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
A once in a life time experience, where luxury meets stunning views and impeccable service in Dubai
- Book your stay including tickets to the family entertainment park Dubai Parks & Resort - ask our team now
- Embark on an extraordinary culinary journey with 14 award-winning restaurants including their signature stakehouse Prie68 and cocktail bar Vault
- If you want to head for the beach or enjoy some retail therapy, the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to Jumeirah Beach Park and the major malls.
Experience the wonders of Dubai - exceptional accommodation, restaurants, sandy beaches and unmatched shopping, all for an unbeatable price
- Exclusive upgrade to Tower Oceanfront Room (book by 12 Mrach)
- Unwind in your beautifully designed room or suite featuring all your modern amenities and stunning views
- Located on the spectacular Jumeirah Beach adjacent to the Dubai Marina and only 10 minutes from the Emirates shopping mall
- Exclusive access to the Polo Lounge
Get two incredible destinations for the price of one on this amazing trip to Dubai and Phuket
- FREE shuttle service to Dubai attractions
- Vibrant base in the heart of Dubai
- Family friendly resort in Phuket
Unwind at the beautiful beaches of Khao Lak before experiencing the best of Dubai
- 500m from Nang Thong Beach in Khao Lak
- Outdoor living in Khao Lak with open-air dining and three swimming pools
- Experience exquisite luxury in Dubai
Capture the wonders of India before an amazing chance to visit Dubai
- Dubai's only rooftop revolving restaurant
- Experience a typically Indian meal with a Rajasthani family
- Explore the city palace in Jaipur
Intercontinental Mauritius + Hyatt Regency Dubai
- Stay at the Hyatt Regency Dubai, the only hotel with a restaurant that has a 360 degree view
- Intercontinental Mauritius is located on one of the most picturesque parts of the island
- Fantastic selection of facilities and amenities await at the Intercontinental Mauritius, including free Wi-Fi, children's club and fun activities for all ages
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