The Dubai Pet Festival returns to Souk Al Marfa on Deira Islands

The family-friendly event featured activities and exhibitions as well as fancy dress competitions

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Pets and pet-owners were in for a treat at the Dubai Pet Festival.

The one-day event took place at Souk Al Marfa, Deira Islands, on Sunday, with myriad activities. These included dog-training demonstrations, a police K9 dog squad show, grooming demos, fancy dress competitions, a petting farm and play areas for children.

There were also exhibitors selling pet products and access to animal welfare and adoption agencies.

Ahead of the event, visitors needed to register their pets at the entrance with a mandatory veterinary check and temperament assessment, with all pets needing to have a valid passport with up-to-date vaccinations as per UAE law.

What is Souk Al Marfa?

The fully air-conditioned souq, which stretches 1.9 kilometres along the Deira Islands waterfront, opened in August.

It currently has more than has 950 stores selling everything from carpets to spices, and fashion items to electronics. There's also a dedicated Thai Market with street food, clothing and handicrafts from the country.

When fully operational, it will be the UAE’s largest wholesale souq and waterfront destination, according to the developer.

The first retail space on the mega Deira Islands development, the indoor marketplace is a stone’s throw from Dubai’s oldest and most traditional trading hub.

How to get to the souq

Souk Al Marfa is within easy reach of Hotel Riu Dubai and the soon-to-open Centara Mirage Beach Resort Dubai. It is also easily accessible from other parts of Dubai, Sharjah and the northern emirates.

There are 4,000 on-site parking spots, with RTA buses from Dubai's Gold Souk daily from 6am to 11pm.

Visitors can also enjoy free shuttle buses to and from key Deira hotels, including Hyatt Regency Dubai, Ibis Styles Dubai Airport, Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre and Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers — every two hours from 9.30am until 8.30pm. The full schedule is available on

Updated: February 28, 2022, 10:39 AM