Christmas in Dubai: Where to spend Christmas Eve
Build up to the big day with one of these festive feasts…
With the festive season in full swing and December just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the big day. But we all know that what you do the night before is just as important for getting in the Christmas spirit.
So here’s our pick of the best brunches, lunches, teas and dinners in Dubai on December 24.
Bistro des Arts
Feel like you’ve been transported to a cute bistro in central Paris with a visit to Bistro des Arts in Dubai Marina. They’re serving up a festive French-style three course and selected beverages for Dhs345.
Bistro des Arts, Dubai Marina Promenade, Marina Mall, Dec 1 to 30, 6pm until late, 3-course set menu Dhs345 per person. Tel: (04) 552 1576. bistrodesarts.ae
True to its name, Caravan’s buffet traverses the globe, with live cooking stations serving up everything from Middle Eastern and British to Indian and Japanese delicacies. A live band and a visit from Santa himself make things extra special…
Ritz-Carlton Dubai JBR, Dubai, 6pm to 10pm, Dhs295 with soft drinks, Dhs475 with house drinks, Dhs150 for children aged six to 11, under-sixes free. Tel: (04) 3186150. ritzcarlton.com
Spend Christmas Eve with the girls at Distillery with four free festive cocktails. If you’re peckish you could also get three small dishes for Dhs100. Are you on the naughty or nice list?
Distillery, Souk Al Manzil, Dubai, Tuesday December 24, 8pm to 12am. Tel: (054) 998 2003. distillerydubai.com
If you’re the kind of person who’s eyes light up at the thought of a huge international buffet, why not fill your boots (and plate) with one at Farriers? Expect loads of traditional Christmas food (bring on the turkey) in either the lunch or dinner buffet.
Farriers, The Meydan Hotel, Meydan Racecourse Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, lunch buffet 12.30pm to 3pm, dinner buffet 6.30pm to 11pm, Dhs295 house, Dhs195. Tel: (04) 381 3111. themeydanhotel.com
Folly by Nick & Scott
There’s no denying how nice the views are at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah and they’re exactly what you’ll get if you book your Christmas party or Dubai family gathering there. They’re offering a three-course set menu perfect for any occasion.
Folly by Nick & Scott, Souk Madinat Jumeriah, Dubai, Dec 1 to 30, 12pm to 2.30pm or 7pm to 9pm. Tel: (04) 430 8535. folly.ae
Graze Gastro Grill and Bar
Head for City Walk this Christmas Eve to enjoy a three-course ‘No Bull’ menu revolving around Australian Black Angus beef, with a tempting array of appetizers on offer as well as a choice of main and desserts.
La Ville Hotel & Suites City Walk, Dubai, 6pm to 11.30pm, Dhs185. Tel: (04) 4033111. livelaville.com
Hilton Dubai Creek
Hilton Dubai Creek have lots of options for you to enjoy Christmas Eve to the max. There’s a traditional Christmas buffet with 3 hours’ unlimited drinks for just Dhs149 at Glasshouse Brasserie or a 3-course sharing dinner at Table 9 from 6pm, at Dhs159. If you like to keep it even more low-key, check out the a la carte menu at chilled new sports bar, O’Learys.
Hilton Dubai Creek, Dubai, timings vary dependent on restaurant. Tel: (04) 227 1111. hilton.com
JA The Resort
There’s not one, but two Christmas brunches going on at JA The Resort on Christmas Eve. You’ll find one at 81 in the JA Lake View Hotel and one at La Fontana in JA Palm Tree Court, with live music, a carvery and entertainment.
JA The Resort, Jebel Ali, Dubai, 7.30pm to 11pm, Dhs375 house, Dhs250 soft. Tel: (04) 814 5555. jaresortshotels.com
Fancy seeing in the celebrations with a feast at Hatta Fort? With a live band, carolers, Santa Claus and a buffet bulging with festive turkeys, salmon, an oyster bar and live cooking stations, Jeema’s Christmas Eve party promises to be one to remember.
