And they’re all free to attend…

We’ve got sand instead of snow, but there’s no reason we can’t enjoy a whole month of festive cheer: ahead of the big day we’ve got winter markets, festive-themed super brunches and the annual office party to look forward to.

And what’s Christmas without the Christmas tree? This year, several Dubai venues are inaugurating the festive season with a tree lighting, complete with Santa, carol singers and festive food and drink.

Here are 8 Christmas tree lightings in Dubai to visit…

December 5:  Steigenberger Hotel

There’s a traditional Christmas Wish Tree Lighting Ceremony at Swim & Tonic Pool Bar and Lounge this Tuesday. The German International School Choir will perform, there’s complimentary mulled wine and eggnog on arrival and a visit from Santa too. It will be followed by a festive movie from 8pm.

Swim and Tonic, Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay, 6pm to 8pm, Tues Dec 5. Tel: (04) 369 0000.

December 6: Accents

Accents are going all out for their Christmas tree lighting ceremony this year. There’s hot chocolate, mince pies and Christmas cookies to snack on, plus a choir performing a range of festive songs, and a visit from Santa for the little ones.

Accents, Intercontinental Dubai Marina, 6pm onwards, Weds Dec 6. Tel: (04) 446 6669.

December 6: Fairmont The Palm

This annual event typically brings out more than 100 residents and guests. As Fairmont The Palm lights up its lavish lobby Christmas tree there will be a live performance from Safa Community School Choir, mulled wine, egg nog, and Dubai 92’s Catboy will lead the ceremony.

Lobby Level, Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, 5pm onwards, Weds Dec 6. Tel: (04) 457 3457.

December 7: Address Dubai Marina

Welcome the joyous season with a festive tree-lighting ceremony at the hotel lobby at Address Dubai Marina. Gather around the tree to watch the twinkling lights come alive and let the kids tuck into festive treats while listening to popular Christmas songs.

The Lobby, Address Dubai Marina, 7pm to 8pm, Thurs Dec 7. Tel: (04) 436 7777.

December 7: West 14th

Start the festive season beachside at West 14th. Santa will be there to turn the Christmas tree lights on, plus there will be carol singing, mince pies and a festive movie on the big screen.

West 14th, Dukes Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, 6.30pm onwards, Thurs Dec 7. Tel: (04) 455 1111.

December 7: Sheraton Mall of the Emirates

Head to Sheraton Mall of the Emirates for their first Christmas tree lighting, where they will be lighting up their impressive 15ft tall tree and inviting guests into their newly opened Christmas market. There will be carol singers, life-sized gingerbread houses, serving festive treats, steaming cups of mulled wine and hot chocolate for the kids… Santa may even drop by.

Lobby Level 5, Sheraton, Mall of the Emirates, 6.30pm onwards, Thurs Dec 7. Tel: (04) 377 2000.

December 10: Towers Rotana

Towers Rotana has been searching to find the region’s best amateur choir, and you’ll be able to see them perform at the Sheikh Zayed Road property’s annual tree lighting ceremony on December 10.

Lobby Level, Towers Rotana, Sheikh Zayed Road, 7pm to 8pm, Sun Dec 10. Tel: (04) 343 8000.

December 16: Arabian Ranches Golf Club

There’s a family friendly tree lighting at the Arabian Ranches Golf Club on Saturday December 16. There will be mulled wine and mince pies for the adults, treats for the kids, and a Christmas choir on hand too.

The Grand Lobby, Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Arabian Ranches, 6pm to 8pm, Sat Dec 16. Tel: (04) 3664700.

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