Fill up your festive calendars with these Christmas events in Dubai… 

Christmas is less than five weeks away and if you’re spending the most wonderful time of the year in the desert, then it’s time to start booking these unmissable festive events in Dubai.

December 9: Christmas movie night in the sky

This Christmas, Aura Skypool invites guests to get into the festive spirit with a Christmas movie night taking place on Saturday, December 9 from 8pm to 11pm. Wrap up under the stars with free-flowing bubbles, festive canapes, a bento box, and more surprises throughout the night as you watch a special one-off screening of Home Alone, for Dhs600 per person.

Aura Skypool, St. Regis Hotel, Palm Jumeirah, Saturday, December 9, 8pm. Dhs600. (0)4 566 2121,

December 9: Festive fun run

Santa ski dubai festive fun run

There are plenty of reasons to visit Ski Dubai over the festive season and the popular Dubai attraction has just given us yet another – a festive fun run. Taking place on December 9, participants can choose from two options – 300 meters or 1km. To further make this a festive event to remember, all participants are urged to come dressed in their festive best. So be sure to don your ugliest Christmas jumpers, elf costumes, Santa hats, and more. Registrations can be done here for a starting price of just Dhs31.50 for children and it’s Dhs115 per adult over the age of 18.

Festive Fun Run, Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai; Dec 9; race begins at 8am (arrive 45 minutes in advance); @skidxb

December 15 to 17: See a magical ballet

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s 1892 piece, with its dancing dolls, feisty mice and fairies – all sugared over with snowflakes and delicious music – is probably the most popular ballet in the world. See it at the Dubai Opera on December 15 to 17, brought to life by the Ballet Theatre and State Opera Orchestra of Astana from Kazakhstan.

Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, December 15 to 17, Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm and 8pm, Sun 7pm, from Dhs300.

From December 15: Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market

souk madinat jumeirah

Running from Friday, December 15 to Thursday, January 7, 2024, the Madinat Festive Market will transform Fort Island into a magical winter wonderland, opening from 3pm to late Monday to Thursday and 12pm to late Friday to Sunday. Best of all, it’s free entry for all to enjoy. As well as a traditional chalet-style market and live band, 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.

Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market, Fort Island, Madinat Jumeirah, December 15 to January 7, 2024. 3pm to late Mon to Thurs, 12pm to late Fri to Sun.

December 16 & 17: Breakfast with Santa

For an unforgettable experience with the little ones this Christmas, don’t miss a magical breakfast with Santa taking place at stunning Italian restaurant, Bussola at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi. The magical breakfast experience, on December 16 and 17, is priced at Dhs285 for adults and Dhs175.

Bussola, Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, Dubai Marina. December 16 and 17. From 8am to 12pm. Dhs285 per person, Dhs175 for children. Tel:(0)4 511 7373.

December 20 to 24: Carols by Candlelight

From December 20 to December 24, Expo City’s enchanting Carols by Candlelight will bring back fond memories of your Christmas past with carol-singing, live dancers, and Christmas-themed projections on the iconic Al Wasl Plaza. From 6.30pm, the two-hour show will feature family favourites such as Rudolph the red-nosed reindeersilent night, and jingle bells, as well as a surprise visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets are on sale now from Dhs75 for general admission which includes access to Expo’s Winter City. Children under 12 years old go free.

Expo City Dubai, Al Wasl Plaza. December 20 to 24, 6.30pm. From Dhs75.

December 22 to 24: Gingerbread house workshop

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There are a number of tasty activities taking place at Eataly this festive season. Little ones can take part in a gingerbread man or gingerbread house cooking class at Eataly Dubai Mall on December 22, 23, and 24. Classes are priced at Dhs129 for gingerbread men and Dhs299 for decorating a gingerbread house, both inclusive of gelato and fresh juice.

Eataly, Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai. December 22 to 24. Tel:(0)4 330 8899.

December 24: Christmas Eve breakfast

Book a Christmas Eve breakfast buffet at Bulgari Resort’s Il Caffè. Available from 8am to 1pm, guests can help themselves to live stations showcasing traditional dishes inspired by the Mediterranean. The Christmas Eve breakfast is priced at Dhs500 per person inclusive of soft beverages, Dhs900 for the Champagne package, and Dhs300 per child. Alternatively, spend Christmas Eve at the pool with the La Vigilia Di Natale In Piscina brunch. From Dhs475 (soft) and Dhs800 (Champagne) per person, the art of grilling is elevated through this exclusive brunch, including fish, seafood, and meat dishes, that can be savoured while admiring the shimmering Yacht Club pool.

Bulgari Resort, Jumeira Bay Island, Dubai. Tel: (0)4 777 5555.

Images: Social/Provided