20 places to spend Christmas Day in Abu Dhabi
How to make the big day, a big yay…
This list is a gift for everyone to enjoy, regardless of whether you’ve been naughty or nice because let’s face it — this year has tested all of us. These are just some of our favourite ways to spend Christmas Day in Abu Dhabi.
Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi Hotel
If you like rocking around the Christmas treats — you should probably consider visiting the Anantara this December 25. Their special dine around brunch allows you to hop between Ingredients, The Pool Deck and Mekong — enjoying a range of festive (and alternative) food, gorgeous mangrove views and there’s a pretty good chance Father C will be dropping in to distribute this year’s coal.
Anantara Eastern Mangroves, Al Kheeran, Dec 25 12.30 to 4pm, Dhs325 with soft drinks, Dhs475 with house drinks. Tel: (05) 503 5121, @anantaraeasternmangroves
Butcher & Still
Chef Marshall Roth is whipping up a traditional, Chicago flavoured Christmas brunch at Butcher & Still on December 25th. Dig into a selection of fine dining holiday favourites, trimmings galore, and deep ladel of that mulled vibe.
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, Dec 25, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs390 per person. Tel: (02) 333 2222, @butcherandstill
Cinderella at Theatre by Erth
We’ve had enough of the food options. “Oh no we havn’t”. Well, having a theatrical break won’t hurt anyway. This classic princess story is a pantomime classic. Crystal slippers, bungling butlers, comic relief in the form of Buttons, ugly sisters, fairy godmothers, and the age-old story of Cinderella’s will-they-wont-they? with the handsome prince. Expect singalongs, choruses of ‘he’s behind you’ and all the fun of British Christmas carry-on.
Theatre by Erth, Khor Al Maqta, Dec 16 to 27, Dh97. abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
This hotel has a few options for Xmas celebrations, but our pick of the gifts has to be the Christmas Market Brunch. Stack your plate with station served hits from the hotel’s dazzling array of restaurants — sashimi from Café Sushi; there’s a barbecue station on The Terrace; and a whole load of Marco Pierre White creative Christmas juice thrown in too. Elsewhere you’ll find sing-a-long Christmas carol sessions, live entertainment, a raffle with exciting prizes and of course, a visit from Santa and his elves.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta, Dec 25 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs395 soft, Dhs545 house, Dhs795 bubbles. Tel: (02) 654 3333, @fairmontbabalbahr
Like the man in red himself, this family-friendly ‘Santalicious’ brunch is big, well-rounded and comes with the option of helping your belly shake like a bowl full of jelly. On the menu — there’s a Yuletide focused buffet, carving stations and signature festive beverages, paired with live entertainment including, according to our sources at sister title, What’s On North Pole, a visit from Santa.
The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi, Dec 25, Dhs495 soft, Dhs695 house, Dhs245 children ages 7 to 12. Tel: (0)2 616 9999. fairwaysabudhabi.com
The festive season is all about going big. Big portions, big gestures of goodwill, and we’re not sure who needs to hear this but *winks* big presents. On that theme, you’d do well to head for W Abu Dhabi — Yas Island’s B.I.G Christmas Day brunch at Garage. We’re talking deck-ing the halls with seasonal DJ spun tunes; sweet treats delivered by elves; a visit from Big Papa C; and there are even an after-brunch drinks deal at W Lounge where you can enjoy two drinks for the price of one.
Garage, W Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Dec 24 or 25, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs310 soft, Dhs450 house, Dhs650 bubbles. Tel: (0)2 656 0000. garageabudhabi.com
Graphos Social Kitchen
Our ‘brunch of the month’ hosts a special Christmas Day brunch with over 10 live stations and a dedicated activity zone for children. Come dressed as your favourite character of Christmas for the chance to win prizes.
Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, 1pm to 4.30pm, Dhs429 with soft drinks, Dhs549 with house drinks, Dhs649 bubbly. Tel: (0)2 2086900. firstname.lastname@example.org
Look if can’t face another year of turkey and stuffing, you can upgrade your Xmas gastro-nom-my with the festive edition of Giornette’s wildly popular Chef’s Brunch. We’re talking Wagyu beef, foie gras, Asian food, pasta cooked *chef’s kiss* à la minute, fresh seafood, healthy selections, and if you absolutely have to… there’s turkey too. Old mate grey beard will be here too, so if you’ve been a little too elbowy at the buffet stations maybe slip him a few dirhams.
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Dec 25 1pm to 4pm, Dhs450 with soft drinks, Dhs650 with house drinks, Dhs750 for premium bubbles. Tel: (02) 818 8888, @ritzcarltonabudhabi
Brunch alfresco this festive season at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche where there’s more than chesnuts roasting on an open fire. Chrimbo day diners can get stuck into a rotisserie-focused international buffet with live barbie-grills, roasted veal leg, prime ribs, honey glazed turkey and Atlantic salmon. Pair your meal with house drinks or bubbles, enjoy live music and, if you’ve #sleighed the good behaviour this year, you might get some one-on-one time with Mr Kringle.
Grills@Chill’O, Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche, Abu Dhabi. Dec 24 and 25, 12.30pm to 4pm. Dhs255 soft, Dhs350 house, Dhs395 bubbles, Dhs95 children ages 7 to 12. Tel: (0)2 813 7777. sofitelabudhabicorniche.com
The Yuletide brunch at Khayal is always an absolute cracker. Leap rednose first into the festive feels with a Santa’s sack proportioned buffet selection, six live stations and a meet and greet from the executive branch of the North Pole’s toy logistics and distribution team. Old red Nick. The big fella.
