Celebrations and festivities
Dance: Visitors may be lucky to see men lined up in a row, performing Ayyala, holding thin bamboo canes and moving in sync to a percussive rhythm. Other forms of dance include Razfa, which often involves reciting lines of poetry and handling other objects, such as daggers or rifles.
Poetry: Forms of poetry in the UAE have been influenced from both near and far, with many notable poets originating from the Emirates. Many poems are immortalized in a calligraphic style, bringing them to life with striking visuals and Nabati poetry is a key element of Emirati heritage.
Eid: Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha (both often shortened as “Eid”) are important religious holidays in the UAE and for Muslims across the world. During this time there is an emphasis on spending time with family, offering special eid greetings and providing charity to the poor and needy.
Ramadan: The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is a time dedicated to striving for purity and heightened spiritual awareness. For healthy adults, this involves fasting from dawn – following the suhoor meal – till dusk, when people break their fast for an evening meal, known as iftar.
Weddings: It was once a tradition for weddings to be held within a family home, decorated with flags and bunting. Celebrations would continue for around three days and a feast would be prepared. These days, a wedding celebration is likely to be hosted in a banquet hall at a hotel or function venue, with discreet celebrations for male and female guests.
Music: Music has historically been connected with poetry, with traditions such as Al Shila and Al Wana combining music and verse. In terms of modern music, Dubai now has a thriving scene that includes both homegrown artists strumming at local cafés, and international superstars selling out arenas and concert halls across the city.