12 Cultural Middle-Eastern Festivals You Must Attend Before 2022 Ends

by Ishita Agarwal
12 Cultural Middle-Eastern Festivals You Must Attend Before 2022 Ends

The best thing about cultural Middle-Eastern festivals is the chance to have some good times with family and friends while listening to good music. The stunning rituals and the vibrant crowds at these celebrations will lift up your spirits and make you feel connected to diverse cultures. 

The Middle East is well-known not only for its fantastic architecture and vast deserts but also for the diversity of its people. While on vacation in these cities, you should check out the cultural and religious celebrations that take place there.

Don’t worry, and stop having FOMO. Here’s a guide to the top 12 cultural Middle-Eastern festivals you must attend before 2022. So, mark your calendars now! 

Top Cultural Middle Eastern Festivals In 2022

1. The Lion King Festival 

lion festival
Picture Credits: Unsplash

The Lion King musical will be performed at the Etihad Arena for the first time in the UAE later this year. In addition, the famous musical version of the Disney animated classic Beauty and the Beast will be performed in Abu Dhabi. The story of The Lion King will come to life through puppetry, costume and song, thanks to the creative stage production and talented cast. It’s one of the exhilarating cultural Middle-Eastern festivals that both adults and children will enjoy.  

Where: Etihad Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

When: November 18 to December 10

Also Read: 4 Places To Enjoy The Best Garba Nights In Dubai And Abu Dhabi

2. Abu Dhabi Art Festival 

Abu Dhabi art festival
Picture Credits: Abu Dhabi Art

In November, the highlight of the cultural calendar in the capital city comes back for the 14th time. The fair is by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. It will take place at Manarat Al Saadiyat from November 16 to November 20. The full schedule hasn’t been released yet, but the event promises to have a wide range of outstanding exhibitions, installations and artist commissions, as well as the chance for local and international galleries to sell pieces of art. So, if you love art, this is the best place to witness some amazing art pieces. 

Where: Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi 

When: November 16 to November 20

3. Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 

F1 race
Picture Credits: Unsplash

Are you a fan of the F1 race? If yes, witness the new circuit’s Formula 1 Grand Prix race. In November, the F1 will roar back into town for another nail-biting race at the end of the year on the new F1 track layout at the Yas Marina Circuit. No matter where you go for the races or the party afterwards, you’re sure to have a great weekend. 

Where: Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

When: November 18 to November 20

Also Read: IIFA Awards Is Set To Make A Return At Yas Island Abu Dhabi In Feb 2023

4. Dubai Shopping Festival 

dubai shopping
Picture Credits: Unsplash

A paradise for shopaholics, this event lasts for a whole month and is one of the best seasonal festivals in the United Arab Emirates, just what you need to update your wardrobe every year. At this time of year, people from all over the globe flock to Dubai to take advantage of the city’s steep price discounts at stores and malls. And nothing can be better when you combine the enchantment and excitement with live performances, fireworks, and other types of entertainment. 

Where: Dubai

When: December 15, 2022, to January 20, 2023

5. UAE National Day 

UAE National Day
Picture Credits: Unsplash

In the United Arab Emirates, National Day is a significant holiday. On December 02, the UAE celebrates the anniversary of the unification of the seven emirates and official independence from the United Kingdom. People dress in national flag colours and flood the streets to attend parades, dances, concerts and other festivities. The festivities will revolve around Zayed Stadium. The festival vividly brings the history and culture of the United Arab Emirates, ranging from military fly-pasts to spectacular dance performances. If you want to experience UAE’s culture, you will find it here. 

Where: Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi 

When: December 02, 2022

Also Read: Inspired By NY’s 70s Chinatown, Electric Pawn Shop In Dubai Is Perfect For A Nightout

6. Awafi Festival 

Cultural Middle-Eastern Festivals
Picture Credits: Unsplash

Do you feel the need to go away from the city? Why not go to the Awafi Festival up in the north? Thousands of residents of the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates gather each spring on the sandy dunes of Ras al-Khaimah to participate in one of these cultural Middle-Eastern festivals honouring their ancestry and culture. Heritage Village and traditional souk market are available with other cultural attractions, including theatrical performances and local artisan workshops. Additionally, hundreds of locals participate in the exciting vehicle, and dune buggy races through the rough desert terrain, making for excellent spectator action for those seeking a rush. 

