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13 things to do in Dubai in December

What a month you have chosen! Undoubtedly one of the most recommended months to visit the city and shop all over Dubai.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

13 things to do in Dubai in December

Christmas in Dubai | © thanhhoa tran

It is difficult to summarize in words the amount of events and plans you can choose from in Dubai. In December, being a very attractive month for tourists, you can find all kinds of events such as the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, the International Film Festival, the Shopping Festival or the International Jewelry Week.

On the other hand, being a very pleasant month in terms of weather, you can opt for other less punctual plans such as strolling through the most spectacular gardens of Dubai, know the other side of Dubai or even encourage you to spend the New Year in style in Down Town.

1. Add a winter touch to your trip with Ski Dubai

Enjoying Ski Dubai| ©Lars Plougmann
Enjoying Ski Dubai| ©Lars Plougmann

Although many associate Dubai with the sandboarding you can do in the Dubai desert, the truth is that you can also enjoy ice skiing thanks to Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort located in the Mall of the Emirates. Ski Dubai is open every day in December, although with a brief change in opening hours on weekends.

It is true that Dubai is not the best place for lovers of cold and warm clothes; however, if you want to give more prominence to your winter clothes and feel the western Christmas, do not hesitate to book a ticket for this giant ski resort, one of the largest in the world, no less than 22.500 square meters of skiable area!

It also has other winter entertainment, such as the famous snow tubing, sledding, climbing and you can even see Arctic penguins! 100% recommended!

Book tickets for Ski Dubai

2. Enjoy the UAE Independence Day Show

Sunset from Burj Khalifa observation deck| ©Simon Bierwald
Sunset from Burj Khalifa observation deck| ©Simon Bierwald

On December 2 of each year is celebrated the day of independence of the UAE from Britain back in 1971, it is an extremely important holiday and starring the joy and good atmosphere.

This holiday of the year is celebrated both in the suburbs and in the most emblematic buildings like the Burj Khalifa so I recommend that you take the opportunity to climb the Burj Khalifa on this day and watch the atmosphere from above.

Moreover, it is very usual to see dances, shows, concerts, parades, special exhibitions in museums, many fireworks and other events that you should not miss if you find yourself in December wandering through the huge streets of Dubai.

Book tickets for the Burj Khalifa

3. The International Jewelry Week awaits you in Dubai

Dubai International Convention Center| ©Imre Solt
Dubai International Convention Center| ©Imre Solt

Sometimes it is difficult to disassociate Dubai from the world of excellence and luxury, and try as we might! This time we are in front of the Dubai International Jewelry Week, a global event where the best jewelry on the planet is exhibited and sold. While the exact day of the year is unknown, it usually takes place in the month of December to take advantage of the gift-giving season.

While the exhibition is organized by the Dubai International Trade Center (DWTC), the event can take place anywhere in the city including inside the Burj Khalifaythe Dubai Mall.

To give you an idea, the week-long exhibition will feature luxury items from over 300 companies representing more than 25 countries around the world. Inside you will see all kinds of brands from Aisha Jewels, or Al Nahar Jewellery to Collaro Gioielli, JAR or Johnathon Arndt.

Book tickets for the Burj Khalifa

4. Admire the lights of Dubai as you sail by.

cruise_dubai|©North Tours
cruise_dubai|©North Tours

December is a great month for cruising in Dubai because the temperatures are not cold. Although, yes, at night they drop slightly so perhaps it is not superfluous to take a jacket.

The difficult thing in that case will be to choose the type of cruise you want to carry out, because in the Dubai city you have many options: from a dinner aboard a sailboat while enjoying the spectacular views, to a mega yacht cruise that will make you feel like a VIP. Or, if you prefer, there is an intermediate option: cruise with buffet dinner at sunset. Great plan!

Book a dinner cruise

5. Watch the sunrise in Dubai on board a balloon

Hot Air Balloons|©FAI - World Air Sports Federation
Hot Air Balloons|©FAI - World Air Sports Federation

Can you imagine seeing the skyline of Dubai or the desert dunes with the spectacular colors of the sunrise aboard a hot air balloon? Well, do not imagine it and live it, because in Dubai you have the opportunity to perform this unique activity that will certainly leave you with your mouth open.

