in addition to free WIFI
- Rooms boast a balcony with stunning view of the Arabian Gulf, includes free WIFI
Treat your family to an unforgettable Arabian adventure and make a splash at the world's most extravagant aquatic hotel!
- Free Half Board with a huge range of dining options
- Free access to Aquaventure and Lost Chambers
- Experience the culinary gourmet adventure with over 22 world-class restaurants, lounges and bars including the Michelin star restaurant Nobu
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