JA Hatta Fort Hotel, Dubai, 8pm to midnight, Dhs299 with soft drinks, Dhs399 with house drinks. Tel: (04) 8099333. jaresortshotels.com
For a laid-back way to spend Christmas Eve, try the special brunch at Festival City’s, Joe’s Backyard. The Dhs395 package will get you four hours’ unlimited drinks and either some hot-off-the-grill BBQ dishes or you can order a la carte.
Joe’s Backyard, Holiday Inn, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, Tuesday Dec 24, 8pm to 11pm. Tel: (055) 709 4509. joebackyard.com
La Terrasse are throwing a Christmas Eve gala dinner, with food, soft drinks and festive cocktails for Dhs160 and the younger ones are more than welcome with 50 per cent off for their dinner.
La Terrasse, Two Seasons Hotel, Dubai Internet City, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Dec 24, 7pm to 11pm, Dhs160. Tel: (04) 381 8114. 2seasonshotels.com
Get the party started with a four-course festive set menu from the award-winning kitchen at Le Cirque, where guests will be serenaded by a live guitar duo playing a selection of festive hits.
Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Dubai, 6pm to 11.30pm, from Dhs295. Tel: (04) 3722444. lecirquedubai.com
Indulge in a delicious Italian three-course set menu at Matto, where dishes will include some classic Italian cuisine with a festive twist as well as a welcome drink. Watch out for the Italian Santa Claus who will also be making an appearance.
Matto, The Oberoi, Business Bay, Dubai, Tuesday Dec 24, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 444 1335. @mattodubai
See in Christmas nice and early with the most festive of night-before celebrations at Mazina. Expect a grand buffet, carol singing and a visit from the man in red himself…
Address Dubai Marina, Dubai, 7am to 11pm, Dhs199 with soft drinks, Dhs299 with house drinks, Dhs150 for children aged six to 11, under-sixes free. Tel: (04) 8883444. Metro: JLT. emaar.com
Celebrate Christmas Eve in true beach style with Nikki Beach. If you don’t want a late night the day before Christmas, get the girls together and do their candy-themed carnival ladies’ pool day from 11am to 8pm, with six drinks priced at Dhs130. If you are truly more of a night owl, celebrate Christmas Eve with Key West’s ‘jammin’ Caribbean BBQ, with live entertainment and some festive bites from 7pm to 11pm.
Nikki Beach, Pearl Jumeira, Dubai, Christmas Ladies Day, 11am to 8pm, Dhs130 for 6 drinks and food, Christmas Eve Jammin, 7pm to 11pm, Dhs365 house, Dhs265 soft, Dhs176 kids 6-12. Tel: (04) 376 6000. nikkibeach.com
What better way to spend the night before Christmas than having fun with your pals? That’s exactly what you can do at Alpine-themed bar Publique on December 24, where they’re offering a three-hour brunch package with unlimited food and drink for Dhs395.
Publique, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 6pm onwards (pick your three hours), Dhs350. Tel: (04) 430 8550. publique.ae
The Italians know how to stage a family feast, as evidenced at Positano’s evening brunch buffet – tuck into antipasti and handmade pasta but save room for a visit (or three) to the extravagant dessert room.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Dubai, 6pm to 11pm, Dhs215 with soft drinks. Tel: (04) 4143000. jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com
To celebrate Christmas Eve in the chic-est of ways, Pierchic won’t let you down. They’ve developed a four-course truffle menu featuring dishes like Japanese Wagyu carpaccio and Chilean seabass.
Pierchic, Jumeirah Al Qasr, Dubai, 12.30pm to 3pm or 6.30pm to 11pm, Dhs990 per person. Tel: (800) 666353. pierchic.com
Salero Tapas & Bodega
Bring a Spanish flavour to your celebrations with Salero’s Noche Buena, where you can choose from a selection of authentic tapas, paella and wines, served up alongside stunning live flamenco performances.
Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 3410000. kempinski.com
The Exchange Grill
Start as you mean to go on this Christmas with a four-course feast featuring succulent prime rib and slow-cooked turkey, carved tableside and served with all the trimmings.
