When is Ramadan
The holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk, falls at a different point every 12 months. Over the next few years, Ramadan is in late spring, with the month of fasting anticipated to wind back from May to April to March and then into the winter months — the most popular times to visit Dubai. The rule of thumb is that it spans for 30 days and arrives 10 to 11 days earlier each year, in step with the shorter Islamic calendar.
Ramadan is a time for prayer, reflection and family for the UAE’s Islamic community and being invited to visit a mosque for iftar, the nightly banquet that breaks the daily fast, is one of the most enriching experiences you can have in the Middle East.
Key events in Dubai
Dubai has a huge network of artists, athletes, creatives and musicians, so you can expect lots of big, brash festivals to match. The high-season winter months are bookended by the Dubai International Film Festival in December and Art Dubai, the Dubai World Cup and Taste of Dubai in March. The Dubai International Jazz Festival (February) and Dubai Marathon (January) capitalise on far cooler temperatures.
Dubai is also a shopping Shangri-La, bursting with world-leading retail outlets. For aficionados, the annual Dubai Shopping Festival from December to January is to the UAE what Carnival is to Rio, with a riot of bejewelled dresses and head scarves.