It's the most wonderful time of the year... Christmas is coming and Dubai is doing everything in its power to make it happen. Huge Christmas trees, sumptuous meals and of course, it's not Christmas in Dubai without a photo of you wearing a Santa hat on the beach that will make all your friends back home jealous. Are you ready for the best Christmas ever? Put on your Christmas sweater, it's time to think big.
1. Celebrate the UAE at Expo Winter City
There is almost no place more iconic in Dubai than Al Wasl Plaza in Expo City. And at Christmas the world-famous site does its best. On Friday, December 9, a 52-foot-tall tree decorated with three-foot-long lights will be lit and take pride of place at the Winter City Expo, kicking off a fun holiday program at the venue. You can also enjoy hot chocolate, hot drinks and tarts (what more could you and your family want?). And while you're at it, remember Expo 2020 Dubai. Other things to mark on your calendar include: Mrs. Claus' Christmas Pageant, which takes place December 20-29, and the First Candlelight Carol Concert, which takes place December 20-25.
2. Brunch on the beach
It goes without saying that the weather outside is far from terrible; In fact, it's absolutely delicious. December in Dubai is what we wait for (and sweat for) all year. So what better place to have lunch on Christmas Day than on the beach? Many of the city's restaurants and hotels offer incredible family celebrations by the sea, but for a Christmas atmosphere like no other, try brunch at Café Nikki on Nikki Beach. There's fresh seafood, seasonal specials and festive treats, plus a live band to entertain you and a visit from Santa Claus. The best news? You can exchange your Christmas sweater for a swimsuit, as access to the pool and beach is included in the price.
3. Bungee Jumping at Christmas
Dubai is famous for skydiving (you've seen those photos of people jumping through the impressive palm fronds), but if you're not afraid of heights, you can still try something fun, but less extreme this Christmas. The Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market returns from Thursday 15 December to Friday 30 December and there's plenty to experience, including bungee jumping. There's also a North Pole train, a carousel and lots of other fun activities for kids, including gingerbread houses. Plus, there are plenty of stalls selling delicious food and festive drinks, plus there's an 11 meter tall Christmas tree to admire. And where else can you hang out in Abra with Santa Claus?
4. Catch a snowflake at Winterfest
You've probably seen the huge fan zone next to McGettigan's at the Media City Amphitheater in Dubai. But it's not just about the World Cup in December. You'll also find Winterfest by McGettigan's, a huge Christmas market that the whole family will enjoy. This winter wonderland offers stalls, festive food and children's activities, including snowball fights (with real snow) and a Christmas grotto. Ho-ho-ho.
5. Eat around the world at Time Out Market
Christmas is a time for food and what better place than Time Out Market Dubai to sample the tastiest dishes in the city? Throughout December, restaurants in the heart of Dubai's premier dining destination will be offering special Christmas dishes, so get ready to spoil yourself this Christmas. Time Out Market has decorated its food hall with sprigs of holly and serves some delicious Christmas-inspired dishes, like Pitfire's "It Lerally Tastes Like Christmas" pizza, topped with turkey, melted camembert, stuffing and flavored cranberry sauce ( Dh65). ) and Pickl's Ahh Bisto Bird, inspired by a classic Christmas meal (Dh75).
6. Enjoy a Christmas dinner in a celebrity chef's restaurant
There are few places where you can enjoy a great Christmas dinner in a celebrity chef's restaurant, but Dubai is one of them. From Nobu to Gordon Ramsay, you have some big names to choose from. Do you want a Christmas with a sea view? Come to Torno Subito by chef Massimo Bottura for your Buona Domenica lunch, where you can enjoy drinks, tasty dishes and live entertainment. There is also a children's corner, ideal for the whole group. Being located directly on the beach, you can enjoy a splendid view and the feeling of holiday.
7. Finish off the big day with a girls' night out on Boxing Day.
If you've been giving your all to the holiday season and woke up on Boxing Day feeling a little sad because the big day is finished, that's all. . Now it's time to get back on the holiday train and continue the December 26th celebrations. Round up the girl gang and head to FIVE Jumeirah Village for a lively girls' night out (you know you'll have fun there). Trattoria by Cinque offers three delicious Italian dishes and five drinks for Dhs150 to help you end the festive celebrations in a fun way.
8. Go ice skating without wearing any clothes.
Do you think you need gloves and a bobble hat to ice skate? Well, there's no reason why you can't wear one here, but you'll be just as happy with your sun hat. Head to the Global Village where, in addition to all the amazing festivities, you will also have the opportunity to visit the Snowfest ice rink. While it's not technically made of ice (it's a high-quality plastic and therefore more environmentally friendly), it's shiny enough to glide effortlessly (depending on your skating skills). A 20-minute session costs Dhs40, which includes skate rental and a pair of soft socks. Little ones can use a seal-shaped ice skating aid for an extra Dh10, so there's something for the whole group to enjoy.
9. Organize your Christmas party
If you don't feel like going out but still want turkey and lots of gravy, why not make it at home? “But all the food and dishes!” » We hear you cry. Don't worry, Dubai is a pro when it comes to takeout before the big day. Many places in town make a delicious turkey with all the trimmings, so you don't have to. Still want it to look (and smell) a little cozy? Order from The Duck Hook, where takeout serves pre-cooked and refrigerated boneless turkey breast served with all the typical sides, desserts, meat pies and even biscuits. You still have to do the dishes, sorry.
10. Take a wild ride on Christmas Eve
Grab your Santa hats, it's time for a ride at the rodeo. For something different, head to CLAW BBQ at JBR on Christmas Eve and try the Bronco as a (literal) warm-up for the big day. Once you're done (which could be quick, depending on your ability to keep it all together), it's time for guacamole and chips, wings and other American food. The resident DJ also plays the freshest rhythms and guarantees everyone an evocative pre-Christmas night.