Here’s a luxury festive season holiday that won’t break the bank


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Want to get away from it all this festive season without paying an exorbitant amount for a flight to leave the UAE?

Well, why not head to the Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah which has a winter deal running at the moment? The resort looks like something out of the Great Gatsby, boasts the Arabian Gulf on one side and the Hajar mountains on the other and is just an hour’s drive from Dubai.

If you still haven’t made plans for the break and are starting to panic, fear not: there are a bunch of deals to get you through the Christmas/New Year’s Eve week (read on for more). 

Plus, we could think of worse places to spend a few days than by this pool…


Here’s a guide to the festive season at Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah…

Christmas events


Keen to head there for Christmas? Here’s what you’ll find…

Christmas carols

If you live in Ras Al Khaimah or will find yourself there this Thursday December 22, then get down for the Christmas Carols evening. Expect bucketloads of festive cheer as well as mulled wine, hot chocolate, fruit cake and vanilla kipferi. The perfect way to amp up for the Christmas weekend.

Free to attend, 4pm to 6pm, Thursday December 22. 

A private Christmas lunch from Dhs275


This has to be one of the better deals UAE-wide for Sunday December 25: for Dhs275 per person you can book your own private garden cabana, which are all dotted around the grand hotel’s lovely gardens. Included in the package is a festive menu with carving stations and live music, including roast turkey, light salads, summery-Christmas dishes and traditional pudding.

Dhs275 per person plus service charge (drinks available a la carte), 1pm to 3pm, Sunday December 25. 

Christmas Eve dinner


The food at Lexington Grill is excellent (the steak we had there is one of the best we’ve had in the UAE), so we’re considering heading to RAK just for the Christmas Eve dinner at the hotel. For Dhs415 you will get a three-course set menu with a wine pairing (or it’s Dhs290 for food only).

Ooh, and there will also be a Christmas Eve dinner at the Qasr Al Bahar restaurant that will only cost you Dhs250 plus service charge for food.

From Dhs290 plus service charge, 7pm to 11pm, Saturday December 24. 


Remember, Sunday January 1 is a public holiday in the UAE, so why not turn the countdown night into a staycation?

A New-York style party

We can vouch for the food at this steakhouse, and imagine their New York-themed New Year’s Eve party will be a good night out thanks to the live jazz band. For Dhs735 you get a five-course meal, and for Dhs985 plus service charge you can sample that meal with a bespoke wine pairing.

From Dhs735, 8pm to 1am, Saturday December 31.

A go-big-or-go-home gala dinner


If you want to ring in 2017 in a truly opulent way, then the hotel’s gala dinner in Peacock Alley is for you. You’ll start with canapés and drinks on the mezzanine level overlooking the fountain, before working your way through the luxurious buffet. Plus, there will be an illusionist at the party – Pepino – to bring out some tricks to the party.

The tables will be in groups of 10, so bring a group, or be ready to meet new people…

Dhs1,200 per person plus service charge, includes wine pairing and a glass of bubbles at midnight. 

The party at 17Squared


With no entrance fees and a chance to spend the night buying drinks a la carte, the hotel’s bar 17Squared will feature lounge music from 3pm to 8pm (we recommend sundowners there) and the resident DJ later in the evening.

A la carte, 3pm to 3am, Saturday December 31.

A Japanese New Year


Or you can welcome 2017 with sake and sushi at Umi – this spot has the biggest sake selection in the UAE, and the five hour party will include a six-course menu designed just for the night for Dhs590 for food, or Dhs765 with sake, sake-based cocktails or a single-estate tea pairing. Yum.

Heads up: you can also head to the hotel’s Marjan restaurant to celebrate New Year’s Eve, where there is no minimum spend (and great views over the Arabian Gulf).

From Dhs590 plus service charge, 8pm to 1am, Saturday December 31



You can get up to 30 per cent off of rooms, yes, even over the silly season…

We say make a few days of it and stay over at the hotel as it boasts a 350 metre private beach, a couple’s spa, nine signature restaurants and an 18-hole golf course for fans of a holiday putt. Oh, and there’s a kids club too to keep the little ones busy.

There’s currently a winter sale on at the hotel, which means if you wanted to book for Christmas Eve and Christmas night right now you can get a 25 per cent discount (when we checked the bed and breakfast rate with discount was a reasonable-for-the-silly-season Dhs1,106 per night. Remember, Christmas breakfast for two alone would cost about that in one of Dubai’s swanky hotels).

Plus, the deal carries on throughout January, so if you want to head there later in the month you could be paying as low as Dhs850 for bed and breakfast. Lush. Head here to book.


Also, if you’re a UAE resident (we are!) you get 30 per cent off the room rate and half board (which includes a buffet breakfast and dinner in Qasr al Bahar). You can book that deal here.

Read about all of the hotel’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve offers and events here.

For more information and reservations call (07) 203 5555. More info on website