Keeping our boys and girls engaged in activities outside school is at the top of most parents’ list. It is during our children’s formative years where their minds are open to new challenges, and signing them up for afterschool activities help to hone in on their passions. Luckily for our youngsters, Dubai and Abu Dhabi…Read More
Every year, many of us spend Christmas away from home, but even though artificial trees and 20 plus temperatures may not be what we are used to in December, Dubai always goes above and beyond to bring some serious Christmas vibes to town. This year is absolutely no exception. Catch Santa as he tours the city, and head out to these fabulous festive markets in Dubai sure to put a jolly ‘ole smile on your face.
1. Festive Wonderland at Souk Madinat
Christmas has landed at Jumeirah’s Souk Madinat! Discover outdoor movie nights, festive garden, carol singalongs, Santa’s grotto, children’s crafting workshops, Christmas shopping and more.
Families can take a stroll around the decorated walkways of the Souk and keep your eyes peeled for hip-hop Santa! The Man in Red will be racing through on his roller-skates, so you’ll have to be quick get a photo of him. You can also visit him at his grotto
Your little creatives can get their arts and crafts fix in the central courtyard starting 12:00pm, which will be transformed Santa’s workshop, will all sorts of fun and engaging Festive activities including canvas painting, string art, creation of DIY snow globe jars, decoupage with Christmas themed cut-outs, painting sessions where kids can paint their own Christmas house, and more.
In addition, you can catch a movie under the stars in the Amphitheatre at 7:30pm. Grab a bean bag and settle in to watch a Christmas classic such as Home Alone, The Polar Express and The Grinch every night, or play a family game like Jenga or Connect 4 in the festive garden and let everyone show their competitive spirit!
If love Caroling like we do, then head over to the Christmas tree on December 23, 24 and 25 at 7pm where a choir will be belting out festive favorites.
2. Winter Wonderland at JBR
Looking for something festive to enjoy with the whole family? You can really get into the spirit with a visit to the Winter Wonderland at JBR, featuring an all-new digital pavilion, several street performances, a glice-skating rink, a visit from Santa, as well as all the traditional favorites.
Adding to the magical setting are the incredible decorations that include thousands of lights, Christmas trees, and life-size toy soldiers. Winter Wonderland at JBR brings you a white Christmas just like you remember, and without having to jump on a plane, decked out with penguins, gingerbread men, candy canes, and polar bears – and constant snowfall too!
The festive village includes a variety of fun activities for the little ones including a Digital Pavilion with Immersive Fairytale “Journey to the North Pole”, Glice-skating Rink, Bouncy Castle, Slide Tube and Build a Bear stations.
There will also be a variety of live entertainment throughout the month, like shows by Magic Phil and street performers, making no two days at the Winter Wonderland alike.
3. The Ripe Festive Market
Ripe Market goes festive throughout December and until Boxing Day, you and your little ones can enjoy seasonal activities to make your holidays holly and jolly. Not only is there a Santa’s Grotto sure to be a hit with the kiddos, but it is the place to be for your Christmas Tree and Locally Made Gift shopping, Cookie Decorating, Gingerbread making, and so much more!
It is also the perfect place for a taste of Christmas with all the delicious seasonal foods and beverages on offer.
4. Winter Garden at Habtoor Palace Dubai
This enchanting Winter Garden has been a family favourite the last couple of years, and it is no wonder why with its winter wonderland vibes and fun festivities for the entire family.
Decked out in dazzling decorations, you can expect holiday carols filling the air, and fun entertainment guaranteed for your kiddies. Every day, a jolly Santa will arrive and the evening continues with a live singer playing all the seasonal classics to bring in the festive spirit.
To add to the festive cheer, there will be a variety of kiosks and food stalls, serving up a delicious Yuletide of traditional delights alongside a selection of Christmas beverages.
5. Winter In Wonderland at City Centre Me'aisem
It’s a Winter Wonderland over at City Centre Me’aisem! The kiddos are in for a jolly good time as they Meet & Greet Santa, dig into seasonal yummy favourites, plop down to catch a movie under the stars, and play some fun games.
