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24 things to look forward in the UAE in 2024

In true UAE-style, the year aims to be a record breaker. We’re talking the world’s largest surf park, Surf Abu Dhabi, to the country’s first commercial brewery.

Hello, 2024. The year ahead looks set to be a showstopper, as there are hot hotels, spectacular sports and major megaprojects. So, whether you’re living (or visiting) Abu Dhabi, Dubai or beyond, there is something exciting on the horizon. Here’s looking at you, 2024.

Abu Dhabi BAPS Hindu Temple 

The UAE is home to a truly multicultural society with people from different faiths. In the country’s commitment to cultural diversity and religious harmony and tolerance, Abu Dhabi will be welcoming a Hindu temple, BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi. Scheduled to open in February 2024, it has been in the works for four years. 

BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi

Comedy acts in the UAE 

Here’s some news that will put a smile on your face. Comedians from around the world will be making their way to the UAE. British comedian Omid Djalili’s show Namaste takes place on 7 January at the World Trade Center.  Michael McIntyre is coming to Coca-Cola Arena Dubai on 13 January. Trevor Noah is coming to Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on 28 February. Kevin Hart is coming to Coca-Cola Arena Dubai on 4 March. Jo Koy is coming to Etihad Arena in Dubai on 26 May. 

UAE comedy shows

Concerts in the UAE 

The UAE is hitting the high notes as it welcomes world-class acts. Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Nights includes singing sensation Mariah Carey on 6 January, and opera singer Andrea Bocelli on 27 January. British star Ed Sheeran brings his Mathematics Tour to The Sevens Stadium in Dubai on 19 and 20 January, and OneRepublic brings their Artificial Paradise world tour to BLA BLA Dubai on 25 January.

Concerts in the UAE

Dubai Marathon 2024 

On your marks, get set, run. The Dubai Marathon has announced that it is taking place on 7 January 2023. Stretching 42.195 kilometres, it is the region’s oldest marathon. If you want to channel your inner Mo Farah, but can’t go the distance, don’t worry. You can also join a 4-kilometre or 10-kilometre race.

the UAE in 2024

Dubai World Cup 2024

Dubai World Cup 2024 will race into Meydan Racecourse on 30 March. Attracting trainers and jockeys from all over the world, there are plenty of opportunities to watch the horses in action, as there will be 21 competitive horse races. 

the UAE in 2024


The dates for Eid in 2024 have not yet been confirmed. If the predictions are anything to by, we are expecting it to fall around 9 to 10 April. Eid Al Fitr literally translates to festival of breaking the fast, and marks the end of fasting during Ramadan. Eid Al Fitr is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, and falls on the tenth month of the Muslim lunar calendar. Eid is a public holiday in the UAE, and it is celebrated by Muslims around the world with prayers, meals and gifts.

Eid Al Adha fireworks

Emirates Literature Festival 

The Emirates Literature Festival is a page turner of an event. Running from 31 January to 6 February, it brings together international and local authors. The line-up includes Booker Prize winner, Bernardine Evaristo; arts advocate, Eliza Reid; and author and designer, Sophia Webster. Plus, poet and novelist Ben Okri OBE; children’s writer Andy Stanton and Emirati poet Amal Al Sahlawi are returning to the festival.

rainy day in Dubai

First commercial brewery 

We’re raising a glass of craft beer to Craft by Side Hustle. The brand is making history, as it will become the first company legally make alcohol in the UAE. The commercial beer brewery opens in Abu Dhabi and has been granted a license to sell beer on tap, which is brewed on-site. The microbrewery will be located at The Galleria Al Maryah Island, and it can make approximately 25,00 pints a month. 

Year in review

Floating mosque 

You’ll be swept away with this architectural wonder. A floating mosque is heading to Dubai Water Canal Dubai, and looks set to a spectacular sight. The AED 55 million project will welcome visitors of all faith. The heart of this mosque lies beneath the waters, and can accommodate up to 75 worshippers at a time. The mosque also features two halls designed for Islamic lectures and workshops. 

underwater floating mosque

Formula 1

Formula 1 Abu Dhabi is an annual sports event, which brings thrilling races to the capital. The championship races into town from 6 to 8 December. The races take place across 5.281 kilometres and 58 laps in Yas Marina. Catch the world’s biggest drivers, from Max Verstappen to Sergio Perez, and look out for A-list acts at the F1 Yasalam After-Race concerts.

the UAE in 2024


We’re not throwing away our shot at seeing the award-winning musical, Hamilton. Running from 17 January to 4 February, the show comes to life at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The gamechanger musical was created by actor, singer, composer and all round wunderkid, Lin-Manuel Miranda. The show tells the story of one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. What sets it apart is its combination of traditional costumes with a hip-hop-inspired soundtrack and diverse cast. Tickets are available from Platinumlist from AED 180.