Where: Ras al-Khaimah 

When: To be determined

7.  Dubai International Film Festival 

cultural Middle-Eastern festivals
Picture Credits: Visitdubai.com

If you consider yourself a film buff, you should mark the Dubai International Film Festival on your calendar. Of course, Hollywood’s A-listers go to the UAE annually for this festival, where they can see and talk about the newest films and meet with fans and critics. However, a large part of the festival’s appeal comes from its exposure to regional filmmakers. After all, it is a major boost for Arab cinema and has shown more than five thousand films from the region since 2004. So, if you’re looking to get a glimpse of your new place from a fresh angle, this is the place to go. 

Where: Dubai 

When: To be determined

Also Read: Moscow To Dubai One-Way Ticket Is Almost  $5,000

8. Al Dafra Festival

 Cultural Middle-Eastern Festivals
Picture Credits: visitdubai.com

Events during the Al Dhafra Festival reflect the rich Emirati heritage and include camel races and auctions, traditional marketplaces, folk music performances, horse races, falcon competitions, and more. This is a huge affair for the villagers since it is a camel beauty contest. And with prize money at almost $15 million on the table! You did read it correctly. You won’t want to miss this beauty pageant for sure as it is one of the unique cultural Middle-Eastern festivals. 

Where: Al Dhafra Madinat Zayad Park

When: October 28 to January 31, 2023 

9. Dubai Design Week 

dubai design week
Picture Credits: Visitdubai.com

This yearly exhibition, which embraces Dubai’s status as the Middle East’s design centre, curates innovative furniture, interior design, goods, and architecture displays.

In addition to showcasing the diversity of regional talent, Dubai Design Week welcomes foreign studios and artists to showcase their brilliance to local populations. The renowned trade expo Downtown Design, which will be held at the d3 waterfront and will feature limited edition designs from businesses near and far, is a must-see component of this event. 

Where: Dubai Design District 

When: November 08 to November 13 2022

Also Read: Navratri 2022: Enjoy Navratri Special Meals At These Restaurants In Dubai

10. Sole DXB 2022

Picture Credits: visitdubai.com

It is one of the trendiest street cultural Middle-Eastern festivals in the area. It has returned with a jam-packed lineup of live performances, DJ sets, sporting events, movie screenings, lectures, and workshops. From December 09 to December 11, go to Dubai Design District for Sole DXB 2022.

The Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Stormzy, and Sho Madjozi, among others, have already ignited the stage with their show-stopping performances. Watch this space for additional information, as this year’s edition is expected to be the biggest ever. 

Where: Dubai Design District

When: December 09 to December 11, 2022

11. Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival

sharjah arts festival
Picture Credits: Sharjah Arts

Exhibits of art? Check. Workshops? Check. Murals and displays of art? Do a double-check. It seems that there is another occasion that demands you to visit Sharjah this year. Take the kids to the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival since it looks like it will be both entertaining and instructive. This is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the nation’s rich culture and traditions, whether you have lived there your whole life or are a recent immigrant.

Where: Sharjah 

When: It happens to be in December 

12. Amman Jazz Festival, Jordan

cultural Middle-Eastern festivals
Picture Credits: Amman Jazz Festival

The Amman Jazz Festival (AJF) is the only significant jazz festival in Jordan that has brought together local and foreign musicians and drawn a sizable audience throughout the years. The festival is renowned for celebrating variety, cultural fusion, innovation, unification and conversation by including worldwide, regional, and local jazz performers. 

Where: Jordan

When: September 25 to October 04, 2022

Also Read: Home To 15,000 Butterflies, Take Your Kids To Dubai Butterfly Garden For A Fluttering Amazing Day

Hopefully, this list of cultural Middle-Eastern festivals will motivate you to go somewhere new and take part in a cultural, artistic, musical, or culinary festival. Remember that there are also holiday festivals, which are always exciting and a lot of fun. In any case, have fun and create lasting memories. Happy journey! 

Cover Image Courtesy: Visitdubai.com