Seasonal twists on classic brunches, traditional roasts, and international spreads. Here’s where to spend Christmas Day in Dubai…
It really is the most wonderful time of the year, and although we may not have snow (we always preferred sand anyway), there’s no reason we can’t get in on the festive action.
While we’re rounded up the best the city has to offer for Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, turkey takeaway, office shindigs, New Year’s Eve and everything else Christmas right here, this one’s all about the big day.
So here are 22 feasts we’re bookmarking to tuck into this Christmas, aka Monday December 25….
3in1 in Vida Downtown is hosting a festive edition of its Urban Picnic. Pick up a picnic basket and fill it with goodies from the buffet, which includes a traditional turkey roast and Christmas pudding. For a true Dubai-style Christmas, enjoy your feast out in the sunshine beside the Vida’s gorgeous pool.
3in1, Vida Downtown, 1pm to 5pm, Dhs395 with house beverages, Dhs295 with soft drinks. Tel: (04) 888 3444, myfestivedubai.com
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Turn Christmas into a big party with plenty of food to keep your energy going. There are 360 dishes to choose from and 11 different live cooking stations.
JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs425 with house beverages. Tel: (04) 4140000. jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com
A home-from-home experience – minus the washing up. Work your way through five courses, with starters like gooey brie and camembert. A traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings is the main event, but you’ll also find less traditional options like seabass served with warm salsa and crispy potatoes.
Pier 7, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Dhs550 with soft drinks, Dhs650 with premium drinks, Dhs99 for kids under 12 and kids under six are free. Tel: (04) 4222328. thescenedubai.com
Bread Street Kitchen
Gordon Ramsay’s menu has a bit of a twist, offering festive style British comfort food. Turkey, salmon or vegetarian Wellington is the highlight of the Christmas Day brunch, while the buffet selection of starters includes tamarind spiced chicken wings, mini wagyu sliders and chefs fish cakes.
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, 12:30pm to 4:00pm, Dhs450 including select beverages, Dhs105 for children aged four to 11. Tel: (04) 4262626. atlantisthepalm.com/restaurants/bread-street-kitchen
The iconic Dubai brunch featuring some of Madinat Jumeirah’s favourite restaurants will get a festive makeover. Dine around The Hide, Arboretum and Al Hambra, with live cooking, food and drink stations, and a huge choice of different cuisines.
Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs695 with soft drinks, Dhs795 with select beverages, Dhs895 with premium beverages, Dhs350 for kids aged four to 11, kids under four dine free. Tel: (04) 4323232. jumeirah.com
Classy and kid-friendly all in one. Enjoy French-Italian inspired cuisine with a mixture of food carving stations, seafood platters and table-side cooking. Festive music and Santa Claus will keep the little ones entertained.
The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Dubai, 12pm to 4pm, Dhs395 with soft drinks, Dhs495 with house beverages, Dhs595 with sparkling, Dhs695 with premium drinks, Dhs195 for children aged six to 12. Tel: (04) 3722444.
For a meaty festive meal this year, head to DIFC steakhouse Beefbar. They’ll be serving up a three course lunch for Dhs275 on Christmas Day, and a festive dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for Dhs375.
Beefbar, Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC, from Dhs275. Tel: (056) 115 1724. dubai.beefbar.com
If you’re looking for somewhere to go with a big group of mates for a no-fuss Christmas, this could be the answer. The all-you-can-eat brunch includes five house beverages and entertainment from an Irish band.
Le Meridien, Dubai, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs199. Tel: (04) 7022328. thedubliners-dubai.com
The Irish Village
Keep it casual with a festive buffet, complete with a carvery and the all-important turkey. There will be live music and a visit from Santa himself.
Next to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud, Dhs199, Dhs99 for children under 12 including a gift. Tel: (04) 282 4750. theirishvillage.com
Scrap the turkey and go all-out on high-end Cantonese dining at the newly opened Hakkasan. The stylish bar-restaurant in The Avenues at Atlantis, The Palm, is serving up signatures like Peking duck served with Royal Beluga caviar and the famous stir-fried black pepper rib-eye beef.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 12pm to 3.30pm, from Dhs328. Tel: (04) 4262626. atlantisthepalm.com/restaurants/hakkasan
The Play House brunch at Liwan is a family-friendly feast with a traditional carvery and lots of fun touches to entertain children. Expect presents for little ones, the chance to meet Santa, and kid’s zone where you can decorate gingerbread.
Swissotel Al Ghurair, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs250 for adults including soft drinks, pay half for children aged six to 12, kids under six dine free. Tel: (04) 2933000. swissotel.com/dubai
Qasr Al Sultan
This family-friendly brunch has an Arabic atmosphere, with cultural shows and plenty of activities to keep kids entertained. The outdoor Arabian buffet will have live cooking stations and plenty of dishes to choose from.
