18 November 2018Last updated


Your festive calendar

Our guide to the best family-friendly events from now till Christmas

Kirsty Radley & Belle Yates
17 Nov 2015 | 04:46 pm
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Friday 20 November

Jebel Ali Village Festive Market, 2pm - 6pm

A lovely afternoon with festive craft stations, face and nail painting, Santa’s grotto, BBQ and bouncy castles.

Friday 27 November and Friday 11 December

ARTE, Dubai Times Square Centre, 11am-7pm

Fantastic opportunities to pick up all kinds of Christmas crafts made by Dubai’s very own crafting gurus, as well as the chance to indulge in some festive food.

Friday 4 December

Positive Paws Christmas Fayre, Street 14C, Al Quoz 4, 12-4pm

All funds raised at the fayre will go towards helping the shelter dogs of Dubai, with the fayre offering shopping, child-friendly mulled apple juice, mince pies and crafts in the form of making a toy for the dogs.

Saturday 5 December to Saturday 2 January

Christmas at Ski Dubai

A snow-filled Winter Wonderland opens in Ski Dubai on the 5th December, with Santa’s grotto and workshop, with visits from Santa from 12th-24th December, who will be handing out presents. A new addition to this Wonderland is the Elf Pod where families can elf-themselves in the reality pod.

Monday 7 December

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Irish Village, 7pm-9 pm

Enjoy mulled wine, mince pies and carols sung by a choir around the Christmas tree – a great Christmas treat for all the family. Get there early to avoid disappointment.

Monday 7 December

Aquarius Magazine Christmas Market, Reform Social Bar & Grill, 10am-6pm

With cookie decorating, face painting and fun crafts to do, festive photos, a petting zoo and a meeting with Father Christmas.

Wednesday 9 to Saturday 12 December

Swiss Christmas Market, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, 5pm-10pm

The 10th Annual Swiss Christmas Market set up outside to resemble a Swiss Alpine village, the stalls are set up in wooden chalets selling everything seasonal from freshly-baked cookies to decorative gifts and handcrafted items.

Thursday 10 December

DBS Festive Fair, Dubai British School Emirates Hills, 1.30pm-4.30pm

With stalls to buy festive items from, Santa’s grotto and plenty of Christmas treats to eat.


Thursday 10 December

JAPS Festive Fayre, Jebel Ali Primary School, Jebel Ali 5pm-7pm

This long-standing festive market is being held in the school for the final time before moving locations.

Friday 11 to Saturday 12 December

Santa Claus and the Magical Christmas Journey, DUCTAC, Mall Of The Emirates

London’s very own West End Christmas pantomime visits the UAE with Santa and two naughty little elves. A must watch for all young believers – plus there will be a meet and greet with Santa to receive a small present!

Tickets from Dh105 to Dh150

Saturday 12 December

Reform Social and Grill Christmas Fayre, The Lakes

Head down to this lovely outdoor family-friendly venue for a day of festive fun and delicious grub.

Wednesday 16 to Thursday 17 December

Story Time, BookMunch, Al Wasl Road, 5.30pm-6.30pm

Children are invited to gather round and listen to classic Christmas tales, with milk and cookies as well as building gingerbread houses. Booking is required, Dh120 per child.


Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 December

Dubai Winter Festival, DWTC 4pm-10pm on Thursday, 3pm-10pm on Friday and Saturday

In a new location for its fourth year, the winter festival promises an ice rink, Santa’s grotto, gingerbread house decorating and more.

Thursday 17 to Sunday 27 December

Winter Wonderland, Madinat Jumeirah, weekdays; 3pm-12midnight, weekends; 1pm-12midnight

Filled with traditional festive treats, fun activities such as Santa surfing and the North Pole Train and a beautifully-decorated eight-metre tall tree, this is one of the largest festive markets Dubai has to offer.

Friday 18

December Carols in the Desert, Al Quadra, Dubai Cycle Track, 4pm-9pm

One of the best Dubai Christmas events – a must for every family. Bring your family, friends, food & drink, dogs and anyone else you would like to bring. Don’t forget food, drinks, chairs, rugs, warm clothes, musical instruments, torches, glow-sticks and a tent if you wish to spend the night! No 4x4 required.


Friday 18 and Saturday 19 December

JLT Outdoor Cinema, JLT Park (between O & P clusters), 5pm-onwards

Join the JTL Outdoor cinema for two Christmas screenings – Saving Santa on the Friday and Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Saturday. There are blankets, food, drinks, chairs and games to buy at the venue. The films start at 7pm, with activities and entertainment happening from 5pm onwards.

Kirsty Radley & Belle Yates

Kirsty Radley & Belle Yates