If you’re keen on escaping snow or below zero degree temperatures this Christmas, then I think the Middle East is the best place to visit during the year. Especially Dubai, as it is one of the most religiously-inclusive cities in this part of the world. Dubai as a city effectively captures the Christmas spirit sans the snow.
I’ve done quite a bit of research and have rounded off the best and unique things to when you spend Christmas in Dubai!
1. A picnic brunch by the pool
The 3in1 Vida urban picnic brunch is so much fun! An extensive wine selection, flavored gin and tonics and Pimms made my brunch! I loved the idea of relaxing in a cabana and eating out of a picnic basket filled with quintessentially British comfort food that could come out of an Enid Blyton Famous Five book! This means you have your pick of scones with clotted cream, cold sandwiches, roasted beef, cold cuts, pies of all kinds, crumpets, pasties, sticky toffee pudding and (for you Harry Potter fans) TREACLE TART. #mediainvite . . . . . #Urbanpicnicbrunch #Vidadowntown #Dubaibrunches #Britishfood #Britishcomfortfood #3in1 #brunchesinDubai #delish #eeeeeats #omnomnom #zomatouae #dubaiblogger #dubaifoodblogger #uaefoodblogger #foodography #tasty #f52grams #yum #dubaifoodie #feedfeed #dubaiPR #foodie #thatsdarling #beautifulcuisines #lifeandthyme #uaeblogger
We all know the holiday season means lots of binge eating, and Dubai has a plethora of cuisines to offer. But how about a Christmas picnic for a change? That’s something you can never do back at home The Urban Picnic brunch at 3in1 at Vida Downtown will offer you a quintessential British brunch complete with Pimm’s. Spend the day relaxing by the pool and outdoor terrace, lounging in the stylish cabanas (that cost an extra AED 100/ approx US$27 per head), and fill up your picnic basket with the special festive food options prepared to perfection!
Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Price: AED 345(US$93) for adults includes a selection of food and unlimited premium selected beverages and AED 295($80) for adults includes a selection of food and unlimited soft beverages. Children ages 6-11 are AED 148. Children 5 and below are complimentary.
Location: 3 in 1, Vida Downtown, Downtown Dubai
2. Have a first-class airline brunch experience at Dusty’s
I went for this brunch during Christmas last year with friends, and it was an absolute blast! Dusty’s located in DIFC has an absolutely gorgeous terrace, staff dressed as cabin crew and fun drinking games for shots and music too! Love that the menu is a la carte and made to order, which keeps everything fresh and festive!
Time: 1 – 4pm
Price: AED 499 (US$135) Prosecco First Class Package (unlimited food, house drinks, and bubbly)
AED 399 (US$108) Business Class Package (unlimited food and house drinks)
AED 299 (US$81) Economy Class Package (food only)
Location: Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC
3. Visit a Christmas Market
There are Christmas markets running throughout the city during the first week of December, including a wonderful winter garden market festival that takes place in Dubai Media city and the St. Regis at Al Habtoor City. Unfortunately, the Dubai Winter Festival doesn’t quite fall on Christmas Day. Pity, but if you’re ever in the city and are feeling festive, go on right ahead and visit one of these! The St. Regis Winter Garden market has free entry, whereas you can expect to pay around AED 50 (US$13) at the Dubai Winter Festival. The St. Regis Winter Garden market runs from 29th Nov-26th December and is definitely one to check out. Activities include a Santa’s Grotto, cheese board making lessons and more!
4. Take your kids to Santa’s Grotto
As a third culture kid, my favourite place to celebrate Christmas in Dubai is always at Wafi. The main atrium is completely transformed to look like the most magical Santa’s grotto. It still remains as one of the most magical sights for me.Children who visit Santa in his grotto will usually receive a cuddly soft toy and a framed photograph with Santa for AED 60 (US$16). There’s also a free gingerbread decoration area where kids can create their own festive edible goodies while waiting to meet Santa.
Location: Wafi, Oud Metha Road
5. View the most beautiful Christmas trees
Last year, when F.C. and I went to Madinat Jumeirah around Christmas time, we were blown away by how magical it was. It’s the epitome of Christmas amidst traditional Arabic architecture. You can pop by the neighbouring McGettigan’s for some delicious Christmas themed cocktails and mulled wine after. Another sweet place to see a Christmas tree with babbling brooks and cute ducks walking around is the Irish Village.
And there you have it, various ways to spend Christmas in Dubai while still enjoying the festive fun while experiencing the authenticity of the city!