Dubai is a touristical country, which means that due to its geographical situation, the sheikhdom can be visited all year long. However, some important dates must be treated with respect. Some celebrations take mostly a couple of days with the exception of Ramadan, which takes roughly a month.
Talking about the important dates and celebrations in Dubai, the best is to start with the Ramadan, as this celebration has the most impact on the tourism of Dubai. Ramadan is suited with the actual moon setting of the year. The celebration takes about a month, and is the holiest date and time for all Muslims. This period is entirely different from the rest of the year for all Muslims. Even Arabic TV channels have special Ramadan programs and series, besides Muslims people spend a lot of time for praying. This period is for the cleaning the soul, by not eating or drinking anything during the daytime, until the last prayer. Considering the fact that Ramadan starts in the hottest month of August and takes 40 days, it is really a challenge, but Muslim people got used to this period very well. A good Muslim holds fasting days throughout the whole year. There are special foods, sweets and soups that are specifically prepared for the Ramadan period. These times, people do work but considerably less. In addition, many shops are closed during Ramadan.
Tourists are welcomed in this period, but if you can, try to set another date for your visit, as your actions would be more limited in this period of the year. In the last day of Ramadan, there are celebrations all over the Muslim world. This celebration period of the closing of the Ramadan is called Eid al Fikra.
Other important dates for Muslims include, the Eid al Atha. Eid Al Atha is held about a month before the Christian Christmas period. This is the time when all Muslim families buy sheep and prepare it together. Usually, the head of the family does the sacrifice, and then with he help of family woman, the parts of sheep are prepared gradually, so that the family can eat it for several days. Muslim donations, called the Zakat are also given to the poor in this holy period. Many families, who sacrifice more sheep, donate parts of sheep to the poor families, to make this holy celebration period a feast for everyone. During the usual greeting, people say “Eid Mubarak” in this period.
The Islamic New Year that is called Al Hijra, referring to the Hijra (escape) of the Holy Prophet Mohammad from the time Muslims start counting of the first Muslim year. The Islamic year is shorter than the Christian year, also Muslims use different months, but with the same number of months as the Gregorian calendar uses. The New Year of last year fell on 7 December, so this year, the Islamic New Year will be held around two weeks earlier. The exact dates are set according to the moon standing.
Other important celebration is the Mawlid or Eid al Mawlid, the Birth date of the Holy Prophet Mohammad. This celebration is according to the lunar calendar, but differently between Shias and Sunnis, that is why the exact dates are different according to the Gregorian calendar. Last year, the Sunni Eid was on 26 February, this year it will be on 15 February.
One of the most important Muslim celebrations is the Lailat al Miraj, which is celebrating a so-called Night Journey of the Prophet Mohammad. This refers to a more of a spiritual journey and is one of the most important Muslim events.
Talking about the important national dates of Dubai, the Christian New Year day is held over here, just same as everywhere in the world. Due to the leading effect of Christian religion concerning the most important Christian celebrations, they simply cannot be neglected anymore without a serious damage in the business life of Dubai. That is why, although Dubai is not celebrating Christmas openly, but adapted the St Valentine’s Day for example. The New Year’s Day is such a huge celebration that also Dubai decided to keep it.
The most important Dubai national celebration day is the National Day of Dubai, which is held on 2 December every year. This is the date when Dubai got independent from Great Britain.
Overall, these are the most important dates of Dubai. It is nice if you arrive in Dubai by the time of a celebration, but Ramadan is definitely not a much-supported period, as you would not be able to enjoy your holiday in this holy time, when everyone is concentrates more on the prayers and reading of al Quran.