If there is a month of the year that brings us all together, it’s December.
But for some holiday travellers, they might think they won’t get any Christmas spirit if they’re in Dubai.
The truth is that’s a long way from fact – Dubai is set to come alive this Christmas and New Year!
From the snowy reaches of Lapland to the dunes of Dubai, winter wonderland blooms with a triple whammy of holidays, amazing weather and a jam-packed events calendar.
Christmas comes alive in the city, Dubai style. Malls go all out with holly, Santa and sales while traditional Arabian souks transform into Christmas markets.
From pantomimes and brunches to DJ sets and Bedouin shows, there is no lack of festive fervour in this part of the world. Here are ten of the best festive experiences to get you in the holiday spirit:
UAE National Day Parade
Although 2 December might be a bit early for festivities for the rest of the world, the UAE kicks off its National Day revelries with an epic parade every year that brings together Dubai residents of diverse nationalities. Celebrating the spirit of the union between the UAE’s seven emirates, the parade is also a petrol-head’s dream, with Dubai Police’s fleet of supercars joining in the procession in Downtown Dubai.
Madinat Festive Market
Bringing together the best of both worlds, the Christmas Market at the iconic Souk Madinat Jumeirah is bursting at the seams with the magic and flavours of Christmas thanks to more than 20,000 Christmas lights and over 160 trees adorning the property.
From elaborate ornaments to delicious treats and merry carollers, the Christmas market is the perfect venue to soak in the festive spirit in the days leading up to Christmas Day. Head over to their sister property, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, to breathe in the aromas of their giant gingerbread house made with over 2,000 pieces of gingerbread.
Bonus – those who stay on the property even get treated to a stocking in their room for each guest!
Find out more here. Or call +971 4 366 8888.
White Christmas at Ski Dubai
For visitors, residents, families and children craving a white Christmas, Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates will bring a touch of Lapland to Dubai with a Winter Wonderland complete with Santa’s Grotto and workshop.
With sledge hills and snow balls, Christmas cheer will be running high as revellers ski the day away or indulge in a good old fashioned snowball fight. Christmas at Ski Dubai will make the desert seem a million miles away.
Skate into the Festive Season at Dubai Ice Rink
Not to be outdone on tradition, Dubai Ice Rink at The Dubai Mall packs in the best of Christmas in one great venue.
Last year, Christmas revellers were treated to gifts at the Village Market, complete with an elves’ arts and crafts workshop, the chance to skate under snowfall to disco music and an exciting Elementis Show – a spectacular performance based on the elements of earth, fire, water and wind.
Find out more here. Or call +971 4 448 5111.
Nutcracker on Ice at Dubai Opera
From 6 – 10 December, the newly opened Dubai Opera will play host to the greatest Christmas pantomime of all time – the Nutcracker – staged on ice.
A cast of World, European and National Championship-level skaters will bring the epic tale to life on ice accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s glorious score.
With high-speed leaps and awe-inspiring acrobatics, this sublime ice dance is a festive treat that will thrill and enchant all ages.
Fireworks at the Burj Khalifa
Every New Year’s Eve, the Burj Khalifa has stood tall amongst global icons such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Times Square as it rings in the new year with a vertical fireworks display that has inspired awe around the world. In tandem with the display at the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s other landmarks – Burj Al Arab and Atlantis the Palm – also come alive with pyrotechnics, creating a city-wide spectacle with Dubai-style fanfare and sparkle.
New Year’s Eve under the stars
For those looking to ring in the New Year – or even celebrate Christmas – surrounded by the majesty and silence of the desert under a canopy of stars, Dubai provides a number of options to enjoy a desert party and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The Dubai desert experience will not only transport you back to the city’s Bedouin roots, but also offer a great vantage point to view the city’s fireworks from afar.
Dubai Shopping Festival
The globally renowned Dubai Shopping Festival is the largest of its kind in the Middle East and attracts millions of local, regional and global visitors. This year, the month-long extravaganza kicks off earlier than normal, on 26 December, adding bargains galore to the season’s festive mix. The festival is one of the key highlights of the city’s calendar, offering a unique shopping experience packed with unbeatable deals, celebrity performances and plenty of amazing events, as well as providing every visitor the opportunity to win life-changing prizes.
Celebrity gigs on New Year’s Eve
From Coldplay to Martin Garrix to David Guetta, Dubai has hosted a slew of musical powerhouses on New Year’s Eve. Although this year’s line-up is yet to be confirmed, Dubai visitors can definitely anticipate big-name DJs and performers to bring in 2017 with a bang. Watch this space.
Log onto Visit Dubai Events to keep track of the latest announcements.
Theme Parks and Gardens
With the spirit of the season taking over every corner of the city, it’s also the perfect time to check out the city’s newest attractions – IMG Worlds of Adventure, Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai and Legoland Dubai, as well as the ever-popular Global Village and Dubai Miracle Garden. Combining fun with culture and nature, they offer an exciting outing for the young and young at heart.
Al Fresco Festive Dining
With a range of world-class restaurants and a vibrant F&B scene, Dubai in December is the perfect place to enjoy a festive al-fresco brunch or dinner at the city’s leading culinary hotspots. With weather that is near-perfect – warm, sunny days, refreshing sea breezes and cool nights – the city ensures visitors and residents have the opportunity to take in the city’s futuristic skyline, whilst savouring seasonal specialties. From luxury to wallet-friendly, the options for Christmas Day brunch are unbeatable as Dubai’s culinary scene brings out the best of the best for the festive season.
Christmas and the Dubai Winter Festival at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre
Now in its 5th year, the Dubai Winter Festival is back to Dubai Media City Amphitheatre and is the largest, most enjoyable weekend of festive fun. It is everything you love about Christmas all in one place.
Come down and celebrate with us on the 8th, 9th and 10th of December!
ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY!
Dubai is a destination brimming with excitement for every member of the family! Find out everything there is to know about Dubai from the Dubai Tourism Website – packed with hints, tips, links to tickets, accomodation and more.