If Mariah Carey says it’s officially Christmas, it’s officially Christmas…

Now that it’s almost December, we’re officially calling the start of the festive season. But if you’re more “bah humbug” than ho ho ho-so excited for Christmas in Dubai, we’ve rounded up 12 festive events that have already been announced to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Here are 12 festive events in Dubai we’re already excited for… 

The Nutcracker

You can catch all of the magic of the classic Russian ballet, The Nutcracker, at Dubai Opera this December. The story follows Clara Stahlbaum, who at a Christmas Eve party receives a nutcracker from her godfather. At midnight, the nutcracker comes to life and fights the Rat King to escape from an evil curse and when he does, he transforms into a prince and invites Clara on an enchanting adventure. The timeless show is based on the 1816 novel by German author E.T.A. Hoffman and has become more famous with its accompaniment of Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s scores. The show at Dubai Opera will see all of the classic scores performed by a live orchestra from St-Petersburg Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre. There are evening and matinee performances.

The Nutcracker, Dubai Opera, Dubai, Dec 4, 8pm to 10.30pm, Dec 5, 8pm to 10.30pm, Dec 6, 2pm to 4.30pm, 8pm to 10.30pm, Dec 7, 2pm to 4.30pm, 8pm to 10.30pm, from Dhs125. Tel: (04) 440 8888. dubaiopera.com

Cirque de Cuisine at Atlantis, The Palm

Why pick one restaurant when you could try nine? That’s exactly what Atlantis The Palm are offering with the return of their four-hour mega brunch experience, Cirque de Cuisine. Named ‘Cirque de Cuisine: The Frozen Edition’, the spectacular event will take place on Thursday December 5, from 7pm to 11pm, with early bird all-all-you-can-eat-and-drink tickets available from Dhs495 for adults (inclusive of bubbles) and Dhs295 for teens. The venue will be dressed up like a winter wonderland, complete with a carol-singing choir stationed under a huge wreath arch adorned with ribbons and bells. There’ll of course be Christmas trees, snow-capped street lamps and fairy lights lining The Avenues, sure to get you in the festive spirit.

Cirque de Cuisine: The Frozen Edition, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Thursday December 5, 7pm to 11pm, early bird tickets from Dhs495 adult and Dhs295 teens aged 12 to 20. Tel: (04) 426 1000. platinumlist.net

ALSO READ: Madinat Jumeirah announces festive market dates

Habtoor Palace Festive Garden

Habtoor Palace’s magical Christmas market is back on Thursday, December 5. Their stunning gardens will provide the setting for tons of fun and festive activities like a crazy golf and snow fighting for the more active children, a merry-go-round and a mini train for the smaller ones and even gingerbread house decorating. It will open from 6pm on Dec 5th, with the Christmas Tree officially being lit at 6.30pm and visitors will be greeted by the sounds of a kids choir, with free mulled wine and mince pies floating around on that day.

Festive Gardens, Versailles Gardens, Habtoor Palace Dubai, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Dubai, Thursday Dec 5 to Tuesday Dec 24, 5pm to 10pm. Tel: (04) 435 5555. lxrhotels3.hilton.com

Christmas Market at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah

If your ideal way of leading up to Christmas is getting lost for the afternoon in a Christmas market then we’ve got just the one for you. The one at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years and its fans will be glad to know it’s back from December 6 to 7. There’ll be over 20 stalls with Christmas goods and festive food and drinks for you to try and buy, plus loads of activities to keep the little ones entertained whilst you indulge you.

Christmas Market, Garden Area, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, December 6 to 7, 10am to 4pm. Tel: (04) 318 2319. hilton.com

Christmas Tree Lighting at The Irish Village

The annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Irish VIllage is one of the biggest and best festive events of the year. Taking place this year on Wednesday December 11, it will feature live music from a festive choirs, festive eats such as mulled wine and mince pies, as well as the small matter of turning the lights on on the giant twinkly tree.

Irish Village, Garhoud, Dubai, 7pm to 10pm, Wednesday December 11. Tel:  (04) 282 4750. theirishvillage.com

Winter Wonderland at the QE2

There’s all sorts going on at the QE2 this year for their annual Winter Wonderland extravaganza. On the Friday December 12 there’ll be a grand Christmas tree light switch on, with a dedicated choir singing festive carols and even an appearance from Santa. A free-to-enter festive market will run on the Saturday from 10am to 2pm with an array of stalls selling local handmade arts and crafts, seasonal gifts and live cooking stations – the perfect family day out. There’ll even be some Peter Pan-themed entertainment, theatre shows and dining experiences to get you into the holiday spirit.

