For those of you travelling to Dubai at Christmas or even some of the curious ones, here is our guide on How to Spend Christmas in Dubai.
Where to Go Christmas Shopping in Dubai
Forgot those final special presents? No problem! Dubai has tonnes of options for Christmas shopping from the malls to the souks.
A lot of the malls, markets, and souks stay open across the festive season, including Christmas Day if you fancied it! Jumeirah’s Souk Madinat hosts a Winter Wonderland where you can find various stalls and shops amidst a festive backdrop.
The malls are also chiming in on the festivities. The Mall of the Emirates is hosting a Christmas market for you to peruse, complete with everything you need from gift ideas to festive accessories.
Your options are endless from the luxury designer brands to the quaint, one-of-a-kind finds in the Dubai markets.
For further reading on Christmas Shopping in Dubai check out the guides below:
What is there to do in Dubai at Christmas
Some of the most popular attractions at Christmas are the various markets across Dubai. Along with the souks, you can expect to find hotels taking part in markets as well!
Habtoor Palace is hosting its evening ‘The Winter Garden‘ event from December 5 to December 28, so there is plenty of time to get yourself there! The Winter Garden has various stalls for food and presents as well as activities and entertainment, so it’s suitable for the whole family!
The Bab Al Shams Festive Market is one you do not want to miss! The hotel transforms itself into a desert Christmas market, complete with various gift stalls, food stands, and a whopping 40ft Christmas tree to really catch your eye! But get there quick to see the spectacle, the market runs from December 12 to December 20.
If you have got time, be sure to catch The Ripe Market which is packed with great entertainment for children, quirky and homemade gift stalls, an enchanting tree light ceremony, and you can even grab yourself a Christmas tree!
There are plenty of fun Christmas activities to take part in across Dubai, with there being something for everyone.
Do They Celebrate Christmas in the UAE?
Traditionally, Dubai does not celebrate Christmas as a public holiday, as it is a Muslim country. However, the UAE tolerates celebrations from other religions, so there are plenty of church services and festive decorations to make you feel at home.
Is Dubai Hot at Christmas?
Do not go to Dubai expecting a white Christmas!
However, if you are not a fan of the cold, you will love the warmer weather you can expect across Christmas in Dubai. On average, you can expect highs of 26°C and lows of 15°C, so you can go and spend Christmas on the beach!
Christmas Dinner in Dubai
You may be used to staying in on Christmas Day, but in Dubai it is a different story!
A lot of people go out to eat on Christmas Day as most people enjoy a Christmas brunch to kick-off their festive celebrations. A lot of restaurants, hotels, and bars will cook up an array of Christmas dishes and beverages along with traditional buffets. If this is not your preference, there are even takeaway options serving all sorts of festive dishes, or you could be brave and head to the supermarket to buy and cook up your own!
Whatever your fancy, Dubai will have something to offer.
For more information on Brunch in Dubai and where to eat Christmas Brunch in Dubai, check out this full guide.
More Reasons to Spend Christmas in Dubai
Dubai offers all sorts of Christmas activities, some you are unlikely to find back home!
As mentioned before, Jumeirah’s Souk Madinat is receiving a festive Winter Wonderland makeover to set you in the Christmas spirit! Along with the shopping experience, there will be festive gardens, a Christmas grotto, and even cosy outdoor movie nights. There are plenty of food stops and even an ice rink for you to enjoy. The Winter Wonderland opens on December 12 to last right up to January 7.
Are you more of a daredevil? Then the indoor ski slopes at the Mall of the Emirates is sure to be one of your stops! There are tonnes of activities to enjoy here from the exhilarating skiing to the adorable penguin encounters to the snow bullet which propels you down a zip line from 16 metres high! It is sure to be a memorable day out!
If you’re not one for cold activities, many people opt to spend Christmas Day relaxing down by the beach! There are also all sorts of activities for children such as at Jumeirah Beach Residence, where you can play games, do gingerbread art, and make Christmas cards. Or you can simply unwind before heading off for a delicious Christmas dinner!
If you fancy mixing up your traditional Christmas, try spending it in Dubai!