From abra rides with Santa to snow angels by the Burj…

It’s the final weekend before Christmas, so who can blame you for wanting to fill your weekend with festive events? From seeing Santa to last minute Christmas shopping, here are five free festive things to do in Dubai this weekend.

Make snow angels

Adding to the festive feel this December is Snow Park, found within Burj Plaza just off the Downtown Dubai boulevard. The Snow Park features falling snow where guests can enjoy an array of seasonal activities including tubing, a snowball fight zone and curling as well as the opportunity to be enclosed in a giant snow globe.

Snow Park, Burj Plaza, Downtown Dubai, 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 5pm to 11pm weekends, free.

Picnic at the polo with Santa

The Christmas league takes place at Al Habtoor Polo Club this weekend, and as well as plenty of polo, you’ll also be able to shop for last minute Christmas gifts, let the little ones enjoy a pony ride, and visit Santa for free. General entry is free, or Dhs100 will grant you access to the picnic car park.

Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club, Dubailand, Dubai, 1pm to 6pm, Friday December 21, free. Tel: (04) 4362222.

Send your letter to Santa

Described as Santa’s Secret Island, Bluewaters now has a 12-metre-tall bespoke Christmas tree at its entrance, plus three giant snow machines that will shower snow throughout the day. A festive market, set among snow-laden trees features themed kiosks selling unique gifts, food and drink stalls, and even a place where little ones can write to Santa Claus. 

Bluewaters, off JBR, Dubai Marina, 1pm to 11pm on week days, and 1pm to midnight on weekends, December 13 to January 5. For more details, check out Santa’s Secret Island events page.

Shop up a storm

For the first time ever, the outdoor Festival Bay has turned into a magical festive market, complete with a huge Christmas tree, a pop-up market and even snowfall. Each day, little ones will be able to pay a visit to Santa from 3pm until 10pm through the week and 4pm to 10pm on weekends, as well as playing in the snow as hourly snowfall drops on the magical festive market. There will also be carnival games and rides plus arts and crafts, face painting and festive storytelling, serving up hours of endless fun for children.

Fesetive market at Dubai Festival City Mall, Thursday December 6 to Tuesday December 25, free.

See Santa (on an abra)

Dig out your Christmas jumper and loosen up those carol-singing vocal chords as Madinat Jumeirah is set to welcome the return of its festive market this Thursday December 20. The Fort Island festivities will run for nine days and will feature a traditional German market, food stalls, the opportunity to ride an abra with Santa, and of course, the stunning Christmas tree.

Fort Island, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah, daily 12pm to late, (3pm to late on Sunday 23 and Wednesday 26), December 20 to 28.

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