25 Reasons Why Dubai Is The Most Open Travel Destination For 2021

by | Jan 11, 2021

As the world unshrivels and begins to embrace the pandemic ending vaccine, countries such as the UAE are leading the way for the revival of tourism and trade. Here are 25 live arts, sports and cultural events that will have you hooked to Dubai.

Dubai is basking in its glow of tourism success right now with the Emirates orbiting high in a world of its own. Dubai chose not to live under a rock but to accept the prevailing pandemic risks and manage them with world-class standards and practices. Thus with an excellent implementation of safety protocols across the board, it is no wonder that Dubai has come out on top when providing a safe tourist zone for travellers worldwide since July 2020.

Top name celebrities including even the B and C listers have been seen heading to Dubai to celebrate winter in the golden sands during the December holidays. Some labelled Dubai as the most open city for welcoming in 2021. Hotels are seeing higher occupancy, especially since November 2020.

The Emirate’s success in tourism has businesses now relooking at Dubai as a future destination with real estate already showing an uptick in the past couple of months. While most countries still shun foreigners of any and every background, Dubai counts on them for its future success.

Old Dubai, Image by Dubai Tourism

Old Dubai, Image by Dubai Tourism

How is Dubai Keeping Everyone Safe?

The UAE aims to vaccinate 50 per cent of its population by April 2021, health officials recently stated. This is an ambitious and a realistic target for UAE, despite its comparative countries by population size and economic development (apart from Israel) still struggling to define a publicly declarable near-term target statistic or secure a significant and material quantity of vaccination.

As far as statistics go, the UAE, with a population of just under 10m, is providing free vaccination to the public with more than 1m vaccines (as on January 9 2021) administered in the 20 days since the first day of the vaccination exercise. Israel is the only country to beat UAE’s inoculation rate, with 20% of the population vaccinated. On a side note, it is merely a coincidence that Israel is heading for a legislative election on March 23, 2021, with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Prime Ministership up for grabs!

Read More: Making sense of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah

Dubai’s World Class Safety Measures

Apart from the pandemic ending vaccine being made available to all residents, Dubai has stringent social restrictions to ensure any future cluster breakout is limited.

Emirates multi-risk travel cover for all

Emirates multi-risk travel cover for all

  • All travellers need a negative PCR test to enter the country.
  • Complementary Covid test upon arrival at Dubai Airport.
  • Wearing a mask in public outdoor spaces is mandatory with visible enforcement and monitoring. A face without a mask attracts a fine of 3,000 dirhams (US$815).
  • A warm smile, a full-body sanitiser and a temperature check welcomes you as you enter a hotel.
  • Mandatory temperature checks at beaches, restaurants, bars, shopping malls, and all other places one might expect to head to.
  • Plastic shields separate tables at popular restaurants and menus can be viewed online to reduce contactable surfaces.
  • In Dubai, everyone follows the rules strictly.
  • The UAE is rolling out a fast vaccination programme.

Suppose you are travelling with Emirates airline or FlyDubai and have purchased your ticket after December 1 2020. In that case, you will automatically benefit from additional multi-risk travel insurance provided by Emirates / AIG Travel.

Read More: Green Side of the Desert

Live Events, Sports, Art & Cultural Performances Taking Place In Dubai 2021

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has unveiled a comprehensive list of vibrant events and activities in the Dubai Calendar for the first quarter of 2021. The events, ranging from comedy nights, live entertainment shows, concerts, family activities, sports tournaments and more, will be held between January and March and are set to appeal to visitors and residents of all ages and backgrounds.

Dubai Opera in 2021

1. Among the shows taking place at the Dubai Opera, this January is the Kuwaiti play Bait Bu Sanad. To be held on the 14 and 15 January, the comedy play will be shedding light on the challenges that society poses on families.

2. French legend Enrico Macias is also set to perform at the Dubai Opera on 21 and 22 January. With his beautiful music and memorable performance, the singer and songwriter promises his audience a journey through space and time with a truly magical night.

3. The Dubai Opera will be offering guests the chance to see Giselle from 4- 6 February, one of the most celebrated and classical ballets.

4. Russian State Opera Bizet’s Carmen will hold a performance on 7 and 8 February 2021. With a powerful and dramatic production, the performance will transfer the audience to the 19th century Seville in Bizet’s most popular era.

Dubai Opera House

Dubai Opera House

5. Verdi’s Aida will be held on 9 and 10 February. Guests will be able to witness the land of the Pharaohs come to life as the outstanding performance fills them with emotions of power and victory.

