All the incredible festivals and performances to look forward to in the UAE
It’s going to be a busy one…
There are some pretty spectacular performances, festivals and parties to look forward to in the UAE this year. The next season is looking to be jam-packed with artists from a variety of genres in Dubai, three of the most loved festivals in the capital. We welcome brand new international festivals along with performances from 90s legends.
Here are all the incredible festivals and performances to look forward to in the UAE.
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Huge conversations around climate change are expected in Dubai later this year as the emirate hosts COP28. And with this in mind, Dubai is launching the city’s first eco-conscious music festival this December. Taking place at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre for three days from December 8 to 10, EarthSoul music festival is a music festival with an eco-conscious edge.
Groove on the Grass
Groove on the Grass returned in January of this year with two days in Ras Al Khaimah. It’s back again for its second edition taking place at Emirates Golf Club, Dubai. Taking place on November 18, the popular dance festival is inviting you back on the grass for one night under the stars. This year tickets for the 11th anniversary are now available and will start from Dhs195 and can be purchased via platinum list here.
Groove on the Grass, Emirates Golf Club, November 18 from 5pm, tickets from Dhs195 @grooveonthegrass
Taking place at the iconic Dubai beach club, Barasti, there is a long lineup of incredible performances starting with Sigma on Saturday, September 30. They will be supported by none other than Katy B, who is known for the 2010s tracks Lights On, Turn the Music Louder and Katy on a Mission. On October 21, Craig David will take to the stage with his countless hits including Walking Away, 7 Days, and Rise and Fall. Rudimental is up next on the lineup who are known for their incredible combination of live instruments to create their signature sound. Lastly, closing out the performances at Barasti will be The Ibiza Orchestra Experience. A 26-piece orchestra performing some of the greatest hits from the island of Ibiza. Coupled with live DJs, live vocalists and 30 years of musical legacy from the isle, the orchestra is landing in Dubai after a smashing sold-out tour across the UK. The group will also be supported by an unannounced special guest. Stay tuned! Read more here.
No Lie Sean Paul is making his way to Dubai on October 21 at the Coca-Cola Arena. The Jamaican rapper has been making beats that have us jamming out on the dancefloor for over two decades. He has had chart-topping hits that include Got To Luv U, Temperature, and Get Busy. Tickets are already on sale on Platinumlist and start from Dhs150.
Sean Paul, Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Oct 21, from Dhs150. Standing area strictly 16+, coca-cola-arena.com
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A British independent label group that has been responsible for some of the biggest parties across the UK, Ibiza, and Miami. Defected Records is finally coming back to Dubai. Specialising in house music, get ready for three days of unbeatable line-ups and no-nonsense vibes. The event will be taking place from Friday, October 13 until Sunday, October 15. The three days will be spread across various locations in Dubai.
He’s known for melodic electro R&B bangers as Better, Eastside, and Love Lies, and you’ll be able to hear them all live as superstar Khalid is coming to Dubai. The award-winning American singer-songwriter will perform in the emirate for the first time on Friday October 27, headlining at the Coca-Cola Arena. Tickets are on sale now, priced from Dhs199.
Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Fri Oct 27, ticket prices start from Dhs199. coca-cola-arena.com
Iconic American rapper, Macklemore will be performing in Dubai on Saturday, October 28 at the Coca-Cola Arena. Tickets are on sale now via the coca-cola-arena.com website, priced from Dhs199. Macklemore (pronounced Mack-LE-more) first rose to fame with his track Thrift Shop back in 2012 which has since amassed over one billion streams on Spotify alone. This won’t be the first time that Macklemore will perform in Dubai, he was last here in 2019 as part of RedFest DXB. Book here.
Macklemore at the Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Sat Oct 28, ticket prices start from Dhs199 coca-cola-arena.com
Soho Garden Festival
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Taking place on Saturday, November 4, the headlining artist of the Soho Garden festival will be none other than Swedish DJ Eric Prydz, a regular performer on the Dubai circuit. Since he catapulted to fame off the back of his 2004 single, Call On Me, Eric Prydz has regularly brought his high-energy DJ sets and signature electronic sound to hedonistic party spots around the world. When he takes to the decks at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, expect to dance along to hits including Pjanoo and Opus.
