In pictures: Hug Santa, dance in snow as Expo City Dubai opens its Christmas wonderland

From Mrs Claus to a team of elves and Gingerbread Man, Santa Claus brought his entire clan to the festive village


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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Sat 16 Dec 2023, 6:13 PM

Last updated: Sat 16 Dec 2023, 10:42 PM

All the way from North Pole, the Claus family came to Dubai in full force as Expo City turned into a Christmas wonderland.

Soon after world leaders wrapped up COP28, the festive village opened to residents and visitors on Friday with a 52ft Christmas tree lit up in the middle of Al Wasl Dome.

Much to the crowd's delight, the star of the show — Santa — showed up with his entire clan to bring cheers all around. Mrs Claus was there, and so were the reindeers, the Gingerbread Man, a team of helpful elves, and a trio of giant candy canes.

That was just the glitzy opening: Residents and visitors will have time to catch the gang and enjoy the snow and festive treats at the Christmas village until January 7, 2024.

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Winter City is open from 3pm-11pm daily, with entry priced at Dh20. Entry is free for children below 12 years old and holders of tickets to the Carol by Candlelight show. Additional charges are applicable for some activities and workshops.

Here are some snaps from Day 1 of the Christmas wonderland:

What's in store for visitors

  1. There's an eco-toy factory where children can make their own toys from recycled materials and learn more about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  2. Young visitors can join Santa on his quest to help save the North Pole and its precious wildlife from the rapid and dramatic impacts related to climate change.
  3. Mrs Claus will regale them with stories of how to save our polar habitats and share tips that encourage young bakers to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  4. Visitors can write their names on Santa’s “naughty” or “nice” list.
  5. Festive favourites of hot chocolate, mince pies, and gingerbread will capture the spirit of sharing, ensuring a great community experience for all visitors.
  6. Carols by Candlelight will run from December 20 to 24 – with a range of food and beverage packages available to sweeten the offering – together with nightly projection shows and whimsical snowfall sessions.


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