From snowball fights to German markets and festive cinema, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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

As we gear up for all the festivities next week, we’re cramming all things Christmas into one final weekend of shopping, parties, brunches and festivals.

Here are 15 things to do in Dubai this weekend…

Thursday December 21

1. Get festive at Riverland

Riverland is throwing its second edition of Festive on the River, kicking off this Thursday December 21. The free-to-enter destination within Dubai Parks and Resorts will be transforming into a winter wonderland until January 6, complete with Dubai’s first pop-up ice-rink, an outdoor cinema screening the season’s favourite movies, and a traditional, European-style festive market.

Riverland, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Rod, daily 4pm to 10pm until January 6 2018, free entry. More info on website

2. Check out an Art Market

Dubai Design District (d3) is launching the first d3 Art Market this weekend. Taking place from December 21 to 23, there will be 30 stalls by artists from across the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan and further afield. As well as paintings, 3D-printed objects, art and design pieces, there will be workshops, free cinema screenings at Cinema Akil and live music.

Dubai Design District (d3), December 21 to 23, free entry. More info on website

3. Flip Out at a winter festival

Flip Out Dubai is set to launch a Winterfest Flip The Lights for the holidays, mixing together a festive playlist, as well as club lights and snow. In keeping with the festive theme, you’ll see more than 200 interconnected trampolines transformed into a winter wonderland, where you will be able to participate in a snowball fight, Christmas fancy dress and competitions.

Flip Out, Al Quoz 3, Warehouse #5 Dubai, 4pm to 10pm, Dec 21, Dhs80 per hour. Tel: (600) 567 568. More info on website

4. Enjoy a snowfest at Dubai Ice Rink

Dubai Snowfest is bringing a family-friendly market and activity centre to Dubai Ice Rink. There’s a festive market with food, drink, fashion and gifts, a free snow play zone and snow slope, plus a Santa’s grotto for snapping festive photo with the big man in red.

Dubai Ice Rink, Dubai Mall, timings follow Dubai Mall, until January 5 2018, free entry to market. Tel: (04) 448 5111. More info on website

5. Tuck in to cheese and wine for Dhs99 at Jean-Georges

Jean Georges has a host of new offers running every Thursday night. There’s a happy hour from 5pm till 8pm where guests can enjoy a cheese selection with a glass of wine for Dhs99 per person, 50 per cent off drinks and 30 per cent off the food menu. There will also be performances from a live French band.

Jean Georges Dubai, Four Seasons Dubai, Jumeirah, 5pm to 8pm. Tel: (04) 343 6118. More info on website

Friday December 22

6. Enjoy a festive-themed Jamaican brunch

Miss Lily’s ever-popular ‘Blazin’ brunch’ is getting a festive theme this Friday. With an island-inspired holiday menu that includes pumpkin soup and jerk turkey breast, served up alongside five hours of beverage and beats, it’s a Jamaican festive celebration for those looking for something a little different.

5th Floor, Sheraton Grand, Sheikh Zayed Road, 12pm to 5pm, Dhs280 soft, Dhs390 house. Tel: (04) 356 2900. More info on website

7. Check out some Gif-iti at City Walk

Last weekend SYFY, the destination brand for fans of science fiction and fantasy genres, collaborated with INSA – the globally celebrated graffiti artist who created the world’s largest GIF visible from space – to produce a unique piece of street art that comes alive with augmented reality. The finished work is now ready to view for the rest of the month in City Walk.

Outside Green Planet, City Walk, free. More info on website

8. Get festive at Fort Island

Madinat Jumeirah welcomes 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 snowball 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

9. Enjoy free drinks at Weslodge

The lively Canadian hotspot in JW Marriott Marquis Weslodge has a brand new daily happy hour, where guests can enjoy free selected house drinks from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. The offer is valid until December 30.

Weslodge, JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay, daily 5.30pm to 6.30pm, free selected drinks. Tel: (04) 560 1700. More info on website

11. Enjoy a festive Polo Picnic

Start off the Christmas festivities with a Polo Picnic this Friday. On top of a festive game of polo where the Red Elves Team take on the Green Elves Team, there will be a special appearance from Santa, and a kids zone with a bouncy castle, pony rides and face painting. Either bring your own picnic (Dhs100 entry per car) or opt for the St Regis Polo brunch.

Al Habtoor Polo Resort, Dubai, 1pm to 5pm, Dhs100 per car. Tel: (056) 545 8391. More info on website

Saturday December 23

11. Enjoy a one-off festive party brunch

Indie difc

Lebanon export and DIFC resto-lounge Indie is bringing back their popular ‘Brunch*d’ Saturday brunch to DIFC this Saturday. It’s an all-in package of wine, beer and food for Dhs250 for f0ur hours, plus there’ll be live music from Diane O Sullivan.

Indie, Gate Village 5, DIFC, Saturday 1pm to 5pm, Dhs250. Tel: (055) 455 6106. More info on website

12. Finish the weekend with a ladies’ night


I Wanna Be Loved By Q’ ladies’ night rounds off the weekend with 3 free drinks for the ladies from 8pm to 1am. There’s also a ladies’ night menu offering three bites for Dhs99 from a selection which comes with an additional glass of sparkling for the girls.

Media One Hotel, Media City, Sat 8pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 443 5403. More info on website

13. Tuck in to a British BBQ at The Croft

British Eatery The Croft have launched a new Saturday BBQ menu on their outdoor terrace. Overlooking Dubai Marina, eat your way through an a la carte menu of traditional BBQ bites and fresh seafood all served with grilled vegetables, cream spinach and mash. It’s set against live music from singer and guitarist, Sam Packwood, with happy hour prices.

The Croft, Marriott Harbour Hotel, Dubai Marina, Saturday 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Tel: (04) 319 4000. More info on website

14. Get some last minute stocking fillers delivered

Need some last minute stocking fillers? Deliveroo has launched emergency stocking kits filled with traditional holiday treats including candy canes and peppermint bark that can be delivered to you in 32 minutes. They cost Dhs50, or if there’s someone on your naughty list, add a lump of (black cinnamon candy) coal for Dhs10.

December 17 to December 26, Dhs50, lump of coal Dhs10. More info on website

15. Take the kids to a Little Elf’s Village

For some free family fun, take the kids to the Little Elf’s Village at Dubai Marina Mall, which comes complete with a Mushroom Elf House, Toy Factory, giant leaf swing, wishing well, toy conveyor, playground and plenty of activities to entertain the little ones

Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Marina, daily 11am to 8pm until December 31, free. Tel: (04) 436 1020. More info on website

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