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
Bask in private palm-lined beach glory that's just 15 minutes from the Dubai Marina in a place where it's all included
- Choose from excellent restaurants serving a variety of world cuisines including French, Mediterranean and Thai
- Go for a round of golf at the onsite 9-hole Golf course or explore the are on horseback
- book your stay including tickets to the family entertainment park Dubai Parks & Resort - ask our team now
Experience the best of all worlds in Dubai - exceptional accommodation, restauarants, sandy beaches and unmatched shoppin, all for an unbeatable price
- Exlusive Free Half Board upgrade (book by 11 November 2017)!!!
- Delight yourself in a culinary adventure with a selection of 16 dining options to tickle your taste buds
- Club Level rooms available providing access additional amenities and exclusive lounge access
- Located on the spectacular Jumeirah Beach adjacent to the Dubai Marina and only 10 minutes from the Emirates shopping mall
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
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!
- Rooms boast a balcony with stunning view of the Arabian Gulf, includes free WIFI
- Choose from 7 dining venues including gourmet options and enjoy access to 5 opulent bars
- Free Half Board
The location on the world famous, Palm Jumeirah, provides superb access to white sandy beaches.
- FREE Half Board upgrade
- Up to two kids stay FREE
- Unlimited access to Wild Wadi Park plus free shuttle service to a selection of Dubai 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.
- Choose to upgrade to an amazing Ultra-All-Inclusive experience in the hotel
- Stay on the famous Palm in Dubai and enjoy stunning views over the skyline
- Recieve complimentary boat transfers to iconic Dubai Marina or a free shuttle bus to Mall of the Emirates
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