Snow business: the very best festive shows coming to Dubai
Let What’s On walk you through pantomime season with family-fun options to grown-up Christmas classics…
Warning: Don’t book tickets to Slava’s Snowshow expecting a laugh-a-minute comedy. It’s not that kind of Christmas performance. Instead, it’s something both gentler and more surreal from the mind of Russian-born, France-based performer and creator Slava Polunin. Our hero Assissiaï, is a Chaplin-like figure in a baggy yellow jumpsuit who wanders through an imaginary world. The show has no dialogue, no overarching story. Rather, it is a series of delightfully oddball scenes that range between simple acts of physical comedy to extraordinarily realised set-pieces taking place in a theatrical blizzard. One minute you’re giggling over a classic suitcase gag, the next you’re watching mysterious, winged figures drift across the stage like something out of a dream.
December 8 to 10
Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, Fri 8pm, Sat 3pm and 8pm, Sun 3pm and 8pm, from Dhs225. Dubaiopera.com
From the acclaimed author of the beloved children’s book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, comes an enchanting live production: Dear Santa! Christmas magic comes alive as Santa embarks on a charming adventure to find the perfect present for Sarah, with the playful assistance of his mischievous Elf. Despite a few hiccups along the way, Santa’s determination prevails, resulting in a heartwarming surprise just in time for Christmas Eve. This delightful show serves as an ideal introduction to theatre for children aged two and above.
December 8 and 9
Zabeel Theatre, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Fri 3pm and 5.30pm, Sat 11am and 2.30pm, from Dhs150. artforall.ae
Magic Phil’s Cirque du Silly
Join Dubai’s perky family entertainer as he kicks off the festive fun with his frivolous one-man show. This time our old pal in green discovers tattered props and bag of tricks while clearing up an old circus. His bright idea? To become the star of his own show, but can he pull it off, or will it be a one-man circus full of chaos. Prepare for singalong silliness, and magic tricks, of course.
December 9 and 10
Theatre by QE2, Port Rashid, from Dhs80, Sat 11am and 3pm, Sun 11am. dubai.platinumlist.net
Christmas wishes with Magic Phil
What’s your big Christmas wish this year?
To spread as much happiness and silliness to everybody. I mean, ‘tis the season to be silly!
If you could perform a magic trick for Santa, what would you do to impress him?
I would make all his candy disappear – not by magic, I’d just eat it. Although that might not impress him, so maybe I can make them reappear. Imagine that, unlimited candy canes and gingerbread. Now that’s magic!
What’s your dream Christmas dinner?
Oh, I love Christmas dinner so, as it is – with all the trimmings – is a dream anyway. But my dreamiest Christmas dinner isn’t about the food; it’s about sharing the magic around the dinner table with those I love.
If you could create a new magical creature to help Santa deliver presents, what would be?
It would have to be a magic rubber chicken. His powers would be a magical ‘squawk’ that only Santa could hear. He would check that all the boys and girls are asleep then send a magic ‘squawk’ to let him know the coast is clear.
Beauty and the Beast
The Dubai Panto team returns for its 17th year with their take on the timeless fairytale, Beauty and the Beast. Follow the adventures of young bookworm Bella, as she befriends the monstrous Beast and discovers the true meaning of love. With captivating costumes, lively music, and uproarious antics, this family pantomime promises fun, laughter, and lots of panto-perfect audience participation.
December 14 to 26
Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, timings vary, from Dhs75, dubaipanto.com
Flying into the QE2 this Christmas, Peter Pan will be this exciting pantomime adventure. Follow Peter Pan, the forever-young boy, on his adventures with Wendy, Michael, John, and the Lost Boys as they encounter pirates, and the infamous Captain Hook. Filled with laughter, excitement, and captivating choreography, this show appeals to both the young and the young at heart, offering an immersive escape into a fantastical world. Hook your tickets early to guarantee the best seats.
December 15 to 26
Theatre by QE2, Port Rashid, timings vary, from Dhs75. dubai.platinumlist.net
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 brought to life by the Ballet Theatre and State Opera Orchestra of Astana from Kazakhstan.
December 15 and 17
Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm and 8pm, Sun 7pm, from Dhs300. dubaiopera.com