Adjacent to Dubai Parks and Resorts, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs295 with soft drinks, Dhs395 with house beverages. Tel: 800 785826. qasralsultan.ae
Grilled meat and seafood set the tone for a special Aussie-style Christmas Down Under. Resident musician Tino will play throughout the brunch, and there will be special appearances from the Anantara choir and Santa Claus.
Anantara, The Palm, Dubai, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs299 with soft drinks, Dhs425 with house beverages, Dhs145 for children aged 6-11. Tel: (04) 5678304. anantara.com
Opt for Mediterranean-style seafood instead of the traditional Christmas dinner. Rockfish’s setting is hard to beat, with the perfect view of the Jumeirah shore and a backdrop of the Burj Al Arab.
Jumeirah Al Naseem, Dubai, lunch 12.30pm to 15.30pm, dinner 6.30pm to11:30pm, Tel: (04) 4323232. j jumeirah.com
A party brunch that ticks the boxes for young and old – plenty of food options, live music, and a kid’s corner with interactive activities.
Le Meridien, Dubai, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs389 with house beverages, Dhs529 with premium beverages. Tel: (04) 7022328. yalumbadubai.com
Baker & Spice
Go a la carte and choose from turkey, chicken, Black Angus or roasted fish for your main course. The huge selection of sides, stuffings and starters allows you to completely customise your own individual feast – mac and cheese may not be a traditional part of Christmas dinner, but it
Souk Al Bahar, Dubai. Tel: (04) 4279856 or 056 9909317. Facebook.com/Bakerandspicedubai
Reform Social & Grill
This place has a local pub vibe, making it a great option for a relaxed day. The menu is typically British, with the usual turkey and all the trimmings as well as dishes like honey roasted gammon, and mushroom cobbler. The four-hour brunch includes four courses, followed by coffee and mince pies.
The Lakes, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs450 for soft drinks, Dhs580 for the house package, Dhs680 for premium drinks, Dhs225 for children aged eight to 14, Dhs120 for children under 8, and kids under 2 are free. Reform, The Lakes. reformsocialgrill.ae
Spend Christmas by the pool at Nikki’s Saint Tropez Brunch, which will serve up an outdoor buffet of holiday-inspired classics. As the sun sets the party will move to the beach for a bonfire and a live acoustic set.
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai, 1pm to 5pm, from Dhs435. Tel: (04) 376 6000 or (04) 376 6162. nikkibeach.com
Folly by Nick & Scott
Meat eaters and vegetarians are well catered for at Folly’s feast. The menu has creative dishes like whipped goats cheese with pear and cinnamon, as well as halibut with sweet and sour red cabbage, almonds and marmite. There’s a roast turkey dinner with roasted potatoes and vegetables for the main (or onion tart with sour cream and chives for vegetarians).
Madinat Jumeirah, Dhs495 with soft drinks (Dhs350 for vegetarian), Dhs845 with select beverages (Dhs700 for vegetarian). Tel: (04) 4308535. folly.ae
Rosso and Benihana
As well as live cooking stations and a traditional roast, there will be a food truck from JB’s and a Teppanyaki bar at Benihana. Award-winning UAE band International Playboys will provide entertainment, and kids can enjoy activities throughout the day – Santa will even pay them a visit.
Amwaj Rotana, Dubai, 12.30pm to 4.30pm, Dhs249 with soft drinks, Dhs449 with select beverages, Dhs149 for kids from six to 12, kids under 6 are free. Tel: (04) 4282000. rotana.com
Garden on 8
This brunch is billing itself as “the cheapest, tackiest Christmas you ever did see”, so if cheesy tunes, festive jumpers and tinsel are your thing, you’re in for a treat. You’ll get a whole turkey to carve at your table, with all the trimmings and free-flowing drinks.
Media One Hotel, Media City, Dubai, 12pm to 7pm, Dhs150 with soft drinks, Dhs299 with house beverages. Tel: (04) 4271000. mediaonehotel.com
An outdoor Christmas with a walk-in pantry and BBQ stations. There will be plenty to keep both young and old entertained throughout the day, including live music, kid’s activities, and pool access.
Crowne Plaza, Dubai Festival City, 12.30 to 4pm, Dhs245 including soft drinks, Dhs345 with select beverages, kids aged 12 and under dine free. Tel: (04) 7011127. diningdfc.com/festive
There are a few different options depending on how hungry you are – go for the full brunch (from Dhs195), or go for the more chilled option with festive canapés and three drinks on the terrace (Dhs95). A Christmas specials menu will be served in the evening.
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, brunch from 12pm to 4pm, canapés from 3pm to 12am, dinner from 6pm, Tel: (04) 4323232. jumeirah.com
Tuck into a huge selection of food across three restaurants at one of the city’s most famous brunches. There will be Christmas-themed entertainment and free flowing drinks to put you in the holiday spirit.
The Westin Mina Seyahi, Dubai, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs595 with soft drinks, Dhs750 with premium drinks. Tel: (04) 511 7373. westin.com