6. Guests will also be able to enjoy a wonderful blend of oriental and classical melodies performed by Syrian maestro Iyad Rimawi when he returns to Dubai for a performance on February 12 at the Dubai Opera.

7. On February 18, the Gipsy Kings by André Reyes returns to Dubai Opera for an evening of dancing and singing along to their audience’s favourites’ rhythm. The captivating show will include a blend of traditional flamenco styles with Western pop and Latin rhythms.

8. On the March 18, Dubai Opera will hold The Billy Joel Songbook show, which celebrates one of the finest singer-songwriters of the 20th century – Billy Joel. The show will see Elio Pace and his talented band perform the biggest hits from Billy Joel’s career such as Piano Man and Uptown Girl. The one-night-only show has sold out during its international tours.

9. The Beatles tribute band, The Bootleg Beatles, will come together at Dubai Opera on January 27 to perform the band’s top hits. The show will feature iconic tracks from the ’60s and a live orchestral ensemble that will put on a night to remember for guests.


10. British comedian Jack Whitehall will bring his Stood Up world tour to Dubai World Trade Centre on 13 and 14 January. Most recently known for his multiple hit Netflix shows including Travels with My Father, Whitehall will perform a series of comedic anecdotes to keep the audience entertained for the night.

11. The latest season of the renowned The Laughter Factory Supersize Your Good Mood tour is being organised from 7 to January 15 at various Dubai venues. The fresh line-up of comedians for this season includes Ester Manito, Stephen Grant and John Fothergill.

12. A rising star with an up-and-coming stand-up career, Rahul Dua is set to take the stage at Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel on February 5 to present his show Laugh-A-Thon.

Live Entertainment

13. In a one-night-only performance, Atif Aslam, one of the most sought-after performers around the world, will hit the stage on January 15 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

14. Also performing live this season will be Lebanese star Najwa Karam and acclaimed singer-composer Majid Al Mohandis, who will be appearing in a concert at the Dubai World Trade Centre on January 15.

15. Record-breaking and multi-award-winning artist Amr Diab will perform his chart-topping classics at the Dubai International Stadium on January 22.

16. Breakout UK artist, singer and songwriter Calum Scott is set to deliver a performance at Dubai Opera on January 20. The singer will be performing the top hits of his debut album Only Human.


17. The public can also participate in high-energy tournaments at the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series from February 14 until March 5. The prestigious event in Dubai’s sporting calendar is well anticipated every year, attracting some of the world’s leading polo players and high-profile audiences to enjoy world-class competition and entertainment.

18. The Desert Warrior Challenge will be returning on February 19 to test participant’s physical and mental strength in the midst of Al Marmoom Desert. The event will also see a new Desert Warrior crowned.

19. Also returning this February is the SuperSport Run Series with its dynamic races taking place at The Track, Meydan Golf.

20. Meanwhile, Golf fans will be able to enjoy the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic once again this year. The event will see a plethora of the world’s greatest players returning to Emirates Golf Club from 28 to January 31.

Art & Culture

21. With the annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature from 29 January until February 13, book lovers can attend insightful sessions, debates and workshops hosted by world-renowned authors and inspired by literary heroes.

22. Art Dubai 2021, the Middle East’s leading international art fair, is set to take place from 17-20 March. The art fair will feature an array of thought-provoking exhibitions and activities held across the city to celebrate the UAE’s 50th anniversary.

Chinese New Year Greetings, Image by Dubai Tourism

Chinese New Year Greetings, Image by Dubai Tourism


23. Food lovers can look forward to the Dubai Food Festival, which is being organised from February 25 until March 13. The festival allows visitors to experience fine dining, hidden gems, homegrown restaurant concepts and global brands. The public can even take part in guided food tours, cooking masterclasses and themed feasts.

24. Organised from the 9-13 March at Dubai Harbour, the Dubai International Boat Show is set to showcase luxury superyachts and leisure crafts from around the world, with some estimated at AED2.6 billion.

25. La Perle, Dubai’s first permanent show, will continue to stage its vibrant show, featuring a fusion of breathtaking acrobatics and state-of-the-art technology. Located in the heart of Al Habtoor City, La Perle stages an impressive 450 performances a year with 270-degree seating to provide a different perspective of the action.

Tickets for the events can be bought quickly and securely through Dubai Calendar’s website and the mobile application’s purchasing platform. ◼

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© This article was first published online in Jan 2021 – World Travel Magazine.

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