1 Go see santa!
We say it’s for the children but who doesn’t love the magic of Father Christmas? Round up the little ones and take a trip to Santa’s Grotto to see the man himself. A perennial favourite is Wafi’s impressive offering, complete with a 12-metre Christmas tree, artificial snow, animated displays and plenty of decorations. Dh60 will get your child a meet-and-greet with Santa (including a photo), a cuddly toy, a pass for Kids Connection soft play, a child’s meal and even a free cup of tea or coffee for Mum or Dad. You’ll also be in with the chance to win a family holiday. Santa’s Grotto, Wafi, 04 324 4555.
2 Baking fun for little ones
What: Let your children loose with pastry cutters and icing – under the close supervision of professional chefs, of course! Little ones can make and decorate their own gingerbread shapes and enjoy a host of festive treats at the Ritz-Carlton Dubai Kids Afternoon Tea.
Where: Lobby Lounge, Ritz-Carlton Dubai
When: December 6, 13 and 20, 2pm-4pm
Dh240 per child aged 5-12, 04 318 6150
3 Festive market
What: Get in the yuletide mood at the Souq market. Kids can enjoy a North Pole train, an ice rink, Santa’s Grotto, bouncy castle and a reindeer rodeo, while adults can feast on a wide range of festive treats.|
Where: Madinat Jumeirah
When: December 17-27, 3pm to 12am on weekdays and 1pm to 12am on weekends
No charge, 04 366 6730
4 Bouncing excitement
What: Grab your favourite tasteless Christmas sweater and get down to Bounce Dubai for tunes, decorations, Santa and of course some jumping trampoline fun at its Christmas party.
Where: Bounce, Al Quoz
When: December 9, 8pm-11pm
Dh200 for three hours
5 Merry festival
What: This year’s Christmas Festival at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre looks set to be better than ever, with a fun fair, ice rink, bouncy castle, snow-ball-fight zone, penguin bowling, reindeer rodeo and, of course, a Santa’s Grotto. Ho, ho, ho!
Where: Dubai Media City Amphitheatre
When: December 11-13, times vary
From Dh55 for adults and Dh25 for children. 04 391 8371
6 Christmas carols
What: Enjoy mulled wine, eggnog, chestnuts and mince pies around the tree as you listen to the dulcet tones of the in-house choir’s rendition of modern and traditional carols.
Where: Le Méridien Dubai
When: December 21-24, 7.15pm-8pm
F&B priced individually, 04 217 0000
7 Light up!
What: You know it’s nearly Christmas when the tree goes up! Watch the lights go on at a special ceremony while enjoying some festive tones from the choir and a selection of Christmas medleys, before tucking into a traditional buffet.
Where: Emirates Golf Club
When: December 15, 7pm-9pm
Dh325, 04 417 9999
8 It’s showtime
What: No Christmas is complete without some festive theatre action – sing along to songs based on Roald Dahl’s ever-popular Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in a musical version of the tale of the famous candy man and his quest to find an heir.
Where: Ductac, Mall of the Emirates|
When: December 19-27, times vary
Dh200-Dh250, 04 341 4777
9 Twinkling in the capital
What: Enjoy a special tree-lighting ceremony with treats including mince pies, cookies, mulled wine and cinnamon tea, all set to the sounds of the talented choir serenading you with Christmas carols.
Where: The Hub, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi
When: December 10, from 7pm
No charge, 800 101 101
10 Yuletide brunch
What: Start your celebrations early with a festive brunch before the big day itself. Expect an abundance of seasonal fare accompanied by decorations, Christmas music and, of course, an appearance from the big man himself.
Where: Flow Kitchen, Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah
When: Fridays in December
Dh185-Dh465, 04 457 3457