Winter events and festivals for the season in UAE

Here's a list of fun things to do with the whole family in the festive season

By Areeba Hashmi

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Published: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 3:52 PM

Last updated: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 11:17 PM

A number of Christmas markets have opened as part of the Dubai Shopping Festival, including the Madinat Jumeirah Festive market, the enchanted Winter Garden in Al Habtoor City, and the inaugural Winter District at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. These markets provide distinctive presents, fun things to do with the whole family, and joyous occasions. A Christmas tree, the North Pole Train, gingerbread house building, and Santa rides will be some of the memorable attractions at the Madinat Jumeirah Festive market. Here's the list:

Madinat Jumeirah’s seasonal market

With the return of Madinat Jumeirah's Festive market this year, Dubai is getting ready for its most thrilling season yet. The 1750sqm market has a 36-foot Christmas tree, red and white gifts, and a fully immersive shopping experience. It is free to enter and provides food, drinks, a snow fight area, bungee jumping, a North Pole train ride, and a Venetian carousel. It is open from 3pm to late Monday through Thursday and from 12pm to late Friday through Sunday. Additionally, guests can decorate their gingerbread houses and take an Abra ride with Santa.

Ski Dubai winter festivities

From December 1 to 25, Ski Dubai will offer a snow-themed experience with resident penguins and Santa. Snow Park rides and hot chocolate in an Alpine-themed cafe will be available to visitors. While Santa feeds his reindeer, make sure to check the timings since his Grotto is a highlight. Visit Dubai Ice Rink at Dubai Mall for a year-round winter getaway; it has amazing snowfall.

Live shows and more

A range of live entertainment options are available this December, such as the Christmas Cracker showcase at Irish Village at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Tchaikovsky's ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Ballet Theatre and State Opera Orchestra of Astana, Magic Phil's ‘Cirque du Silly’ at Theatre by QE2, and Slava's ‘SNOW SHOW’ at Dubai Opera. Check out the Dubai Calendar frequently for other joyous occasions and pursuits.

Expo Winter City

Expo City Dubai is scheduled to reopen from December 8, 2023, to January 7, 2024, with a grand celebration. A charming winter paradise complete with classic Christmas markets, pine trees, a zip-line, an ice-themed climbing wall, carnival games, and a letter-to-Santa station will be created in the Mobility District. In addition to meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus, visitors can enjoy homemade presents, sing along to Christmas songs, and explore the snow globe. Dog-owners can bring their furry friends along too. Some activities and courses require a ticket.

Santa visits Burj Al Arab

Visit the Burj Al Arab for a fun-filled family tour during the holiday season. After taking a 60-90 minute tour of the opulent hotel, treat yourself to festive feasts, minutes spent in Santa's Grotto, gift packages, and a visit to the breathtaking outdoor UMA Lounge. This unique chance to infuse luxury with the spirit of the holidays is sure to impress visitors.

Al Habtoor Winter Garden

Celebrate the winter season with your furry pals. Pets are welcome at Al Habtoor City Dubai's Winter Garden, which will be open until January 31, 2024. Situated in front of Habtoor Palace Dubai, the cheerful garden features food kiosks, kid-friendly activities, and live entertainment. There are classes for creating soap, perfume, and candles at LabLicious; Prices range from Dh35 to Dh50. The Winter Garden is decked out for the holidays with a Christmas tree, buntings, and vibrant lights. Expect a live band performance, a Christmas chorus, and a visit from Santa.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers winter festival

At Jumeirah Emirates Towers, the M2L team has designed a winter area complete with an advent calendar, snowmen, and a Christmas tree. There are Christmas lights, horse rides, carousels, and snow slides. The 'Gram will be embellished with reindeer décor and have views of the Museum of the Future. There will be food trucks with delectable meals. Entry to the event is free.

Furry-pals welcome

A dog-friendly Christmas celebration is scheduled to take place at Jumeirah Golf Estates Golf & Country Club in Dubai on December 16, 2023. There will be a Christmas market with gifts for dogs and attendees. Puppies will remain on Santa's wish list thanks to live music and a complimentary group training session with licensed animal behaviourist Olivier Zoppi. At Santa's Grotto, there will be Santa Claus, guaranteeing a wonderful Christmas experience. Entry to the event is free.


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