Christmas in Dubai: How Canadians spend winter holidays, festivities in the city


Photo by M.Sajjad/Khaleej Times
Photo by M.Sajjad/Khaleej Times

Dubai - Canadian families truly know how to enjoy outdoor winter sports such as skiing and skating.

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Fri 25 Dec 2020, 8:02 PM

Giving out a message of celebrating Christmas safely with their loved ones to the 40,000 strong Canadian community in the UAE, the Consul-General of Canada in Dubai, Jean-Philippe Linteau, gives KT a tour of the city to show how Canadians celebrate winter holidays and Christmas festivities in Dubai.

With coffee and doughnut being a popular breakfast snack in Canada, Linteau’s first stop was Tim Horton’s coffee shop, which has over 100 outlets in the UAE. “More than a coffee and bake shop, Tim Hortons is part of the Canadian fabric and a proud symbol of the country and its values. It is certainly the most beloved F&B chain in Canada with over five million cups of coffee served daily.”

Donned in a typical Canadian Goose (Canadian brand) winter jacket, Linteau headed to Ski Dubai at the Mall of the Emirates to enjoy the most popular winter sport of Canada – skiing.

“Canadian families truly know how to enjoy outdoor winter sports such as skiing and skating. The fresh white snow and crisp clear air are Canada’s landmark. And when you are in the UAE, you are never away from home as you can experience fresh, crisp snow right in the middle of the city,” he said before skiing down the snowy slopes at the indoor ski resort.

He went on to pick up a few Christmas-related titbits such as gingerbread, cupcakes before getting pictures clicked with a stationary Santa Claus mannequin. Linteau also visited Canadian stores such as Aldo and Lululemon.

“Canadian holiday is about spending time together with your loved ones. The holiday season values kindness, gratitude and appreciation. As family members exchange gifts to demonstrate their love and appreciation to each other, shopping has become part of the preparation for the holiday season in Canada,” he said.

Making his final stop at the Festival City Mall, Linteau introduced us to the comfort food of Canada – poutine, a combination of French fries, cheese curd and hot gravy. He stopped at the Smokes Poutinerie outlet for his favourite wintertime dish. “Poutine can be described as comfort food that warms you up. After a day of winter sports, Canadians enjoy having food and beverage that warms them up and help them relax like hot chocolate and poutine. Smokes Poutinerie in Dubai is the first store of the brand outside of North America.

“While gatherings are limited in this pandemic year, I am thrilled to share some Dubai experiences reminiscent of the Canadian holidays; starting with skiing and Canadian comfort food and beverages. I would advise everyone to stay safe and follow all precautions to steer clear from the pandemic. And instead, use this time to connect with your family, friends, do those activities that make you happy and enjoy some great Canadian food – all of which you can do right here in the UAE,” Linteau said summing his Canadian holiday experience in Dubai.

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