Dubai’s top festival, Sole DXB, will return to Dubai Design District this December. The three-day festival will take place from Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10, 2023. For Dubai’s urban crowd, Sole DXB is one of the hottest and most-anticipated events on the Dubai calendar known for street footwear, music, art, and lifestyle.
Sole DXB, Dubai Design District (d3), Dubai, December 8 to 10, 2023. @soledxb
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The Butterfly Carnival Music Festival is making waves in the Dubai music landscape. Get ready for another spectacular festival at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater on Saturday, November 11. Expect a massive mash-up of carnival-themed genres
Butterfly Carnival Festival, Dubai Media City Amphitheater, Media City, Saturday, November 11, tickets on sale from Dhs269, tables available from Dhs5,ooo. platinumlist.net / butterflycarnival.ae / @butterflycarnivaldxb
Grammy Award-winning DJ Black Coffee is no stranger to Dubai, having performed in the city on many occasions. Welcoming the Dubai season, he’ll be gracing the decks of a new White Dubai pop-up once again, on Friday, November 3. Doors open at 6pm so you can secure your spot on the dancefloor early. Tickets are to go live later this week, and start from Dhs100. There are also VIP tables available. Do note, that the event is strictly 21 plus. Read more here.
White Dubai presents Black Coffee, Dubai Harbour, Fri Nov 3. @whitedubai
80s music fans, we have some great news… The sell-out Rewind Festival is returning to Dubai next year, with an epic lineup of throwback 80s and 90s artists confirmed so far. The artists confirmed so far include Bananarama, Chesney Hawkes, ABC, Midge Ure, The Real Thing, and returning for a second time, Heather Small. Rewind Festival will take place over two days on Friday, March 1 and 2 in 2024
We’ve not been to the year 3000 just yet but we can confirm that Brit boyband Busted and girlband Sugababes will be headlining Mixtape, an epic throwback music event taking place at Bla Bla Dubai in November. The lineup also includes Vengaboys and Snap! Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased here.
Mixtape, The Beach, JBR, Nov 18, from Dhs449, Tel: (0)4 584 4111, blabladubai.ae
Legendary American band KISS are set to rock Dubai later this year. The iconic four-piece will take to the stage at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on Friday October 13 as part of their ‘End of the World’ tour. KISS are best known for their unique look, black and white make-up and hit songs such as I Was Made for Lovin You, and Rock and Roll All Nite. The band last performed in Dubai in December 2020, when they headlined Atlantis, The Palm’s socially distanced New Year’s Eve bash. The event was live-streamed all over the world as many celebrated the new year in lockdown. Pre-sale tickets go on sale at 10am UAE time on Monday, June 5. You’ll need to be quick, as pre-sale is open for just 24 hours before general tickets go on sale. You can register now via coca-cola-arena.com.
KISS presents End of the World tour, Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Friday October 13. coca-cola-arena.com
Cele Retro Fest
The Cele Retro Fest will be taking place at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre on Saturday, November 25. It will be the ultimate throwback experience with all the ultimate dance music to feed your inner teen. There is already quite a long list of artists making their way to the Cele Restro Festival in Dubai including Dr Alban, Haddaway and Mr President. Other artists include the Russian boyband Na Na, the iconic La Bouche, In-Grid and a mystery guest that is yet to be announced. The festival will kick off at 5pm with performances starting at 6pm. Ticket prices start from Dhs150 and can be purchased here.
Cele Retro Fest, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Sat Nov 25, tickets from Dhs150. dubai.platinumlist.net
Ready to sing “I got my first real six-string…” at the top of your lungs with the legend himself? Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams is performing at the Coca-Cola Arena on Saturday, November 4. The superstar rocker, who is best known for his hits like Summer of ’69 and Everything I Do, will land in the capital as part of his world tour with his 15th studio album, So Happy It Hurts. Tickets are on sale now, you can purchase them directly from the Coca-Cola Arena website: coca-cola-arena.com
Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Dubai. Saturday, November 4, 2023. From Dhs199. coca-cola-arena.com
The Boys Are Back
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The Irish Village will be popping off with a long list of performances taking place at the venue this year. Blue, Boyzlife and Five are all headed for Irish Village this October for one night of some of your favourite boy bands. Taking place on Friday, October 13, get your tickets booked, the concert starts at 9pm.
