12 joyful things to do in Dubai this weekend: Dec 23 to 25
Santa’s on his way…
Twinkling lights, mulled wine, ice rinks, Santa’s grotto, indulgent dinners, Christmas bells, and that warm fuzzy feeling – it really is the most wonderful time of the year. And Dubai is no exception to that Christmas magic.
From carol singing to golf swingin’, we’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of the 12 best things to do in Dubai this weekend for a very merry time.
Friday, December 23
Story time with Santa at Winterfest by McGettigan’s
Entry to Dubai Media City’s Winterfest starts is now free and includes complimentary access to the Snow Park and unlimited rides at the Toboggan slides from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. From 2pm to 4.30pm you can catch the Winterfest Show as well as story time with Santa at 1pm, 2pm, and 6pm.
Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Al Sufouh 2, Dubai, 12pm to 10pm, until Jan 24, Free entry, mcgettigans.com/fanzone
Shop last-minute gifts at Gaia’s winter wonderland pop-up
The magical pop-up shop located on the lower ground of the restaurant features charming snowmen, adorable polar bears, and twinkling fairy lights. The dazzling bounty of gifts on offer include Gaia lollipops, indulgent chocolate bars, Chef Izu’s signature olive oil, and a selection of delightful homemade jams.
GAIA, Podium Level, Gate Village 4, DIFC. December 20 to January 7. 12pm to 12am. Tel:(0)424 142 42. gaia-restaurants.com
Enjoy a fun festive day out at Legoland Dubai
The Legoland Dubai theme park has a long list of exciting events planned for everyone, including a Santa’s present search in Miniland, a Lego festive wishing wall, holly jolly holiday party, festive cupcake decorating class, Christmas carols, a chance to meet and greet with Lego Santa, the opportunity to decorate Miniland’s Lego gingerbread house, a special snowfall, and more.
Legoland Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts. December 14 to January 8. Daily 10am to 7pm. legoland.ae
Sing along to your favourite holiday songs at Carols by Candlelight
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From December 20 to December 25, Expo City’s Carols by Candelight will bring back fond memories of your Christmas past. From 6.30pm, the two hour performance and projection show at Al Wasl Plaza will feature family favourites such as Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, silent night, and jingle bells. Visitors will be given LED candles as well as a songbook to ensure everyone can sing-along. Tickets are on sale on Platinumlist now from Dhs100.
Expo City Dubai, Mobility District. November 23 to January 8. Free for all ages. Pet-friendly. expocitydubai.com
Saturday, December 24
Try the festive dishes at Cassette
Tucked away inside The Courtyard in Al Quoz, Parisian-style restaurant Cassette is the perfect spot for a Christmas Eve catch up with friends. The seasonal menu is available until December 30 and includes dishes such as the Christmas salad; spinach, bacon, and tomato quiche; filet de boeuf en croute; and a prawn and crab cocktail roll.
The Courtyard, 4B Street, Al Quoz Dubai. Tel:(0)4 349 1966. cassette.ae
Treat the little ones to a fun-filled play day at OliOli
Get ready to jump into a festival of crazy colours, mad science, epic bubbles and wacky fun at OliOli! Taking over the carpark from December 24 to 28, MessFest is an incredible five-day event where little ones can foster their creativity and curiosity through messy play. Plus the immersive winter wonderland features over 700 miniature pieces, including animated buildings, scenic landscapes, hidden portals, wizardly worlds, model trains and a fun-filled carnival for children to discover.
Al Quoz 1, Al Quoz, Sun to Fri 9am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 7pm, Dhs146 for 1 adult and 1 child. Tel: (0)4 702 7300, olioli.ae
Say oui to Christmas Eve dinner and drinks at LPM
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On December 24 and 25, LPM will offer a special festive menu prepared by Chef Adriano Cattaneo. Signature sharing mains include chicken and foie gras ballotine, langoustine ravioli with truffle, roasted turbot with artichokes, and to finish a delightful chocolate and mandarin log. Oui, oui, oui!
LPM Dubai, Gate Village 8, DIFC, Dec 24: 6pm to 11pm, Dec 25: 12.30pm to 3.30pm, Dhs640. Tel: (0)4 439 0505. lpmrestaurants.com/dubai
Escape to the east coast at Sandy Beach Resort
Located just on the coast from Snoopy Island, Sandy Beach Resort is the perfect getaway for a weekend full of relaxation and adventure. Up there with some of my favourite spots in the UAE, Snoopy Island is a marine paradise offering some of the best snorkeling in the GCC. Book a night stay or day pass at Sandy Beach to enjoy the beach, children’s waterpark, restaurants, infinity pool, and swim-up bar. Pure bliss.
Sandy Beach Hotel and Resort, Fujairah. sandybeach.ae
Sunday, December 25
Chill out on the beach with morning yoga at Sole Mio
Join yoga instructor Sarah White at 9am every Sunday for a beautiful stretch in the sand. The class is priced at just Dhs50 which is entirely used to pay cleaners to remove micro plastics from the sea shore. If you don’t have a yoga mat, they will provide a towel – no excuses!
Sole Mio, Kite Beach, Dubai. Sundays 9am to 10am. Dhs50 for yoga class or Dhs120 for beach day and yoga. Children also welcome. solemio.ae/yoga
Indulge in a guilt-free Christmas dinner at Seva Table
For a wholesome Christmas day with family, food, and nature, Seva Table’s festive menus will please all plant-based food and health lovers in the city. From velvety chestnut soup, caramelized pear and homemade vegan “goat cheese” rocket salad, to stuffed tofu fillet with roasted rainbow carrots, and Christmas roll filled with mouthwatering coconut ganache, and spiced blueberry and cranberry compote. The Christmas menu is available from 12pm to 9pm December 24 to 26.
Seva Table, 27B street, Jumeirah 1, Dubai. Tel:(0)56 534 2899. @sevatable
Have a swingin’ Christmas Day at Topgolf
Topgolf Dubai’s Christmas Brunch includes complimentary mulled wine on arrival, a traditional Christmas platter, bay-side, and unlimited selected beverages throughout the afternoon. Plus, Topgolf will add to the lively atmosphere with its live DJ playing endless Christmas hits for guests to sing along to. With the addition of fantastic kid’s activities and a special meet-and-greet with Santa, Topgolf is a fun and festive way to spend Christmas Day.
Topgolf Dubai. Dhs499 sparkling, Dhs329 soft, Dhs129 children. Tel:(0)4 371 9999. topgolfdubai.ae
Stock up on fresh local produce at Alserkal’s farmers’ market
Looking for a casual way to spend your Sunday morning with family? Make the most of the great weather by taking a morning stroll around the organic farmer’s market in front of the A4 Space by Alserkal. Visitors can shop farm-fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, dairy products, eggs, honey, and more. Plus there will be food talks, cooking demonstrations, and the opportunity to learn how to set up your own urban garden at home.
Organic Farmer’s Market, A4 Space, Warehouse 4, Alserkal Avenue. December 11 to April 30. Sundays, 8am to 1pm. alserkal.online