This time I present two options, both fabulous: on the one hand, you can enjoy a balloon flight at dawn in which, in addition to the experience, you will get the best views of Dubai. On the other hand, you can book a balloon flight that includes a gourmet breakfast and a tour of the desert dunes in an off-road vehicle, an unforgettable experience!

Book a balloon ride at sunrise

6. Discover the secrets of the desert

desert in Dubai|©thinkrorbot
desert in Dubai|©thinkrorbot

If you are in Dubai in December a plan that you can not miss is a trip to the desert, as the temperatures, infinitely more pleasant than at other times of the year, make this activity much more enjoyable.

Safari through the dunes, camel ride, sandboarding, falcon experience, dinner in the desert, quad bike ride, fire show, henna tattoo, smoking shisha, visit to Al Khayma camp .... The options are almost endless. Choose the one you like the most and don't forget to take pictures!

Book a desert excursion

7. Don't miss the mega show of Omega Dubai Ladie Masters

Getting ready for the Omega Dubai Ladie Masters| ©Cristina Anne Costello
Getting ready for the Omega Dubai Ladie Masters| ©Cristina Anne Costello

The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters is perhaps the most important women's golf event in the world, held in early December at the Emirates Golf Club and attended by the best golfers in the world. To know the ticket prices and what activities are usually held I recommend you visit the main website ofEmirates Golf Club

The tournament is usually awarded with a minimum of 500 thousand euros! The tournament usually lasts 3 days, and the truth is that every corner of this space is worthy of praise. Therefore, if you plan to visit Dubai for 5 days or more in December, it would not hurt to include it among the tours you want to do in Dubai.

If you are in the largest city in the United Arab Emirates at that time and you love golf, you should not miss the tournament. In addition, as usual in Dubai, any tournament of this magnitude is accompanied by shows, atmosphere, fireworks...

8. Watch out for the Dubai International Film Festival

Enjoying the Dubai International Film Festival| ©Christian Kremer
Enjoying the Dubai International Film Festival| ©Christian Kremer

The month of December, as you can already guess, is full of interesting events. The Dubai International Film Festival is held in mid-December and usually lasts seven to eight days. The festival takes place at the Madinat Jumerai resort and admission is "usually" free.

This festival is intended to give visibility to UAE cinema by inviting the world's leading foreign actors and actresses. The event consists of a movie marathon where more than 100 films are screened, most of which are foreign films shown in their original language with English subtitles, and these being the most nominated for different awards.

While the event itself is a delight, the icing on the cake is the Muhr Awards, which is why some of the most lauded film personalities attend. If you're looking for quiet things to do in Dubai at night, this is definitely one of them.

9. Dubai Shopping Festival kicks off

Dubai Mall| ©mostafa meraji
Dubai Mall| ©mostafa meraji

While this festival transcends mostly in January, the fact that it starts in December will allow us to be the first to inaugurate this famous shopping and fashion show event. The Dubai Shopping Festival starts at the end of December, lasts one month and takes place in the Dubai Mall.

If you love fashion you should not think twice, as this is a unique event in Dubai where you will enjoy unexpected fashion shows from top designers, stores with exclusive clothing designs and other fashion-related surprises.

However, if you are going to see Dubai in one day I do not recommend going to the Dubai Shopping Festival as it is very large and may consume most of your time there.

10. Take a Christmas stroll through the Souk Festive Market

Visiting the Souk Festive Market| ©Diana Bellheather
Visiting the Souk Festive Market| ©Diana Bellheather

The Souk Festive Market is another Christmas event held from the second half of December at the Madinat Jumeirah; it is a 1750 square meter market filled with Christmas spirit.

In this Christmas market you can enjoy Christmas as if you were at home or better! Well, despite having the name of a market, it is full of Christmas cultural activities, Christmas bars and other events both religious and not.

In addition, you can participate in a Santa Run, sing along with a Christmas concert, witness a ceremony full of lights and Christmas trees, and even visit Irish pubs and other locals with a unique atmosphere. It's a bit like traveling without leaving your hometown. Ironic, but it makes sense!

11. Don't miss White Dubai

At the White Club| ©Steve Jurvetson
At the White Club| ©Steve Jurvetson

White Dubai is an event that takes place at the White Club, one of the largest and most famous open-air nightclubs in the world; however, White Dubai is more so because it hosts some of the most special night activities.
This annual event is held in mid-December between 12 and 18 of the month, and can only be accessed with prior reservation.