Hamilton in Abu Dhabi

Hotel openings

The UAE is filled with exciting hotel openings. The latest line-up includes Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab. One&Only One Za’abeel in Dubai will be home to a range of world-class restaurants, a swimming pool with a view, and a wellness centre. Ciel in Dubai aims to be the world’s tallest tower, and it will include more than 1,000 rooms. FIVE LUXE will be home to 222 luxury rooms and 227 residences, and a must-visit nightlife venue.

the UAE in 2024

J1 Beach

Goodbye La Mer, hello J1 Beach. The site formerly known as La Mer is having a rebrand, as it is being replaced with the new J1 Beach. The upmarket, day-to-night hotspot will be home to several new beach clubs and 10 new restaurants. The venues include include African Queen, Bâoli, Gigi Rigolatto, Gitano and Sirene by Gaia.

Sirene Beach by GAIA


Get ready for a K-Pop Extravaganza.The K-Pop stars ChanyeolChenand Xiumin will headline KPOP OVERDOSE in Dubai. Taking place on 14 January at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena, the event also includes Korean DJ Raiden and local star DJ Bliss. ChanyeolChenand Xiumin are part of the South Korean boyband EXO, and the event will be an all-singing singing and all-dancing spectacle.


Megaprojects in the UAE 

The UAE has marvellous megaprojects, and we are expecting more to be announced in 2024. Current developments include Sharjah’s Kalba Waterfront Project, which is scheduled to open in Sharjah’s Eastern Region. Dubai’s Las Vegas-inspired island, aptly titled The Island, signed a record-breaking development deal. Plus, Dubai Reefs aims to be the world’s largest ocean restoration megaproject. 

Dubai Reefs

Music festivals in the UAE

Dubai is set to welcome its first mega festival, UNTOLD Dubai. Taking place from 15 to 18 February at Expo City Dubai, it looks set to be a showstopping event. The headliners include Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren, American singer Bebe Rexha and British singer Ellie Goulding. Elrow XXL takes place on 13 April at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, and Wireless Festival will return to the capital on 2 March. 

the UAE in 2024

Phantom of the Opera

A man in a mask haunting an opera house doesn’t sound like the obvious story for a musical. Created by Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Phantom of The Opera has been wowing audiences across the world. Based on Gaston Leroux’s novel, it follows a disfigured musician who haunts the Paris Opera House. The show is coming to Dubai Opera from 22 February to 10 March. 

Phantom of the Opera

Real Madrid theme park

Footie fans, this is going to hit the back of the net. Dubai will be home to the world’s first Real Madrid theme park. The new experience will celebrate the football club, and include a one-of-a-kind theme park, rides, shops and a museum. 

Real Madrid theme park

Restaurants in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is bringing it with new restaurants, which range from the casual to classy. 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant’s spin-off  is heading to Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. Ruben Guerrero, the group’s International Culinary Director, will create a menu filled with Japanese classics ranging from flambés to robatas. Plus, Irish UFC champion Conor McGregor will bring his Dublin pub to Abu Dhabi, and Turkish concept HuQQabaz is expanding to Abu Dhabi.

Kō in Abu Dhabi

Restaurants in Dubai 

Dubai is home to award-winning concepts, from FACT Dining Awards Dubai to MICHELIN Star winners. The upcoming hot tables include One&Only Za’abeel’s restaruants – there are 12 to choose from, which include Anne Sophie-Pic, Dabiz Muñoz and Tetsuya Wakuda. Plus, upcoming restaurants include Africa Queen, Agatha, Chouchou, Gerbou, Gitano and more at J1 Beach.


Royal baby

Royal fever was strong in 2023. In April 2023, Sheikha Mahra and Sheikh Mana had us swooning with their wedding. In October 2023, the couple announced that a royal baby was on the way. Sheikha Mahra’s parents are Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Bin Mana Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, and Zoe Grigorakos. 

the UAE in 2024

Surf Abu Dhabi 

Abu Dhabi is making waves. Located on Hudayriyat Island, the site looks set to be a record breaker. It will be home to the world’s largest surf park, Surf Abu Dhabi, is opening in the capital. The attraction will break records for its artificial waves, and be home to an urban park and velodrome.

Surf Abu Dhabi

Taste of Dubai

It can often feel like there are so many restaurants, but so little time. Taste of Dubai may just be the answer, as it showcases the region’s best chefs and restaurants. Taking place in spring 2024, it includes cooking classes, live entertainment and a whole lot of food.

Taste of Dubai

Timbuktu Market

Timbuktu Market in Dubai has the taglines “a world of flavours” and “a place to connect”. The concept draws its inspiration from some of the world’s most famous markets, from London to New York, and is hoping to put Dubai’s food market on the map. Led by Hani Al Malki, a food blogger in the city, it will bring together bakers, home chefs, pop-ups and supper clubs. 

Timbuktu Market

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