Christmas festivities in Dubai will welcome you with lights, events, Christmas trees and an atmosphere to remember.
Many of the malls, markets and souks remain open, Jumeirah's Souk Madinat hosts a winter wonderland and the Mall of the Emirates hosts a Christmas market with everything from gift ideas to festive accessories.
1. Go on an adventure at Ski Dubai
Spanning over 6,705 square meters, and with an 85-meter snow-capped mountain, Ski Dubai is a year-round attraction. But during the holiday season, the experience becomes even more enchanting.
With Christmas hymns and Santa Claus greeting visitors, skiing instantly becomes a memorable experience. Plus, you can get up close and personal with the most adorable creatures in the animal kingdom: penguins. Book your Ski Dubai ticket and enjoy watching them hop around in their natural habitat.
2. Be dazzled by the spectacle of La Perle de Dragon
On your Christmas trip to Dubai, be sure to attend La Perle de Dragone, a magical and hypnotic theatrical show that lasts about an hour and a half.
More than 60 artists and up to 130 people participate in this acrobatic experience that will amaze you with its various aerial and underwater performances.
In addition, you can opt for a premium ticket with a platinum or vip ticket in which you will also enjoy popcorn, canapes and drinks.
3. Fly over Dubai on a helicopter tour
If you like thrills, Dubai is the right place for you. Therefore, we recommend you to booka helicopter ride, you will have a unique view of the most representative points of interest and places of Dubai such as the Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah or Atlantis.
You will fly between the skyscrapers and artificial islands of the city. And if, in addition, it coincides with Christmas, you will enjoy the illumination even more.
You can choose the duration of the ride, from 12 to 25 minutes, and surprise your partner, family or travel companions while flying over the most iconic buildings of the UAE.
4. Discover the best sunrise from a balloon flight
Another great plan to enjoy the Dubai Christmas is, why not, take a balloon ride at sunrise, a unique and unrepeatable experience. An hour-long flight in which you can see the best views of the city from 600 to 1,200 meters above sea level.
In addition, you can opt for a more premium and complete experience if you book a balloon flight over the Desert Conservation Reserve with breakfast, which also includes an off-road vehicle tour of the desert, a gourmet breakfast in a majlis -an Arabian lounge- and a tour of the dunes in a land rover-
. Of course, both experiences include the transfer to and from the hotel. A tip: don't forget your camera.
5. Feel the atmosphere of the Irish Village
At Christmas time the Irish Village (famous Irish pub) offers Irish whiskeys and some delicious Irish stews to keep your hunger at bay. Located in Garhoud, Irish Village features lake views and landscaped grounds with lights to enhance the Christmas experience.
The Irish Village is one of the most elegant places to be during the festive season, and Christmas, is no exception. The pub is famous for its exquisite European delicacies in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
In addition, the whole area accompanies the Irish Village with a very communal atmosphere, with live music, street vendors and places to take pictures and enjoy Christmas.
6. Experience Christmas at Winter Wonderland
Enjoy one of the most fun Christmas experiences in Dubai at Winter Wonderland, a Christmas space with a Santa Claus Grotto. I recommend it 100% especially in the months of December in Dubai and January in Dubai.
If you go to Dubai with children this place becomes even more interesting, as Santa appears and starts greeting you with a bag of gifts including chocolates, chocolates and other goodies. Not only that, but you can also enjoy fun adventures in the snow park that include movies, snowman building and breakfast with Santa.
While you enjoy Winter Wonderland, a choir will be on hand to cheer you up, singing some of the most popular Christmas carols. In addition, some of the seasonal treats will be served including gingerbread, mince pies and a custom-made spicy peppermint chocolate.
7. Don't forget the Souk Festive Market
This is one of the main Christmas markets in Dubai where you can shop for gifts and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere every day from 3pm to midnight.
Every year during the month of December, the Jumeirah market is transformed into a Christmas market with shopping carts, Christmas lights and jingle bells everywhere.
As usual you will see a 35-meter Christmas tree, perfect for taking selfies. In addition, there will be festive food, wine, gingerbread treats, snow play areas, live music, Santa in a sleigh and more.
8. Visit Santa's Secret Island
With the temperatures dropping, it would be a great idea to soak up the sun during Christmas at the newly opened Bluewaters Island. Located next to Dubai Marina, Bluewaters Island has some of the most picturesque spots in the city and celebrates Christmas like no other man-made island in Dubai.
Known as Santa's secret island, the island hosts an annual Santa's Grotto, children's activities and Christmas music and light shows for when the Dubai night arrives.
Also, don't forget that it has the largest observation wheel in the world. If you go to Bluewaters Island for Christmas, expect to see a plethora of food stalls, Christmas trees, as well as private Christmas-inspired huts.
9. Try attending the Dubai Christmas Carnival
Gems Private School Oud Metha is transformed into a festive spectacle. The Christmas Carnival is organized by a foreign association in Dubai and is held on the grounds of Gems Private School Oud Metha every weekend between December and January.
