It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (yes, we know it’s still November)…

Christmas season is fast approaching, and that means mince pies, festive decorations and carols. And just because we live in the desert doesn’t mean we have to miss out (nope, not even on the snow).

If you’re feeling excited like us and looking to get festive, here are 10 events happening in Dubai in the lead-up to Christmas that you should know about…

November 15 to December 31: Peppermint and Hot Chocolate Escape at The Heavenly Spa

Heavenly spa at The Westin has created a 50-minute peppermint-infused massage that is inspired by the aromas of the festive season. It comes complete with a cup of homemade dark hot chocolate. Bliss.

The Heavenly Spa, The Westin, Al Habtoor City, November 15 to December 31, Dhs375. Tel: (04) 437 3300. More info on website

November 17: The Santa Shuffle bar crawl

A massive bar crawl is coming to Dubai on November 17. That’s right, festive fanatics, brace your elves (sorry!). The Santa Shuffle will take place over a monster 15-hour session and will sleigh its way through 15 drinks and three of Dubai’s most lively restaurants; Jekyll & Hyde, The Scene and Mr Miyagi’s.

Jekyll & Hyde, DIFC, The Scene, Pier 7 & Mr Miyagi’s, Media City, Fri Nov 17, 11am to 3am, 15 food and drink tokens plus Santa outfit, Dhs499. Reservations: More info on Facebook

November 29 to December 26: The Winter Garden Market at The St. Regis Dubai

The St. Regis Dubai Gardens are once again transforming into an enchanted winter wonderland for the 2017 festive season. There will be entertainment and themed activities for everyone to enjoy, including a selection of retail and food stalls, children’s activities and attractions, and even an appearance from Santa himself.

The St Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor City, Weds Nov 29 to Tues Dec 26, Sun to Thurs 5pm to 11pm, Fri and Sat, 3pm to 11pm, free entry. 

December 4: Christmas Tree Lighting at The Irish Village

‘Tis the season of fun and festivities, and with The Irish Village’s traditional Christmas Tree Lighting, the whole family can jump into the Christmas spirit. There will be seasonal mulled beverages and home-baked mince pies on offer while you listen to the choir sing Christmas carols.

The Irish Village, Garhoud, Mon Dec 4, 7pm to 10pm, free entry. Tel: (04) 239 5000. More info on website

December 6 to 9: Dubai Winter Festival

Now in its 6th year, Dubai Winter Festival is a full weekend of festive fun. Returning on December 6, you’ll find everything you love about Christmas in one place. Guests are invited to visit Santa’s grotto, shop at the winter market, have a snowball fight, build a snowman, watch the official tree lighting ceremony, experience the thrill of the fun fair and enjoy live stage performances.

Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, 2pm to 10pm, Weds 6 Dec to Sat 9 Dec, ticket price tbc. More info on website

December 7: The Great British Christmas Ball

The British Business Group is marking the festive season with The Great British Christmas Ball on Thursday December 7 in the grounds of the British Embassy in Dubai. The festivities will start at 7pm and run till the small hours, with a full traditional Christmas dinner, complete with Yule log and Christmas pudding. Tickets include entertainment, food and beverages, with individual seats available at Dhs600.

Royal Lawn, British Embassy Dubai, Thurs Dec 7, 7pm to 1am, from Dhs600, adults only. Tel: (04) 336 2222. More info on website

December 7: Cirque de Cuisine: The Festive Edition

Remember how Atlantis put on a special ‘night brunch’ in May? Well, it’s returning, and it will be mighty festive. Cirque de Cuisine: The Festive Edition will be on Thursday December 7, and will run from 7pm to 11pm (with a cash bar after party hosted in The Avenues until 3am). The terrace at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen will be turned into a Christmas market complete with snow, picnic tables and festive games. Plus, there will be candy cane stilt walkers, a festive choir singing under a giant wreath arch at the entrance and a huge snow globe from which you’ll be able to snap a selfie. Also, the Lost Chambers Aquarium will be partly transformed into an underwater Christmas Grotto where you’ll be able to fill out a festive postcard and give it to Santa and his elves to send to a loved one overseas.

Atlantis The Palm, Thurs Dec 7, 7pm to 11pm, early bird prices adults from Dhs495, children from Dhs295. Tel: (04) 426 2626 Buy your tickets here

December 14: The annual Christmas Jumper Party at McGettigan’s JLT

Dust off your cheesiest festive threads for the annual McGettigan’s Christmas Jumper Party on December 14. Whether you buy a sweater or make your own, anyone in a festive jumper will get a free drink. Plus, there’s prizes to be won for the best and most creative jumpers.

McGettigan’s JLT, Cluster J, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Thurs Dec 14, 6pm to 3am, free entry. Tel: (04) 378 0800. More info on website

December 15 to 27: Fort Island’s Festive Market at Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah will welcome back its annual Festive Market this December from the 15th to 27th. The 1,750 square metre winter wonderland will feature a German-style Festive Market, as well as rides on an abra boat with Santa, dozens of slides and games, a North Pole train for the little ones and a giant snow ball zone. New this year will be a shimmering interactive LED Christmas tree and daily appearances from Santa himself at 5pm and 7pm.

Madinat Jumeirah, Dec 15 to 27, Sun to Weds, 3pm to 1am, Thurs to Sat 12pm to 1am free entry. Tel: (04) 366 8888. More info on website

December 16: Festive cookie decorating at Vida Downtown

Get the little ones in the festive spirit here, where they can decorate giant gingerbread cookies for themselves and for Santa at Vida Downtown. There will be lots of edible glitter, colourful icicngs and holiday chocolates.

Vida Downtown, Downtown Dubai 11am to 1pm, Dec 16, 22 and 22, Dhs130 per child including a festive latte for each parent. Tel: (04) 888 3444. More info on website

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