It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… 

With just over one week to go until Christmas, Dubai is not short of fun and festive things to do. While you may be getting in some last-minute shopping, this weekend’s lineup will keep you feeling merry and bright. There’s the return of Dubai’s favourite winter wonderland, a cool new wellness club, a farm-to-table cook off, and more.

Without further ado, here is our shortlist of 14 incredible things to do in Dubai this weekend: 

Friday, December 16 

Check out the new dishes at 3Fils

Voted number one on MENA’s 50 best restaurants 2022, the premium Japanese restaurant has introduced two new limited-edition dishes to the menu: the Wagyu Don (Dhs195) and Hash Brown with Tuna (Dhs110). If the rest of their menu is anything to go by, we cannot wait to try these new creations alongside their classic dishes such as the truffle burger, seaweed salad, and beef carpaccio.

3Fils, Shop 2, Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Al Urouba St, Dubai. Tel:(0)4333 4003.

Visit the magical winter wonderland at Madinat Jumeirah

Souk madinat christmas

It’s back! If you do anything festive at all this weekend, make sure you head to the magical Christmas market at Madinat Jumeirah. There will be plenty of festive food and drinks to fuel up on (mulled wine, anyone?). The little ones’ faces will be shining bright with a snow fight zone, bungee jumping, a North Pole train ride and a Venetian carousel. Make memories by taking an Abra with Santa and decorating your own gingerbread houses. Best of all, it’s free entry for all to enjoy.

Fort Island, Madinat Jumeirah, Dec 15 to 30, 3pm to late Mon to Thurs, 12pm to late Fri to Sun.

Get ready for a farm-to-table cook off

Some of the city’s top chefs will be joining resident chefs within the community for a live cook-off. Sourcing food from within the farm at Sustainable City, the recipes will be made with the freshest ingredients with over 40 different types of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Visitors can pick up some tasty treats from the pop-up market just in time for Christmas.

The Plaza, Sustainable City, Dubai. Friday, December 16, 4pm to 7pm. Tel:(0) 50 2050962. 

Fill your boots at Atlantis’ Cirque de Cuisine

Atlantis, The Palm’s epic Cirque de Cuisine mega brunch takes over the resort on December 16. In case you’re unfamiliar, this four-hour dine around invites guests to fill their boots at some of Atlantis’ best-loved restaurants, like Nobu, Seafire Steakhouse, Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and new South American restaurant En Fuego. With free-flowing drinks, out-of-this-world entertainment and dazzling décor, this is one that requires your most stretchy pants.

Cirque de Cuisine, Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Friday December 16, 7pm to 11pm, Dhs625.

Get into the groove at Honeycomb Hi-Fi

From the creators of Miss Lily’s and Indochine comes Honeycomb Hi-Fi a new, homegrown concept and the region’s first listening bar. For one night only, the bar will welcome Istanbul’s DJ O.bee from 11pm to 3am.  There’s a minimum spend of Dhs500 per person (indoors) and Dhs300 per person (terrace).

Honeycomb Hi-Fi, Pullman Hotel, Downtown Dubai, 8pm to 2am. Closed on Mondays. Tel:(0)44126666. @honeycombhifi

Saturday, December 17

Don’t miss Elf the Musical in theatre

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear… Based on the beloved holiday film, Elf The Musical lands in Dubai this weekend. All the way from London’s West End, the musical will take place at the Theatre at Mall of the Emirates from Saturday, December 17 to Saturday, December 24.

Elf The Musical, The Theatre at Mall of Emirates, Al Barsha, Dubai. Saturday, December 17 to Saturday, December 24. From Dhs100. All ages welcome. Tickets:

Festive kids’ cooking class at Jones The Grocer

Looking for something festive to do with the little ones? Children can decorate and build their very own gingerbread houses at the newly-opened Jones the Grocer in JBR. On December 17 and 18 for Dhs145 per child, the little ones will receive their own apron, chef hat, and fresh juices while they create their masterpiece.

Jones the Grocer, Delta Hotels by Marriott JBR, Dubai. December 17 and 18, 1pm onwards. Dhs145 per child. Tel:(0)50 189 6214. 

