The Christmas countdown is on…

It’s officially the silly season, and that means our calendars are jam-packed with festive events.

But our motto is there’s always room for more – and this weekend Dubai is putting on some amazing gigs, festivals and feasts that we know you won’t want to miss.

Here are 15 things to do in Dubai this weekend…

Thursday December 7

1. Dine around Atlantis with a festive theme

Remember how Atlantis put on a special ‘night brunch’ in May? Well, it’s back tonight with a festive theme. The terrace at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen will be transformed into a Christmas market, complete with snow, picnic tables and festive games. Plus, there will be candy cane stilt walkers, a festive choir and a giant wreath.

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

2. See something magical at Dubai Opera

All those muggles who missed out on the spellbinding Harry Potter concert in Abu Dhabi earlier this year can catch it at Dubai Opera this weekend. You’ll be able to see your favourite bespectacled hero on a 40-foot screen, with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra performing the iconic John Williams score. Tickets start from Dhs175.

Dubai Opera, Opera District, Downtown Dubai, 8pm Dec 7 3pm and 8pm Dec 8 and 3pm Dec 9, from Dhs175. Tel: (04) 440 8888. More info on website

3. Rock out at an AC/DC tribute night

Irish stalwart McGettigan’s is bringing the UK’s number one AC/DC tribute band, The Dirty DC, to their JLT pub tonight for a one-off performance. Expect to rock out to the likes of Highway to Hell and Thunderstruck. Tickets are Dhs75 including a welcome drink, with the band expected from 10pm onwards.

McGettigan’s JLT, Cluster J, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, 8pm to 3am, Thurs Dec 7. Tel: (04) 378 0800. More info on website

4. Get in the festive spirit with the Dubai Winter Festival

Now in its sixth year, the Dubai Winter Festival is a full weekend of festive fun. Returning this week, 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 Dec 6 to Sat Dec 9, various ticket prices. More info on website

5. See some cinema with DIFF

The Dubai International Film Festival rolls around once again this month, and it’s bringing a week of international films and a host of A-Listers to the city. You’ll be able to mingle with the likes of Patrick Stewart, Cate Blanchett and Sarah Jessica Parker across the seven days of events, as well as catching films across the city at Galleria Mall, The Beach JBR and the Madinat.

Various locations across Dubai, Weds Dec 6 to Weds Dec 13. Tel: (04) 363 3456. More info on website

Friday December 8

6. See a pop legend

The twice-rescheduled Elton John concert is finally set to go ahead tonight. The musical legend is staging his first ever live show in Dubai as part of his Wonderful Crazy Night tour. With more than five decades of performing across the world and more than 4,000 gigs, he is considered to be one of the most accomplished live musicians in the world. Remember, this gig is dry.

Autism Rocks Arena, Dubai Outlet Mall, 5pm to 12am, Fri Dec 8, from Dhs295. More info on website

7. Test your limits with Tough Mudder

The world famous obstacle course is returning to Dubai this weekend for two days of limit-testing challenges. Described as one of the toughest events on the planet, it’s been redesigned for 2017 with a whole host of new obstacles including the ‘Reach Around’ which makes competitors scale backwards up a platform at a 45 degree angle, reach around and pull themselves over the top.

Du Tough Mudder, Hamdan sports complex, Dubai, Fri Dec 8 and Sat Dec 9, from Dhs490. More info on website

8. Experience an alternative Aussie Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, Brunswick Sports Club are throwing a silly season themed brunch with a twist. The ‘Big Aussie Barbie Brunch’ will have live acoustic sets, specially created cocktails, and authentic Aussie BBQ dishes.

Brunswick Sports Club, Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, Fri Dec 8, 1pm to 4.30pm Dhs195 soft, Dhs345 house. Tel: (056) 404 0685. More info on website

9. Enjoy drinks for Dhs20 all day at Irish Village Riverland

The second serving of Dubai’s ever-popular Irish Village opened up a year ago, and to celebrate, the Riverland branch is serving up a selection of drinks at Dhs20 all day. There will be free buses from the Garhoud branch to Riverland every hour from midday.

The Irish Village, Riverland, Dubai Parks and resorts, 10am to 12am, Fri Dec 8, Dhs20. Tel: (04) 886 2525. More info on website

10. See a dance show at DUCTAC

Yuva, a dance production by The Ripple effect is a great one for dance fans looking to check out a show this weekend. Happening in the Kilachand Theatre in DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, there will be two one-hour shows at 6.30pm and 8.30pm. It’s a show celebrating 10 nationalities, 10 dance forms and sees more than 40 performers take to the stage. Tickets are Dhs100.

DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, 6.30pm and 8.30pm, Fri Dec 8, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 341 4777. More info on website

Saturday December 9

11. See a family-friendly film al fresco

There’s a free outdoor cinema at Dubai Marina Mall on this weekend, and if you head down on Saturday, you can catch family comedy Marley and Me on from 5.30pm. It’s free for all, but seats are first-come-first-serve.

Dubai Marina Mall promenade, Dubai Marina, 5.30pm onwards, Sat Dec 9, free. Tel: (04) 436 1020. More info on website

12. Shop for a great cause

Looking for a Christmas gift with meaning and purpose? Mojo Gallery in Alserkal Avenue is hosting a pop-up by Blessed, a fashion brand dedicated to helping cancer patients. Created by cancer survivor Lama Riachi, the collection features a range of unique shirts, dresses, shirts, jackets and accessories. All proceeds will support cancer patients undergoing treatment.

Mojo Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, 11am to 7pm, Fri Dec 8 to Sat Dec 9. More info on website

13. Enjoy a festive feast for less across Jumeirah

Getting ahead of the game, Jumeirah restaurant group has announced a variety of festive menus will be available for 12 days across a collection of their restaurants. From Italy to the Far East, there will be three course menus from Dhs130, Dhs180 and Dhs230 excluding drinks, and buffet spreads at Dhs130 and Dhs230 across the 35 participating restaurants. Drinks are not included.

Various restaurants across Jumeirah, timings vary, Tues Dec 5 to Sun Dec 17. Tel: (04) 432 3232. More info on website

14. Start Christmas shopping at Reform’s festive market

Get into the festive spirit and kick off your Christmas shopping with Reform’s festive market. There will be more than 30 vendors selling fashion, jewellery and homeware pieces from boutique stalls from 12pm to 6pm. There will also be festive-themed face painting, arts and crafts, Magic Phil shows and a Santa’s grotto to keep the whole family entertained.

Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes, 12pm to 6pm, Sat Dec 9,  free entry. Tel: (04) 454 2638. More info on website

15. Check out the latest fashion at Sole DXB

Dubai’s very own fashion and culture festival Sole DXB makes a welcome return this weekend, bringing together top street culture across art, food, music, sport and style. Now in its sixth year, Sole DXB 2017 will spotlight contemporary Japanese design.

Sole DXB, Dubai Design District (d3), Thurs Dec 7 to Sat Dec 9, free entry. More info on website

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