Events Al Dhafra Festival


Experience the traditional culture of the United Arab Emirates

traditional music UAE (by Me over ME)

Traditional music (by Me over ME)

The yearly Al Dhafra Festival is one of the best festivals to get a closer look into the traditional culture of the United Arab Emirates. It’s location in the middle of the desert only already breathes the atmosphere of the traditional United Arab Emirates.

Al Dhafra Festival

The Al Dhafra Festival takes place southern of Madinat Zayed, the gate of the Empty Quarter, and northern of the breathtaking Liwa dunes in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. It is a cultural gathering of the Emiratis presenting impressive traditional and folkloric events. The proud inhabitants of the United Arab Emirates share their heritage activities from Nabati poetry, traditional music and dancing to art and craftsmanship. Walking through the souq, smelling the aromatic scent of Arabic coffee and the spicy fragrance of Oud, makes you drift away in ancient times.

Heritage competitions and beauty contests

camel race Al Dhafra (by Me over ME)

Traditional camel race (by Me over ME)

The Festival has blended the rich past of the UAE with its glorious future through a variety of heritage competitions and beauty contests. Visitors can watch competitions from falconry, Mahaleb (camel milking), to sour milk and best dates. They can enjoy dates packaging and handicrafts competitions. Or they can cheer for the contestants during thrilling heritage races with camels, Saluki dogs, and purebred Arabian horses.

Mazayna Al Dhafra (camel beauty test)

But the Al Dhafra Festival is most famous for its beautiful camels. Over 25,000 ships of the desert create a decorative patchwork of shiny woolen fur with colourful halters and blankets over the festival area. Proud camel owners from the Gulf region show their animals in the prestigious Mazayna Al Dhafra, a camel beauty test. Among them are the most beautiful purebred golden-red Aayel (originally from Oman) and the black hair Majahim from Saudi Arabia.
Watch these beauties blinking their long curly eyelashes at you! If you didn’t love camels already, you will surely fall for them then.

Don’t miss it!

The Al Dhafra Festival is a unique event of its kind and a perfect day out for young and old. If you want to stay longer bring a tent and sleep on golden dunes under the Milky Way. Or book a hotel in Madinat Zayed or Liwa. In any case, don’t miss it when you visit the United Arab Emirates in the December month!