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What is the Tanoura Show, and Where to Watch it in Dubai?

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The Tanoura show is a mesmerizing cultural performance that originated in Egypt and is now popular throughout the Middle East. This traditional dance involves a dancer spinning continuously in circles, wearing a colorful skirt that fans out beautifully as they whirl around.

The Tanoura show is not only a feast for the eyes with its vibrant costumes and hypnotic movements, but it also holds deep spiritual significance, representing the constant rotation of the universe and the connection between the performer and a higher power. Join us as we delve into the history and enchanting allure of the Tanoura show. 

What is the Tanoura Dance?

Tanoura dance is a spiritual dance mainly done by male Sufi dancers. It is popular in the Middle East, including in countries like Iran, Turkey, Egypt, and other Arab nations. It started around the 12th century in Egypt, first seen in Alexandria. The name “Tanoura” means “skirt,” which the dancers wear during their performances.

The skirts are colorful and help symbolize a connection between the spiritual world and the dance. The dance is complex, involving continuous spinning and the chanting of “Allah.” In Egypt, it’s common to see Tanoura dances at weddings and other celebrations.

History of the Tanoura Dance 

The Tanoura dance originated around the 12th century and was originally performed by male and female Sufi artists. In the early days, rulers would have these dances at their palaces to entertain guests. Sufi artists practiced this dance in deserts, which continues today, drawing millions of tourists to the Middle East. 

The dance is especially popular at New Year’s parties in Dubai. In Tanoura, a male Sufi dancer wears a colorful skirt and spins around continuously with a cane. The fast spinning and the bright colors of the skirt create a captivating display.

Places to Enjoy Tanoura Dance in the UAE

You can see Tanoura dance performances at many places in Dubai. Here are some of the best ones explained to you.

1. Dhow Cruise Dubai Marina

Visitors to Dubai can go on dhow cruise rides in the Dubai Marina area. You can watch professional artists perform the Tanoura dance on these cruises and enjoy delicious food. These activities make for a great experience on the Dubai Marina dhow cruises.

2. Dhow Cruise Dubai Creek 

The Dhow Cruise on Dubai Creek offers another great experience with Tanoura dance shows on board. Visitors can enjoy delicious food and watch the impressive Tanoura dances. Plus, you can see the beautiful sights of Dubai while cruising along Dubai Creek.

3. Night Desert Safari

Visitors to Dubai can also take private desert safari tours at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. They can enjoy thrilling activities and relax in luxury at camps styled like traditional Bedouin tents. During their stay, guests can savor gourmet BBQ meals at campfires and watch Tanoura dance shows performed by professional Sufi dancers.

4. Karama Souk

The Karama Souk in central Dubai is famous for its fantastic Tanoura dance shows performed by local artists. The market has shops and stalls, offering many good spots to watch the dance. Visitors can also take pictures with the friendly dancers, creating lasting memories of their time in Dubai.

Different Types of Tanoura Dance Shows

The Tanoura Dance, originally from Egypt and the Middle East, has evolved, creating various exciting versions. This dance is spiritual, often involving dancers in colorful, flowing skirts spinning continuously, symbolizing the universe’s constant movement and spiritual connections. Here are some of the main versions:

1. Traditional Tanoura Dance

This original form is rooted in Sufi traditions from Turkey and Egypt. Dancers wear bright skirts and spins to symbolize the connection between humanity and the divine.

2. Fire Tanoura Show 

This exciting version adds fire to the mix. Dancers spin with fire props like torches or chains, creating a thrilling and beautiful spectacle.

3. LED Tanoura Dance 

In this modern twist, dancers wear costumes with LED lights. The lights create colorful patterns as they spin, making this version especially popular at night events.

4. Female Tanoura Dance

Traditionally done by men, more women are now performing Tanoura. This version stays true to its spiritual roots but may include variations in movement and costume to fit female dancers.

5. Group Tanoura Performance 

Instead of one dancer, this version features a group spinning in sync. It focuses on coordination and the energy of multiple dancers, making the performance more dynamic and visually impressive. 

6. Fusion Tanoura Dance

Tanoura Dance has mixed with other dance styles in today’s globalized world. Dancers combine moves from belly dancing, contemporary dance, or ballet, making a new kind of dance that appeals to more people but still keeps the spirit of Tanoura.

Best Time to Enjoy Tanoura Dance Shows

The best time to see Tanoura Dance shows is in winter when it’s cooler, and you can enjoy the outdoor setting in the desert. You can also watch the shows in summer, but it’s better to go after the sun sets in the evening.

Do’s and Don’ts When Attending the Tanoura Dance Show


  1. Be respectful: Show appreciation for the dancers.
  2. Have fun: Enjoy the show and relax.
  3. Take pictures politely: Capture memories without disturbing others.
  4. Learn about the dance: Understand its cultural importance.
  5. Support the artists: Consider buying souvenirs or supporting the performers.


  1. Don’t disrupt: Avoid loud talking or noises.
  2. Don’t touch the dancers: Respect their space during the performance.
  3. Avoid flash photography: It can be distracting.
  4. Be respectful: Don’t make fun of the culture.
  5. Mind your space: Don’t block others’ view.


Tanoura dance is a beautiful cultural performance that started in Egypt and is now loved across the Middle East. It’s all about colorful spinning and has a deep spiritual meaning. You can watch Tanoura shows in Dubai at different places like dhow cruises, desert safaris, and markets.

There are also new versions of Tanoura, like the Fire Tanoura and LED Tanoura, which add excitement. You can enjoy Tanoura shows in Dubai all year round, especially in winter when it’s cooler or in the evenings during summer. Just remember to respect the dancers, follow the rules, and enjoy the magic of Tanoura!

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ's)

Q1: What is the Tanoura show in Dubai?

The Tanoura show in Dubai is a colorful and mesmerizing performance that originated in Egypt. It’s a traditional dance where dancers spin around continuously wearing bright, swirling skirts. The show is popular in Dubai and is often performed at various venues across the city, such as dhow cruises, desert safaris, and marketplaces.

Q2: What is the Tanoura show?

The Tanoura show is a cultural performance that involves dancers spinning continuously while wearing colorful skirts. It’s a traditional dance form with spiritual significance, symbolizing the connection between humanity and the divine through its spinning movements. The show is captivating to watch and is enjoyed by audiences worldwide for its vibrant costumes and hypnotic rhythms.

Q3: What is the history of the Tanoura dance?

The Tanoura dance has a long history dating back to around the 12th century, originating in Egypt and spreading throughout the Middle East. It was initially performed by both male and female Sufi artists and was often seen at palaces to entertain guests. Over time, it became a popular form of entertainment at weddings and celebrations across the region, evolving into the vibrant cultural performance we know today.

Q4: What is the name of the dance in Dubai?

The dance is called the Tanoura dance in Dubai, named after the swirling skirts (tanoura) worn by the dancers. It’s a popular attraction in the city, enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike for its colorful displays and spiritual significance.


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