Shop for gifts and indulge in Christmas treats…

As December 25 fast approaches, we’re looking to all of our favourite festive markets to help get us in the Christmas spirit. Unfortunately, some of our favourites won’t be returning this year, including the ever-popular Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market (you can find out what’s happening at Souk Madinat Jumeirah here).

The much-loved event has been a favourite among Dubai residents for many years, thanks to its enormous tree, beautiful waterways views, enticing food options and the occasional Santa sighting. While we won’t be able to enjoy this market in 2020, we’ve found some others that may jingle your bells instead.

Here are the Christmas markets happening in December 2020:

Habtoor Palace Dubai

Another popular Christmas market, Habtoor Palace knows how to make things festive in the desert. The Winter Garden will run from December 5 to 28, with 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. The Christmas market is even pet-friendly!

Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City, daily 5pm to 10pm, December 5 to 28, free entry.

Bab Al Shams

bab al shams festive market

From December 12 to 20, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland. The desert-themed festive market will run from 6pm to 10pm each day, bringing Christmas spirit to the sand dunes. A massive 40-foot Christmas tree will take centre stage. Santa’s carriage will also be on display, along with the chance for little ones to meet the big man himself. With a cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate in hand, shop for gifts at the festive stalls, or browse the food kiosks stocked with minced pies, Christmas cookies and all your favourite treats.

Bab Al Shams Festive Market, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort, Al Qudra Road, Dubai. Dec 12 to 20, 6pm to 10pm. Dhs50 for children (redeemable on food and drinks), adults free. Tel: (04) 809 6194.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

Get into the festive spirit with a huge tree lighting ceremony at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. On Thursday December 10, make sure you’re at the stunning hotel to witness a grand choir before the main event. You’ll be able to join the festivities from 5pm, and welcome the official countdown to Christmas.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah, Thursday December 10, from 5pm.

Studio One Hotel

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Studio One will be hosting a Christmas market this year, transforming its courtyard into ‘Studioville’, in homage to one of our favourite festive movies, The Grinch. On December 12, you’ll be able to explore more than 30 stalls packed with last minute gifts, and festive treats. There will also be free pizza ateliers for kids and fun festive workshops for the little ones, plus food on display and plenty of Christmas tunes.

Studioville Festive Market, Courtyard, Studio One Hotel, Dubai Studio City, December 12, 10am to 7pm, free entry. Tel: 800 788346.

Grand Hyatt Dubai

Dubai Festive Market

Following the success of the Brew Garden, Grand Hyatt Dubai is transforming its grounds into the Grand Christmas Garden, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from now until December 26. There’ll be a European-inspired festive menu, filled with sausages and roast meats, Christmastime drinks such as mulled wine and hot chocolate, and a retail store selling gifts and decorations.

Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha Road, Dubai Healthcare City, Dec 10 to 26, Thu to Sat, 3pm to 10pm. Limited tables available. Tel: (0)55 6065059.

Images: Supplied