Enjoy a “Surprising Dubai” this summer

It’s too hot in the United Arab Emirates in summer, I hear you shout. So what? Dubai, the place for all “created” seasons – they have a ski slope there! – has tons of activities in store for you, so why not experience something new.

And if you do decide to go, here’s one of the things you can look forward to.


Dubai Summer Surprises is designed to promote Dubai as a destination with world-class travel infrastructure and a tax-free shopping environment. Now in its twelfth year, Dubai Summer Surprises 2009 will run from June 11 – August 14, spanning 65 days.

Last year, the event attracted 2.1 million visitors and generated AED 3.35 billion ($1.31 billion).

The theme this year is “Surprising Dubai” – incorporating all of the city’s attractions and those that the summer event will offer, including some of the best shopping deals, world-class entertainment shows, prizes and raffle draws worth millions and over 30 spas providing rejuvenating experiences.


Around 4,000 retail outlets will participate offering discounts of up to 80% on a variety of consumer goods and leading international brands.

Also expect cool activities at the beach including rain parties, barbecue nights, covered sun beds, beach spa treatments and sea food restaurants.

Here are some of the signature events we think you should see:


One of the great things about Dubai is its culture. From July 1 – July 10, Min Bladi Al Emarat is a traditional event that focuses on Emirati heritage activities and has been a major crowd puller since it was featured in In-Mall Events. With the best displays of local food and culture, this event is an authentic presentation of UAE culture.

Flower rain at Burjuman centre.


For those into fashion, the Sheila and Abaya Fashion show is Islamic fashion at its finest. Held from June 27 – June 30, this gathering of talented local Sheila and Abaya designers is among the most glamorous shows for local attire in Dubai. The event also hands out the best designer award.

For the kiddies, a competitive but fun-filled series of sport activities are in store with the Kids Olympics, a must-watch event for all families. It is held from July 23 to July 29.


Food is another great feature in Dubai Summer Surprises. The Junior Chef of the Year Awards, from July 8 – July 14, recognises culinary talent across the region. The jury for the Awards include Master Chefs from around the world. During the event, multi-national chefs battle it out to showcase their finest dishes in numerous categories.

Get in touch with your arty side at Arts Oasis from July 9 – July 15. Arts Oasis is an opportunity to meet highly regarded and well-known resident artists and their works from around the world. Organised in cooperation with the Dubai Cultural Council, Arts Oasis 2009 will emphasise the “Go-Green” theme to highlight the effects of global warming.

As travellers, photographs are one outlet to express our experience. You can check out the Photography Exhibition from August 6 – August 13. The exhibition attracts some of the best talent in the country. This year, the Photography Exhibition will be open to all talented photographers whose entries will be judged by an eminent jury for the DSS 2009 Photography Award.

With these activities and more, Dubai is the place to be this summer. And don’t worry about the heat, the air-conditioning for all these events will keep you cool and you’ll forget that you’re in a desert…really!

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