This Christmas carnival features a lot of activities such as face painting, balloon bending, bouncy castle, magic shows, train rides.
In addition, there will be several amazing prizes to win, food stalls and much more. For more information visit the event website.
10. Don't forget to stop by Bab Al Shams
If you go to Bab Al Shams (Sun Gate) at Christmas time, you will be amazed by a beautifully decorated 13-meter Christmas tree.
While there, you can stroll through the Christmas stalls, meet and greet Santa Claus, listen to seasonal songs and music while drinking the traditional mulled wine and exquisite hot chocolate, made with their own secret recipe.
Admission is completely free for adults, with Bab Al Shams being one of the most recommended places if you are looking to enjoy good food and feel part of the Christmas festivities.
Christmas Eve at Bab Al Shams
New Year's Eve at Bab Al Shams
On New Year's Eve, Bab Al Shams no longer features many activities for children's audiences, but rather for adults with oriental dance performances, drinks and dishes of international flavors, DJs and fireworks shows.
11. Celebrate the festive season to the sound of Christmas at the Dubai Opera House
A Christmas show is in store for you where you can catch the sound of Christmas at the Dubai Opera House. Enjoy your favorite Christmas songs, be it Santa Baby, Jingle Bell Rock, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree or All I want for Christmas is You.
The Dubai Opera Big Band is here to take your celebration to another higher echelon. Musicals take place on the most important days of Christmas.
With over 20 talented jazz musicians, the band is sure to make you sing your heart out and enjoy the music like no other, as it is hard to detach music from Christmas.
12. Have fun with a Christmas movie on the beach
Every year during the Christmas season Dubai Zero Gravity beach club presents some Christmas classics on the big screen right on the beach. Tickets are priced at AED 75 (€18.32), fully redeemable for food and drinks. Doors are open from 7 p.m. and the movie starts at 8 p.m.
Also, it must be said that the views from the establishment's sun loungers are beautiful, this is because it is purposely located in a relatively dark area of the beach, so everything that shines is admirable.
Grab yourself a bag of beans or popcorn and curl up on a lounger for an outdoor movie night at the height of the holiday season. Christmas movie days usually fall in December, so for more information, I recommend you visit the following link.
13. Stroll through the garden of the Habtoor Palace
The Habtoor Palace Garden is a must-see to add to your Christmas calendar, a space filled with twinkling lights and decorated in a very unique style.
It belongs to the Habtoor Palace Hotel, but it is possible to visit it without staying at the hotel. Although, if you are, it would be more convenient for you to join the party. During the Christmas season the opening hours are from 5 p.m. to midnight. Also, if you love Christmas gastronomy, you've come to the right place to get your fill. There is a wide selection of pop-up stalls and outdoor street food.
Habtoor Palace Garden is an ideal festive destination to visit, socialize, have a great time with family or friends and, above all, enjoy an amazing Christmas atmosphere. What's more, you can even sing along with carolers and admire the live performances of some street artists.
Dubai Christmas Weather
In late December, you should expect wonderful mild weather, with daytime highs of 26°C and seawater temperatures of around 25.6°C - a perfect temperature for swimming on Dubai's pristine beaches!
It doesn't usually rain at Christmas time, so don't expect grey and gloomy days. However, fog can be a problem in December, particularly in the early morning hours.
Considering the weather, I recommend wearing light clothing in case you feel a bit chilly, although I'm telling you it's not the most common thing to do.
Tips on how to spend Christmas in Dubai
The wonderful weather in December combined with the vacation season makes the week from Christmas to New Year's one of the busiest of the year in Dubai.
- If you want to enjoy a Christmas dinner, I recommend always booking in advance either at a fancy restaurant or a regular restaurant.
- Remember that you are in the festive season, so prices may be slightly higher than usual.
- Public transportation in Dubai at Christmas time works exactly the same as in other high season dates, so I recommend this guide on how to get around Dubai, it will help you to plan your trip better.
- Of course, I will always advise you to start your stay with a sightseeing bus tour of Dubai in order to familiarize yourself with the most important areas of the city.
- Since the city has a beautiful beach and most hotels have swimming pools inside, make sure to bring swimsuits.
- There are several places to buy souvenirs and gift items for your loved ones. If you wait until January you may see incredible discounts.
Dubai Religious Services at Christmas
Dubai is a proudly tolerant city when it comes to culture and religion, and there are several very interesting churches to visit in case you are a believer.
- St. Mary 's Catholic Church (services in English, Spanish, French and Arabic, Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass and Christmas Day).
- Mar Thoma Church (Services in English and Malayalam on Christmas Eve).
- Dubai United Christian Church(Services in English, Italian and Spanish).
- St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (Services in English, Arabic, German, Spanish, Tamil, French, Sinhala, Arabic, Italian and Tagalog).
- St. Thomas Cathedral (Orthodox).
- Holy Trinity Church. (Anglican)