Explore this new immersive experiential park

Looking to try something new in Dubai? Check out Aya, an experiential entertainment park inside Wafi City Mall. Open from December 17, Aya transports visitors into a futuristic universe through the magic of art and technology. There’s 12 different zones all with water and space themes. Two hour slots can be booked with timings available from 10am to 8.30pm on weekdays, with 10.30pm the last entry slot on weekends. Tickets are Dhs99 and little ones aged three and under can enter for free.

Aya Dubai, first floor, Wafi Mall, Oud Metha Road, 10am to 10pm weekdays, 10am to midnight weekends, opens December 17, Dhs99. Tel: (0)4 542 0300,

Watch a classic Christmas movie on Kite Beach

Kite Beach will be hosting a movie screening of family-favourite Christmas film, Home Alone, this Saturday. The movie night is free to attend with comfy beanbags available on a first-come-first-served basis, so make sure to round up the crew and head to the beach huts early to secure a spot. We can’t think of anything we’d rather do with our Saturday-before-Christmas evening!

Kite Beach, Dubai. Saturday, December 17. 7pm to 9am. Free to attend. 

Escape the city


Named after the cartoon dog, which the island is said to resemble in shape, Snoopy Island in Fujairah is a marine paradise offering some of the best snorkeling in the GCC. Turtles, fish every colour of the rainbow and even little white-tip reef sharks have made this sparkling cerulean sea their home. On a day trip to Snoopy Island, you can go snorkelling or scuba diving, or stay above the surface with an afternoon of paddle boarding or kayaking – the gear for all of which can be rented from the shore. Those looking to make a weekend of it can check-in to Sandy Beach Hotel, the legendary Fujairah resort that sits smack bang in front of Snoopy Island.

Sunday, December 18

Meet Mrs Claus at the Roast by Bubbalicious brunch

We’re feeling warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. This Sunday, there’s extra special festive fun for all the family including a Christmas story time and gingerbread making with Mrs Claus, children can post their Christmas letters with the help of Santa’s elves, plus wear your best Christmas jumpers for a chance to win the ‘best dressed’ prize. The buffet-style brunch consists of seven carvery options, a fish ‘n’ chip shop, and a British balti serving up typical curries you’d find in your home town. Help yourself to free-flowing sips from one of the beverage stations serving up gin mixes, sparkling, bucks fizz, and espresso martinis.

Mina’s Kitchen, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai, 1pm to 4pm, Sundays, Dhs595 bubbly, Dhs450 house, Dhs350 soft, Dhs200 children between 6 and 12 years. Tel: (0)4 511 7373. @minaskitchen_dxb

Check out the cool new attractions at the Museum of Illusions

For a spot of puzzled laughs with loved ones and for some unique snaps to fool friends, head on over to the Museum of Illusions. The Instagrammable destination has four new exhibits including the symmetry illusion room, infinity well, the tricky rings, and the following eyes. Ticket prices are Dhs80 and Dhs60 for children, while family package tickets are available at Dhs225 for two adults and two children. Children under 5 go free.

Building 17, Heritage area, Al Seef, Dubai, Mon to Thur 10am to 10pm, Fri to Sun 10am to 11pm. Tel: (0)4 357 3999.

Play padel tennis at this cool new club


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Boutique padel venue Matcha has opened a second wellness club at Meydan within the Keturah reserve. Featuring six padel courts for adults and two smaller courts dedicated to children and kids classes, the club covers a whopping 9,000 square metres, and encompasses a stylish Mediterranean aesthetic with its slick courts punctuated by huge olive trees and sprawling fauna.

Matcha Meydan, Keturah Reserve, daily from 6am to midnight. Tel: (0)50 340 5979. @matchadxb

Watch the Argentina vs. France final at Fanzone by McGettigan’s

It’s been an exciting World Cup full of surprises, underdogs, historic moments, “where’s Messi?”, and Ronaldo’s tears. Now, only one thing matters and that is France or Argentina? Watch the most important match of them all from the lively Fanzone by McGettigan’s in Dubai Media City. Entry is Dhs200 with Dhs100 redeemable on food and drink.

Media City Amphitheater, Dubai. @fanzonebymcgettigans

Images: Supplied/Social