The Boys are Back, Irish Village, Al Garhoud, Fri Oct 13, Tickets from Dhs225. Tel:(0)4 282 4750. theirishvillage.com
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The Irish Village is gearing up to host a music mania of sorts with their upcoming concert night, LOADED, featuring some of the best rock and hip-hop bands from the 90s. The sensational live performance is slated for November 4, 2023. Delivering iconic hits is definitely the memo for this one because on the itinerary we have Stereo MC’s, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Toploader and Dodgy.
LOADED, Irish Village Dubai, Al Garhoud, Dubai, Nov 4 9.30pm onwards (doors open at 7pm), prices start from Dhs175, Tel:(0)4 282 4750. theirishvillage.com
It’s one of the world’s largest music festivals and a must-visit for electronic music fans, and now Romania’s UNTOLD music festival is coming to Dubai. The first ever UNTOLD music festival outside of Romania will take place at Expo City Dubai from Thursday, February 15 to Sunday, February 18 in 2024, bringing with it some of the world’s biggest acts and DJs for an unforgettable showcase of music and entertainment.
UNTOLD Music Festival, Expo City Dubai, Dubai. Thursday, February 15 to Sunday, February 18, 2024. Early bird tickets go on sale October 3, from Dhs500, final release tickets from Dhs1,500. untold.ae
It’s a sonic celebration of beats from the streets and showcases the best artists from cutting edge musical genres such as hip-hop, grime, electronica, trip-hop, trap and afrobeats. And now we have confirmation that it will return for a 2024 edition, we also have the date – Saturday, March 2, 2024. Event organisers, Live Nation Middle East have promised an even “bigger and better” show for Wireless Middle East 2.0.
Wireless, Etihad Park, Yas Island, Saturday March 2.
Mother of the Nation Festival (MOTN)
Confirmed during a Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT) calendar announcement at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM), we now know the dates for The Mother of the Nation Festival (MOTN) 2023 edition. At the moment we don’t know a huge amount about the specific best of this year’s Fest, but we can extrapolate based on what’s gone before. This time around it’s set to take place between December 24 to January 1, 2024. It’s usually staged around the Corniche, with accessibly priced ticketing (last year entry was just Dhs30), normally available via Ticketmaster. It’s an event that, in part, is a celebration of the legacy of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the Mother of the Nation. And the festivities are expansive, with the grounds occupying a huge swathe of seafront leisure space.
December 24 to January 1 2024.
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Tucked away in a corner of Abu Dhabi’s desert, LIWA Village has emerged from shifting sands to stage a festival showcasing an alluring range of unique entertainment experiences and cleverly curated attractions. And the dates for Liwa Festival for 2023 have now been released, we’e looking at December 16 to December 31 run, and we’re expecting huge things. The 2022 session was a wild success with visitors enjoying access to concerts, family activities, shows, rides, arcade gaming, spectacular immersive dining opportunities, engaging demonstrations of Emirati heritage and crafts, eGaming tournaments, souk shopping from top-tier local fashion brands and more. One of the highlights was Fuel Fest Arabia (will it return) where attendees were able to meet the stars of the Hollywood blockbusting franchise, Fast and Furious (including some on four wheels) — Ludacris, Cody Walker, and Tyrese Gibson with a closing concert from Ludacris himself.
From December 8 to December 31, last year’s pin drop was at this Google Map location
Snoopy Beats is one of the most popular festivals that redefined music getaways for the region, and it’s returning to Sandy Beach Resort in Fujairah this October. Inviting everyone to swap the city for the stunning seaside, Snoopy Beats will take place from Friday October 27 to Sunday October 29, 2023.
Images: Supplied social and Getty