Dubai: As a new decade begins, the UAE's 2010 events calendar is already brimming with a plethora of political, social and cultural activities.

With the ‘noughties' consigned to the history books, Gulf News highlights some of the big things to look out for in 2010 — starting with arguably the biggest occasion of them all: the opening of Burj Dubai.

The tallest building in the world is scheduled to officially open on January 4, which is also the fourth anniversary of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE's accession as Ruler of Dubai.

However, it is not the only new landmark to be unveiled in 2010. The new Meydan Racecourse will also officially open in January with the Dubai Racing Carnival holding its first race meeting there on January 28.

Overall, it is another huge year for sport in the UAE with the world's best golfers, jockeys and tennis players all competing in 2010. The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship both take place in January. The Dubai Desert Classic follows in February and March sees top class international action at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships and Dubai World Cup.

The famous Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), also takes place early in the new year, running from January 28 until February 28.

On February 1 it is the second anniversary of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's accession as Crown Prince of Dubai, and Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's appointment as Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

On November 3 President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan will mark his sixth anniversary as President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

It's also a big year for literature enthusiasts with two major book festivals taking place in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in March.

Amit Chaudhuri, Yann Martel and Alawiyya Sobh are among the authors taking part in the 2010 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair from March 2-7 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec). Later that month, the second Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will be held at Dubai Festival City from March 10-13. The festival will be attended by over 80 authors including Kate Adie, Martin Amis, Alexander McCall Smith and Suzanne Husseini.

The Sharjah World Book Fair takes place from October 6-16. The UAE will celebrate press freedom day on September 25.

Exhibitions scheduled including Cityscape in the capital from April 18-21, the Arabian Travel Market at The Address Hotel in Dubai from May 4-7 and Gitex at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from October 17-21.

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) returns in December.