6. Desert Festive Market at Bab Al Shams
It is truly Christmas in the desert this year with Bab Al Shams’ gorgeously desert-themed wonderland. As you are welcomed in, hot chocolate, mince pies and Christmas cookies await you. Sing along to daily 30-minute carol renditions followed by festive background music while fabulous Christmas decorations and a 40 ft. Christmas tree with a Santa chair and horse carriage is all set up for your festive family snaps.
Your little elves will jump for joy as they Meet & Greet Santa to receive a festive gift to take home, and plenty of stalls are ready to serve the whole family with some yummy festive treats.
7. Winter Wonderland at Al Barari
Winter Wonderland will be the spectacular Christmas destination in Al Barari this year!
Located in the green heart of Dubai, immerse yourself in all things festive. You and the kiddos can expect an Ice Rink, Specialty Hot Chocolate Hut, Winter Parade, Arts and Crafts and Snow Zone, Live DJ, Seasonal Market filled with one-of-a-kind finds, and much more!
8. Rooftop Festive Village at Nakheel Mall
The Festive Village is inspired by celebrations from all over the world, and bring you nostalgic festive and free activities such as live music, entertainment, market, ice rink, a huge festive tree, and kids play area. The rooftop is complemented by festive decorations, to bring you that seasonal cheer.
You and the kiddos will love the free Santa meet and greet, a market for all your holiday shopping, a fun play area for the kids with Toy Factory Workshops, a winter-wonderland ice rink, and a 13-meter Christmas tree and live music every day at the entrance of Santa’s Village.
In addition to the endless fun, the Rooftop Festive Village features food kiosks by Dubai’s homegrown Ripe Market that are set to make your tummies rumble.
9. Escape To The North Pole at La Mer
The North Pole has come to Dubai, and along with it, some fantastic festive activities for you and your kiddies!
Explore a forest maze, filled with snowy trees, larger than life candy canes and snow men – all surrounded by white fences. Here your littles can spot a golden reindeer or two – while you snap away on your phone – as you journey to meet Santa Claus himself!
Plus, the holiday season is never complete without re-watching your favourite festive flicks. This year, you can watch them all under the stars at the outdoor cinema from 7:15pm every Thursday – Friday until 25th December.
10. The Festive Experience at Dubai Festival City Mall
There’s no shortage of festive vibes over at Dubai Festival City Mall. This year, you and the kiddies are taken through the Polar Bear Valley – a magical walk through beautiful ever green fir trees, snow drifts, polar bears and reindeers – which takes you to the Festive Market.
Along with a must-visit Santa’s Grotto, a special “lighting of the tree” performance takes place every evening with snowfall and hourly sing-along performances. Carnival rides await the thrill-seekers and your boys and girls are sure to have oodles of fun with the Festive Maze, Light Tunnels, Jugglers and Mimes, Festive Singalongs and Stage Shows.
And when all the fun starts to make you hungry, a selection of F&B kiosks are on-site to serve you up some yummies.
11. Full December Journey at WAFI
Head down to WAFI for The Full Winter Experience! Get access inside Santa’s workshop where you and the kiddos will be able to have a meet and greet with Santa, get a framed photo with the main man and an adorable toy. Walk through the magical snow globe where you can take pictures and videos, and get a miniature snow globe with a replica of your family inside it that you can cherish forever.
12. Festive Wonder at Global Village
Make merry and indulge in a host of festivities this holiday season! Browse the most original gifts in town or pick up a fab new outfit for yourself… with 350 Pavilion shops and boutiques, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Make a meal of it with festive food from around the world or catch one of our special festive events, fireworks, and shows – all created with the true spirit of the season.
Grab a family pic in front of one of the most spectacular festive trees in Dubai and don’t forget to keep an eye out for Santa so you can grab a cheeky selfie if you see him! So, head on down to Global Village and wander into a World of Festive Wonder.