Culture + Style

Where to Rock Out in the Dubai Festival Scene

Dubai has long been the land of concerts. It regularly hosts some of the biggest singers, musicians and bands in the world, including Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey and J.Lo, to name a few.

It’s no surprise that the city that attracts some of the biggest stars in the world also hosts great annual music festivals. From jazz to pop to electronic dance music, there’s something for everyone. Take a look at the best Dubai music festivals.

Get Music Inspired: Check Out W Hotels’ First Music Festival, W Wake Up Call

RedFest DXB

dubai music festivals
RedFest is one of the most anticipated events in town. (Photo: Getty Images)

RedFest DXB is a yearly music festival hosted by Virgin Radio 104.4 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Held on a February weekend, the highly anticipated festival is the ideal way to enjoy the last few days of great weather in Dubai before the temperatures start rising.

Headlining artists have included Kesha, Craig David, the Chainsmokers, Sean Paul, Rita Ora and Adam Lambert.

Dubai International Jazz Festival

As one of Dubai’s first annual music festivals, the Dubai International Jazz Festival holds a special place in the Emirates’ music scene. What started out as a three-day event in 2003 has now evolved into a 10-day-long music fest.

Jazz fans get to listen to the likes of Sean Jones, Le Bron, Tony Lakatos, Paul Weimar and Sax Gordon.

Over the years, the festival has moved on from its jazz roots to include artists from other genres, as well. The festival attracts musicians and singers like Sting, Enrique Iglesias, Duran Duran, John Legend and Ricky Martin. As dazzling as their main lineup is every year, the opening acts also pack a punch.

Families are welcome, and children under 5 enter for free. Food and beverages are available at the venue.

Insider tip: While tickets can be bought at the entrance on the day of the festival, they’re subject to availability. Our advice: Buy your tickets online as soon as they go on sale.

Blended Music Festival

dubai music festivals
Chill out with an eclectic line up. (Photo: Getty Images)

Known for its eclectic musical lineup, the Blended Music Festival is held every April and attracts artists like Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Robin Thicke, the Backstreet Boys, Kasabian, Melanie C, Lemar and more.

The festival took a break in 2015 but returned in 2018 to sold-out shows. Once the festival officially ends, there’s an after-party (also ticketed) where guests get another chance to see and meet the stars.

Destination Dawn

This is one of the Dubai region’s most popular and unique music festivals of the year. Just an hour’s ride away from Dubai, the Destination Dawn music fest is an all-night beachfront shindig held in Ras al Khaimah.

The festival starts at 5 p.m. sharp, and the music doesn’t stop until 5 a.m. the next morning. Attendees must be over 18, and no one enters without an ID. Expect food, drinks and lights aplenty. Come prepared to dance the night away to amazing electro music spun by world-class DJs such as Dash Berlin and Ummet Ozcan.

Want a place to take a break? Attendees have the option to buy a tent with their tickets. There’s limited tent space, so be sure to get your tickets as soon as they go on sale.

Wake Up Call

Party in paradise with Wake Up Call, a multi-day music festival exclusively for Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) and Marriott Rewards® members. The festival experience gets a luxe upgrade as we take over W Dubai – The Palm — getting members closer to the music with insider access. Festival passes are included with your room, so book now to join the party.