It is important to make reservations in time, because, if you do not want to enter by list, it is possible that the capacity is filled given the great demand that has this event; certainly one of the plans to do in Dubai at night.

White Club is already famous for its innovative and ultramodern character; however, at the White Dubai this space becomes a magical place with an unprecedented atmosphere, with light shows, an energetic dance floor, the presence of professional dancers, gastronomy to delight and other luxuries that are only allowed at the White Dubai! And all while the stars are shining from above!

12. Show up to one of the most important urban events in the world!

Hip-Hop Dance| ©E. Başak
Hip-Hop Dance| ©E. Başak

Sole DXB is a street event for lovers and fans of Hip-Hop, R&B, urban art and fashion that takes place in early December in the city of Dubai. As it is an annual and punctual festival, it is possible that the location of the event varies from other years. However, I recommend that you visit the official event website to make reservations and to find out about any other news or updates.

Sole DXB Dubai is a spectacle for street style fans, as you can not only meet people from all over the world who also love street style, but you can also get exclusive clothing at very good prices.

Also tell you that being a very large event that lasts a whole weekend, every day you can enjoy new developments.

13. Don't let the Santa Run start without you!

The Santa Run Dubai| ©promolover.com
The Santa Run Dubai| ©promolover.com

Do you love sports and want to enjoy a Christmas atmosphere in Dubai? Then I recommend the Dubai Santa Run event located in the Festival City. In order to participate you have to register and pay the participation fee, a participation that ranges between 70 and 120 AED.

Participants receive a hat, a boat and a Santa shirt and then run a 5km race for adults or 2.5km for children. It is certainly a great way to do a collective activity, keep fit and prepare your body and stomach for the end of the year meals.

December temperatures in Dubai

Low temperature day in Dubai| ©Thorsten Fenten
Low temperature day in Dubai| ©Thorsten Fenten

In December the weather is lovely and pleasant, and temperatures don't drop to lows of 17°C and highs of 26°C, a climate most of us are more than used to. In Dubai a maximum temperature of 26ºC is quite a privilege, as in the hot months this is usually not even the minimum.

Christmas vacations in December in Dubai

Christmas in Ski Dubai| ©Neil Parker
Christmas in Ski Dubai| ©Neil Parker

Christmas in Dubai is a luxury, as you can bathe and recharge vitamin D in the middle of December thanks to the sea temperature is maintained around 23 ° C. At that time in Dubai you can enjoy a mini-summer by day, and a cooler night simulating a bit of winter weather, but do not expect very low temperatures, as in Dubai is rare to feel so cold.

Also, Christmas in Dubai has a special flavor, as it is very common to see Christmas events and places with Christmas air. If you go to the Souk Festive Market, you can experience a Christmas movie atmosphere, and if you want to give a touch of adrenaline to your Christmas, you can sign up for Ski Dubai, one of the most emblematic ski areas in the world.

Tourism in Dubai in December

Looking for Accommodation| ©cottonbro
Looking for Accommodation| ©cottonbro

December along with November are the best months to visit Dubai, because if you wait to go in January, the favorite month par excellence, you may notice a rise in prices and a large influx of tourists.

Therefore, to avoid that both factors can affect your experience, December is an excellent month to travel. It is true that the number of tourists is higher than in November; however, it does not become as heavy.

New Year in Dubai

Fireworks in Dubai| ©Ken Liew
Fireworks in Dubai| ©Ken Liew

New Year's Eve in Dubai is crazy! You will see an ambiance, lights, an indescribable atmosphere. So, if you can afford to spend Christmas in this pearl of the Gulf, do not think twice!

The best thing about New Year's Eve in Dubai is that it is celebrated in every corner of Dubai, both in Downtown Dubai (the most popular area to celebrate New Year's Eve and usually hosts more than 1 million people between residents and tourists) and in other coastal areas such as the beach in Jumeirah or Dubai Marina.

In Dubai there are solutions for everything, you can celebrate the last day of the year in thousands of places, each with its charm and peculiarity, including a night bus tour that will allow you to comfortably see all the illumination. Your big problem will undoubtedly be to decide in front of so many options!

Book a night bus tour in Dubai