Khayal Restaurant, Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Khalifa City, Dhs299 soft, add Dhs149 for house drinks (or Dhs199 for bubbles), kids under 12 Dhs99. Tel: (0)2 201 4131. marriott.com
The festive edition of the Eat, Play, Laugh features all the usual wonderful favourites such as seafood stations, Indian tandoors, Asian counters, Malaysian cuisine, plus turkey, Christmas pudding and mulled wine.
Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, 12.30pm to 4pm, from Dhs275 to Dhs425. Tel: (0)2 304 7777. marriottdowntownabudhabilife.com
Nahaam & Sole
Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers’ Nahaam and Sole restaurants are inviting families to celebrate the day with live band performances, DJ entertainment and a visit from Santa. Choose between Nahaam serving casual classic favourites by the pool or SOLE offering traditional Italian delicacies.
Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers, Dhs525 with soft drinks, Dhs625 with house drinks, Dhs725 with bubbly, Dhs825 with pink bubbly, Dhs200 for children from six to 12 years, under sixes free. @conradetihadtowers
The Oak House is hosting a very British sort of Christmas. With added fine dining of course and minus the transport delays, Ant & Dec and your uncle Steve falling asleep in front of Crocodile Dundee. Pick your three-hour session from the frosty window of 1pm to 5pm, and for anybody not ready to remove the paper crowns just yet — Annex is throwing a three-hour festive sunset session with bites, bubbles and bountiful beverages for Dhs368, including house drinks and bubbles.
The Abu Dhabi Edition, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi. Brunch package Dhs345 soft, Dhs495 house, Dhs645 bubbles, after brunch package Dhs248 soft and Dhs368 house. Tel: (0)2 208 0000. editionhotels.com
PJ O’Reilly’s Irish Pub
Pull a craic-er this December 25 and spend your big day the Galway, ahem, way. Head to PJ O’Reilly’s for a big dose of festive ch-Eire in the form of a Christmas version of their Hogfest brunch, featuring a traditional Irish feast, mulled grape and a soundtrack of sing-a-long classics (if Fairy Tale of New York doesn’t get at least one encore, we’re throwing tantrums).
Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi, Dec 24 and 24 (7pm to 10pm) and Dec 25 (1pm to 4pm). Dhs149 soft, Dhs225 house, Dhs295 premium. Tel: (800) 101 101. @pjsabudhabi
Saadiyat Beach Golf Course
If a partridge in a pear tree is not the only birdie on your mind at Christmas, why not hit up the idyllic green scenes of Saadiyat Beach Golf Course for your big day brunch. There tee-ing things off with a festive carvery buffet, house beverages, live performers and a number of children’s activities to keep the little ones amused. Pay before November 30 to get 15 per cent off your bill.
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, Dec 25, 12pm to 3.30pm. Dhs 285 soft, Dhs399 house, Dhs143 children ages 7 to 12, under 6s free. Tel: (0)56 660 8780. @saadiyatbeachgolfclub
There’s a lot at stake when organising a festive feast, so why not turn the tables and have a lot of steaks instead? The Foundry is dishing up mouth-watering prime beef cuts alongside the more traditional (and we’d argue substantially less tasty), turkey, saltbush lamb and of course…. all the trimmings at its Christmas brunch. Take things even further off-piste with the venue’s much-lauded oyster bar, foie gras station, poke bar, seafood collection, and cheese vault.
Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi, Dec 25, 12.30pm to 4.30pm, Dhs325 soft, Dhs480 house, Dhs655 bubbles, Dhs110 children ages 6 to 12. Tel: (0)2 818 4888. tsogosun.com
Christmas is traditionally a time associated with family, but if you can’t be with the whole gang this year, gather those that are near and dear, and head to the beach. Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island’s refined all-day diner, Turquoise is throwing a shoreline seasonal banquet with a veritable Expo of traditional trimmings alongside live cooking stations, a sushi bar, fresh oysters and outdoor grills.
Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, Dec 25 1pm to 4.30pm, Dhs649. Tel: (02) 492 2222, email@example.com
Hop aboard the festive gravy train at the What’s On award-winning Urban Kitchen this Chrimbo for a brunch packed with festive favourites. Top up the yuletide spirit with a midday welcome drink at Orchid Lounge, then Ho-Ho-Ho it off to Urban Kitchen we go to take your tastebuds on a whistle-stop Santa present world tour, with all the many, varied international flavours of Urban Kitchen’s jolly brunch.
Urban Kitchen, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Al Muroor Road, 12.30 to 4pm, Dec 25, Dhs270 soft, Dhs400 house, Dhs99 for children ages 7 to 12. Tel: (0)2 698 8137. dusit.com
Yas Links Abu Dhabi
You’ll have to go a fairway before you find a better fit for Christmas brunch in Abu Dhabi than on the grounds of a golf course. And at Yas Links Abu Dhabi they’re focused on showing the whole family a good time, with festive eats, kiddie treats and Yuletide beats.
Yas Links Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Dec 25, 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs250 soft, Dhs399 house, Dhs143 kids. Tel: (0)2 404 3077. @yaslinksad
For all things festive, head on over to whatson.ae/Christmas