Also in this section I will up-date you on things that are going on in Dubai and which can be interesting for tourist and expats alike. Below you can see some of the places and events I have been recently to and which are mainly yearly events, so if they look interesting for you, you can follow their websites for the next edition. A nice overview on all the events in and around Dubai you have on www.visitdubai.com
St. Paddy's Day at Dubai Media City
As Dubai has a large Irish and British expat crowd you can always be sure that you will not be alone in these kind of events. This time in Media City it was in co-operation with Mc Gettigans - one of the most famous Pub's in Dubai, which were also holding brunches at their venues and then were organizing shuttle busses to Media City. Optional you could go direct there and buy the ticket which was 150 AED direct at the door. They had a nice set-up with a couple of bars and Foodtrucks around and a good line-up of live entertainment. So if you like to have a relaxed hang-out with friends and join the Irish in their yearly celebrations, that could be a place for you next year. www.mcgettigans.com / www.800tickets.com
Dubai Food Festival
Which happens every year in February/March and is growing bigger in every edition. It goes over a course of two weeks with various special events and cooking shows. The most popular among them is the big Food Festival in Media City which happens in one of the weekends and Beach Canteen which will be build up over the whole course of the Festival at the Kite Beach. Located in shipping containers you can try out various foods and drinks. They also have a daily program of sports, arts and cooking shows over there. www.visitdubai.com
What started as a small shopping place during the Dubai Shopping Festival, became now a huge shopping village with international pavilions almost Disneyland style - open from November until April. All the different country pavilions became more professional in their appearance over the years and are also better organized these days as they really have to sell the special products of each country and not a mix up as before. Some of the pavilions like India for example are purely impressive, but also the smaller ones a worth a visit. To finish all in one evening means a lot of walking and then you also have a lot of restaurants and food stalls around and daily shows and parades. If you need a little break you can have a ride on one of the boats on the man-made canal. My favorite pavilions are Jemen with their excellent honey, Thailand for some delicious fruits and other small gifts and if you are looking for a nice leather jacket and are bringing some time with you for comparing and bargaining for sure you will find some good deal at the Pakistan pavilion. If you are visiting with children, there is a huge fun fair on ground as well. So this is an entertainment place for all the family. www.globalvillage.ae
Another Festival that is growing bigger every year and is also getting more recognition on an international scale is the Art Dubai Festival. Most of the exhibition, workshops and events are happening at the Madinat Jumeirah, but they are also running an interesting Art Bus that is connecting the various galleries around town like the ones in the Industrial Al Quoz area. Also the Sikka Art Fair is happening at the same time, which is presenting smaller local artists in the traditional surroundings of the Bastakiya Heritage area, they have some great workshops and live entertainment as well. www.artdubai.ae / www.dubaiculture.gov.ae
Sharjah Festival of Lights
Special events and Festivals however do not only happen in Dubai, but also in our neighbour Emirates. So one really nice yearly festival is lightening up Sharjah every February - the Sharjah Festival of Lights. In this festival you can admire light installations, projected on the most famous buildings and mosques throughout the city. Lot of activities like a daily parade and other events are happening also around the Sharjah Lagoon in that time. www.sharjahlightfestival.ae
Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup is the highest donated horse race in the world and happens every year during the last weekend of March. It is an event to see and be seen. As in all other important horse races around the world to dress up is one of the main affairs here - and ladies get our your best dresses, hats and fascinators. Meydan will be your catwalk for one day.
You have a choice of different ticket options starting from the Appron View tickets (around 450 AED) with access to the lower seating (no numbers) and all the open space close to the track with bars and lounges. You can also find a food court inside. Usually the crowd that comes here is more into the party rather than the horse - later at night that place goes wild, so expect a lot of drunk and crazy people. Also the main show stage is located in this area,where every year one main international act will have a concert after the race (this year it was SIA). Other tickets are higher in price with various hospitality options in which food and drinks are included and you can watch the spectacle higher up from one of the balconies.
World Cup is also an event where you can see all the members of the big Sheik families including the Royal Family itself. If you are not one of the lucky ones that got invited into their lounges, come to the Paddock ring - usually for the last three races the Sheiks are coming down to see the horses (they also have their own ones in the races) and take part in the trophy ceremony. Here you can come pretty close to them and get some good close-up photo shots. This year Sheik Mohammed was there with his wife Haya and their daughter as well as Sheik Hamdan, Crowne Prince of Dubai.
For all of you who are not only coming for the party but also for the horses for sure you will not be disappointed as you will come to see some of the best race horses in the world. All tickets allow you access to the area beside the race track and Paddock ring, so you can be close to all the action. At the entrance race cards are given out and you can take part in the competition as well. This year the highly rated Arrogate fulfilled all expectations, although he had a poor start and run into victory to take the 10 Mio. USD for his Saudi owner.
As all international focus is on this event - Dubai spends a lot of money into the opening and closing ceremony with fireworks, performers and lots of special effects - so make sure you see both of them. The opening ceremony is before the last three races around 19.00 hrs and the closing after the last one around 21.15 hrs.
Despite the real bad weather with rain and storm - which is so unusual for Dubai - the World Cup 2017 was a great event as usual - so watch our for next year! Information on the Dubai World Cup as well as all other regular horse races in Dubai you can find under www.dubairacingclub.com
An afternoon at Miracle Garden
Miracle Garden is a beautiful Dubai attraction which opens only during the cooler winter month. The miracle in itself is that every year they come up with total different structures and set-ups - this year their main highlight is a complete replica of an A 380 made-out of flowers, which landed Miracle Garden an entry in the Guinness World Record Book. The flowers and arrangements are just stunning and I let pictures now talk here rather than words. On a small side note - try to avoid Friday or Saturday for your visit there as you might not be able to get pictures of the flowers anymore but only people. Entry is 40 AED per person and as it is a bit off the city center beside Dubai Motor City best to reach there is by car www.dubaimiraclegarden.com