QE2, Port Rashid, Dubai, Thursday December 12 to Saturday December 14. Tel: (04) 526 8888. qe2.com

Christmas Party at The Laughter Factory

Fancy a barrel of laughs at your Christmas Party? There’s only one place you need to book into on Thursday December 12, as The Laughter Factory are throwing a Christmas Party at The Talk in JBR’s Movenpick Hotel. Expect a huge buffet, free-flowing drinks and top class comedy from three funnymen, including Mock The Week’s Nathan Canton. Chris Kent and Sid Singh.

The Talk, Movenpick Hotel JBR, Dubai, buffet from 7pm, Dec 12, comedian show from 9pm, Dhs150 soft, Dhs225 house. Tel: (04) 449 8888. thelaughterfactory.com

Peter Pan

A perfect show for the whole family, a Peter Pan pantomime will take place at the iconic QE2 from December 13 to 24, so there’s plenty of time for you to catch one of the shows. Join Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and friends as they take you on an adventure through Neverland, with Wendy, Michael and your other favourite characters like Captain Hook, The Lost Boys and of course, a rather hungry crocodile. Like any pantomime, expect lots of theatrical entertainment to get the little ones excited. There will be two shows each day, with the first at 11am to 1pm and the second from 3pm to 5pm. You could even have ‘Tea with Tink’ along with Captain Hook and other characters between shows for Dhs65.

Peter Pan, QE2, Port Rashid, Dubai, Dec 13 to 24, 11am to 1pm, 3pm to 5pm, Dhs150 adult, Dhs120 children. Tel: (04) 526 8888. qe2.com

McGettigan’s Christmas Jingle Bell Brunch

If you’re planning a get-together with your ‘Dubai family’ before you all depart home for Christmas, there’s few better places than McGettigan’s JLT’s annual Christmas Jingle Bell Brunch. Taking place on December 13 from 1pm to 5pm, you’ll dine on all things festive – think turkey and all the trimmings – paired with unlimited beverages, classic Christmas tunes for a big sing-along in font of the huge Christmas tree. It’s priced at Dhs230 for the brunch and there’s a three-hour post brunch package with unlimited drinks for Dhs199.

McGettigans JLT, Next to Bonnington Towers, Cluster J, JLT, Dubai, Friday Dec 13,  brunch 1pm to 5pm, Dhs230, drunch Dhs199. Tel: (04) 356 0470. mcgettigans.com/jlt-dubai

Jingle Bell Favourites at Dubai Opera

If your Christmas isn’t complete without a sing-along to all your favourite festive hits, then there’s one ticket you seriously need to snap up – Jingle Bell Favourites at Dubai Opera. From December 12 to 14, you’ll be able to catch all the Christmas magic with morning, matinee and evening performances from The London Concert Orchestra and Capital Voices. Expect to sing along to the likes of Silent Night, Frosty the Snowman, Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. The grand opera hall will be covered with Christmas trees, baubles and lots of holly.

Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, Thursday December 12 to Saturday December 14, tickets from Dh175. Tel: (04) 440 8888. dubaiopera.com

Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market

Get ready for some serious festive cheer as the ever-popular Fort Island festive market at Madinat Jumeirah returns for 16 days from Friday December 13. There’ll be traditional food, drink, live music and, of course, the place will be bedecked with Christmassy decorations and a stunning Christmas tree. The little ones will be kept entertained with a giant snow ball zone, play area, four-lane bungee jump and gingerbread house making station and you can even take the family in a festive Abra ride with Santa.

Fort Island, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah, 3pm to late Sunday to Wednesday, 12pm to late Thursday to Saturday, Friday December 13 to Saturday December 28. jumeirah.com


If you go weak at the knees for a romantic fairytale, a production of Disney classic, Cinderella, is one for you. It comes from the same people that put on the successful Aladdin show at the Madinat Theatre last year, however this year’s Cinderella show will be taking place in the ballroom at Fairmont The Palm. A magical theatre performance can be expected, with enchanting music, dreamy costumes, a bit of comedy and welcome audience involvement. This ones for the kids and the adults, with a bit of nostalgia thrown in too. It’ll run for 9 dates, from December 18 to 27 with afternoon and evening shows every day from Thursday December 19.

Cinderella, Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Dec 18 to 27, afternoon shows 3pm to 5pm, evening shows, 7pm to 9pm, Dhs125. Tel: (04) 457 3388. fairmont.com/palm-dubai

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