Fairmont Dubai, Dubai, 7pm to midnight, Dhs495. Tel: (04) 3118559. fairmont.com
Situated on a pontoon overlooking the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain, Thiptara’s setting is as impressive as the delicious Thai food it serves up. And it’ll be extra special on Christmas Eve, with a four-course set menu on offer to start the celebrations.
Address Palace Downtown, Dubai, 7pm to 11.30pm, Dhs295 with soft drinks, Dhs395 with house drinks, Dhs700 with champagne. Tel: (04) 8883444. addresshotels.com
Tasca by José Avillez
It’s renowned for its authentic Portuguese flavours, and with an exclusive sharing-style menu on offer for its Natal Na Tasca Christmas Eve celebrations, this could be the ideal place to kick off your festivities as a family.
Mandarin Oriental, Dubai, 7pm to 1am, Dhs450. Tel: (04) 7772231. mandarinoriental.com
The Lion by Nick & Scott
Get your pals together for a relaxed catch up at The Lion by Nick & Scott. You can pick any two hours between 12pm and 9pm for unlimited selected drinks and a three-course set menu for Dhs250.
The Lion by Nick & Scott, H Hotel 1, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dec 1 to 30, 2 hours between 12pm and 9pm, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 359 2366. theliondubai.ae
Ramada Hotel & Suites Dubai JBR
For a wallet-friendly Christmas Eve dinner, check out the huge buffet at Ramada Hotel & Suites in JBR. Enjoy unlimited trips to the buffet that’s bursting with traditional festive food like turkey as well as some delicious desserts like yule logs and Christmas pudding. It’s also available on Christmas Day too.
Flavours Restaurant, Ramada Hotel & Suites Dubai JBR, Dec 24 and 25, 7pm to 10pm, Dhs89. Tel: (04) 399 9979. ramadajbr.com
Give your celebrations an oriental twist with Shang Palace’s eight-course family-style set menu this Christmas Eve, and tuck into dishes like turkey with black pepper sauce, steamed lobster and festive fried rice.
Shangri-La Hotel Dubai, Dubai, 7pm to 11pm, Dhs288 with soft drinks, Dhs478 with house drinks, Dhs150 for children aged five to 12, under-fives free. Tel: (04) 4052703. shangri-la.com
If you head to Shangri-La on Christmas Eve, you’ll have the choice of dining at one of three of their awesome restaurants. There’ll be a huge international buffet at Dunes Cafe, (house drinks from Dhs425), an 8-course set Chinese with a festive twist at Shang Palace (house from Dhs478) and a 7-course set Vietnamese menu at Hoi Ann (from Dhs499 with wine pairing and one glass of bubbly).
Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Dec 24, 7pm to 11pm, prices vary depending on restaurant. Tel: (04) 405 2703. shangri-la.com/dubai/shangrila
Sofitel Dubai The Palm
For the seafood lovers, Moana Seafood Restaurant should satisfy your cravings on Christmas Eve with a special four-course dinner featuring scallops and Chilean seabass, from Dhs350 per person. If you’re more of a carnivore, check out Sofitel Dubai The Palm’s resident steakhouse, priced the same.
Sofitel Dubai Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Dec 24, Dhs350 adults, Dhs175 children 6-20, under 6 dine free. Tel: (04) 4556677. accorhotels.com
For a totally family-friendly affair, Stoke House at the Damac Hills golf course is always a good shout. On Christmas Eve, they’re doing a fit-to-bursting BBQ making it a super-social atmosphere.
Stoke House, Trump International Golf Club, Dubai, 7.30pm to 9.30pm, 2 hours house beverages Dhs395, soft Dhs275. Tel: (04) 245 3939. stokehouse.ae
Verve Bar & Brasserie
Can’t think where to hold your Christmas party? Why not try the sophisticated setting of Verve Brasserie, where you’ll tuck into a hearty and festive three-course set menu. It’s Dhs300.
Verve Bar and Brasserie, Grand Plaza Movenpick Media City Hotel, Dec 1 to 30, 7pm to 10pm, Dhs300. Tel: (04) 525 7633. vervebrasserie.com