Megastars, mega brunches and a mega New Year’s Eve celebration, Dubai’s going big for the final month of the year…

It’s almost December and as we say goodbye to November, we say hello to a brand new month of activities across the city, and it’s all about maximising the festive fun.

But it’s not just Christmas we’re here for this month, Sole DXB makes a welcome return, a hotly anticipated hotel will open its doors, and an American megastar will perform a gig at Global Village.

Here are 10 things to look forward to in Dubai this December.

December 4: Kickstart the Christmas feels at a festive market

The tree lighting ceremony at Habtoor Palace will kickstart the popular winter market on December 4. 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, with the giant decorated Christmas tree, situated right outside the hotel, the star of the show.

Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City, 6pm onwards, Tuesday December 4, free.

December 6 to 8: Check out some new kicks at Sole DXB

The region’s biggest culture festival Sole DXB is returning to Dubai Design District for three days from December 6. The cultural festival will run until December 8 and showcase top street culture names across art, food, music, sports and style.

Sole DXB, Dubai Design District, Thursday December 6 to Saturday December 8.

December 6: Dine your way around the world at a mega brunch

A ‘Winter Wonderland’ themed edition of Atlantis The Palm’s mega brunch, ‘Cirque de Cuisine’ is back this month, complete with festive entertainment, themed dishes and plenty of Christmas spirit. The culinary extravaganza allows diners to wander between six of Atlantis’ best-loved restaurants, enjoying unlimited food and drink from restaurants including Bread Street Kitchen, Nobu and Hakkasan.

Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, 7pm to 11pm, Thursday December 6, Dhs535. Tel: (04) 426 2626.

December 7 and 8: Work up a sweat with du Tough Mudder

Taking place in the grounds of the Hamdan Sports Complex, du Tough Mudder is back for a third year this December. The untimed and team-orientated challenge sees participants tackle mud-drenched obstacles such as Everest 2.0 – a 15 foot tall mountain with a recurved top, Electroshock Therapy – a field of dangling wires delivers a punch at 10,000 volts, and Blockness Monster, where Mudders will have to push, pull and roll their way through 60ft of slick, rotating barriers.

Hamdan Sports Complex, Dubai Sports City, Fri Dec 7 to Sat Dec 8, tickets from Dhs360. Tel: (04) 367 8700.

December 7: Party hard at the return of ANTS

As part of their world tour series, the ANTS colony will return to the shores of Soho Beach on Friday December 7. ANTS heavyweight Andrea Oliva will headline, supported by top electronic DJs Davide Squillace,  YOUSEF and Francisco Allendes.

ANTS at Soho Beach, Meydan, Friday December, 6pm to 3am, free entry. Tel: (052) 488 8839.

December date TBC: Tuck into some top dishes at a new Italian restaurant

Described as an Italian Venetian restaurant, All’Onda will open in December in Emerald Palace Kempinski. In the kitchen, guests can expect a blend of Italian Venetian cuisine, with influences from Japanese and Indian cooking traditions, with the menu headed up by the award winning chef Chris Jaeckle.

All’Onda, Emarald Palace Kempinski, Palm Jumeirah, opening soon.

December 14: See an American superstar perform for just Dhs15

Jason Derulo loves the UAE… and, it appears, the UAE loves him, too, as the American singer is scheduled to perform at Global Village’s ‘End of Term’ concert on December 14. Entry to the gig is included in the Global Village ticket price, which is just Dhs15. To save time at the venue, you can pre-book your tickets on the Global Village website.

Global Village, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, 9pm to 11pm, Friday December 14, Dhs15.

December 25: Tuck into a traditional Christmas dinner

A home-from-home experience – minus the washing up can be found at The Scene this Christmas. Work your way through five courses, with starters like gooey brie and camembert. A traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings is the main event, but you’ll also find less traditional options like seabass served with warm salsa and crispy potatoes.

The Scene, Pier 7, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Dhs550 with soft drinks, Dhs650 with premium drinks, Dhs99 for kids under 12 and kids under six are free. Tel: (04) 422 2328.

Date TBC: Check in at a brand new hotel

The hotly anticipated W hotel is set to open on the Palm in December. Guests can bask in Arabian Gulf or Dubai skyline views from the extensive terrace of one of the resort’s 350 guest rooms, including 58 suites. There will be a big leisure and spa focus here, with the region’s first AWAY Spa which combines a lively atmosphere with the ultimate pampering experience, a wet deck that sets the scene for poolside play, two celebrity chef led restaurants and a state-of-the-art gym.

W Dubai – The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, opening soon. Tel: (052) 366 7768.

December 31: Party your way into 2019

It’s one of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties of the year, and it’s a stellar line-up taking to the decks at the annual Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE bash. Taking place on Monday December 31, Berlin based house and techno DJ Dixon will go b2b with one half of Âme, Kristian Beyer. They’ll be supported by underground star Denis Horvat, as well as resident local Blue Marlin DJs Frederick Stone, Aidin Karami and Michka.

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Al Jazira Resort, Ghantoot, 7pm to late, Monday December 31, from Dhs500. Tel: (056) 113 3400.

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