DubaiFestive Season

Christmas 2020: Festive activities in Dubai

Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, festive markets, afternoon teas and the where to see Santa in Dubai.

Al Jaddaf Rotana – Tree Lighting Ceremony:

Kick-start the festive season with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Al Jaddaf Rotana. Enjoy a spectacular evening of family fun with a visit from Santa Claus bearing gifts for the little ones. Set against the tones of a harmonious choir, this is the perfect evening to spread the festive cheer. Thursday 10 December at 7pm.

GO: Call (0)4 596 2222 for reservations and more information.

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa – Winter Market:

This festive season, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort transforms into a desert-themed wonderland with joyous offerings that are perfect for you and your loved ones. Welcome the most wonderful time of the year with an array of exciting activities such as the 40-foot Christmas tree, renditions of festive carols, meet and greet with Santa, festive stalls and food and beverage offerings that include mulled wine, mince pies and hot chocolate. A decadent daily Christmas-themed buffet dinner will also be available at Al Forsan Restaurant. The Festive Market will take place daily from 12 to 20 December, from 6pm to 10pm.

GO: Call (0)4 809 6202 for more information.

Caya at Town Square Dubai –  Gingerbread Man Decorating Masterclass:

Homegrown neighbourhood eatery Caya invites little ones to delve into the seasonal spirit with a delicious decorating masterclass. The family-friendly eatery celebrates the season by encouraging kids to get creative with their culinary skills by embellishing freshly baked gingerbread men with tasty trinkets. The excitement is extended with complimentary goodie bags, packed with treats from the ultimate candy store Candylicious! With refreshments at the ready, bags of goodness and pop-up Instagram props for the parents, little ones are guaranteed to have a merry and memorable time for AED 30 per child. To ensure the safety of all attending, Caya has limited each class to ten people per session and is holding the event throughout the month of December to give everyone a chance to join in on the fun. Classes will be on 17, 18 and 19 December with time slots of 3pm – 4pm, 4pm – 5pm or 5pm – 6pm.

GO: Call (0)56 484 2836 for reservations and more information.

Choix par Pierre Gagnaire at InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City – Afternoon Tea:

Immerse yourself in a festive mood this month of December. Indulge in a bright and merry afternoon tea with a selection of delectable finger sandwiches, delicious pastries, mouthwatering cakes with premium teas. Available from 1 December to 31 December, from 12pm to 5pm. AED 175 (including a Christmas mocktail) and AED 299 for two persons (including a Christmas mocktail).

GO: Call (0)4 701 1111 for reservations and more information.

Dubai World Trade Centre – Jingle Bell Rock:

The ultimate festive, feel-good, family Christmas concert, Jingle Bell Rock is coming to deck out Sheikh Saeed Hall at the Dubai World Trade Centre, and you don’t want to miss it. Featuring the most beloved Christmas songs with a stellar line up of international performers and musicians, Jingle Bell Rock will get you in the festive spirit and is the perfect way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year in a safe and socially distanced environment. Promising fabulous harmonies, incredible vocals and stacks of charm, London’s West End sensation The Barricade Boyswill be taking to the stage along with the leading lady of musicals, Kerry Ellis. Best known for her leading and award-winning role in Wicked, Ellis has also achieved chart-topping success as a recording artist. Performing everyone’s favourite festive hits such as All I Want for Christmas and of course Jingle Bell Rock, they will be joined on stage, by the Jingle Bell Christmas Orchestra made up of the best local and international musicians as well as Dubai Performing Arts Academy’s talented children’s choir. Friday 18 December at 3pm and 8pm. 

GO: Visit for tickets and more information.

Grand Hyatt Dubai – Xmas Market:

Grand Hyatt Dubai’s elves have been hard at work, transforming the ever green botanical gardens into an open aired Christmas market. Residents and visitors of Dubai can set their holiday sights and sounds on thousands
of twinkling lights and festive Christmas decorations, enriched by a soundtrack of festive classics. A redefined festive menu including favourites such as baked sweet potatoes, beef chorizo hot dogs, and a roasted lamb shank, will be offered, alongside a number of signature kiosks featuring mulled Glühwein, hot cocoa, sweet and savory crepes, and a Christmas retail store bringing you all the Christmas feels. 10 December to 26 December, from 3pm to 10pm.

GO: Call (0)55 606 5059 for reservations and more information.

LARTE at Studio One Hotel – Decorate the restaurant:

As a part of the Italian Christmas Traditions, LARTE the casual Italian restaurant at Studio One Hotel will be decorated on 8 December and are inviting guests to be part of it. On the day, guests can bring in Christmas decorations and exchange them for a house beverage. Kids can bring in decorations too and enjoy a hot chocolate. Please note there is a maximum of one decoration per person. Tuesday 8 December from 12pm onwards.

GO: Call (0)4 581 6870 for reservations and more information.

La Farine Café & Bakery at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai – Festive Afternoon Tea:

 Relax amongst the cosy surroundings of La Farine Café & Bakery and enjoy a jolly Afternoon Tea, featuring a medley of sweet and savoury treats. Choose from delicious Christmas cookies to traditional stollen and gingerbread served with your choice of Tchaba tea. Available from 4 December to 31 December, from 1pm to 6pm. AED 250 per couple.

GO: Call (0)4 414 6414 for reservations and more information.

La Serre Boulangerie at Vida Downtown – DIY Christmas Hot Chocolate Bar:

Great fun for the little ones, La Serre Boulangerie, is now home to a DIY Christmas Hot Chocolate Bar, where guests can top their cup of warming cocoa with everything from mini meringue coated with white chocolate, crunchy caramel, popping candy, crushed gingerbread marshmallows and more. AED 25 for hot chocolate with toppings, or AED 30 for white hot chocolate with toppings. Available until the end of December.

GO: Call (0)4 528 3779 for reservations and more information.

Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah – Festive Afternoon Tea:

Take in the jovial atmosphere at the legendary Peacock Alley for a traditional afternoon tea with a holiday twist. Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s exclusively created selection of Christmas-themed savoury and sweet treats will surely bring out the spirit of the season along with your choice of the finest teas. It’s an occasion not to be missed this season. Fridays and Saturdays until 31 December, from 1pm to 5pm. AED 178 per person.

GO: Call (0)4 818 2222 for reservations and more information.

 Raffles Dubai – Festive Afternoon Tea and Children’s Gingerbread House Workshops:

Raffles Salon serves a Festive Afternoon Tea offering a delicious selection of sweet and savoury delicacies. As guests enjoy the afternoon tea accompanied by live piano performance, a hand-painted wall-sized advent calendar will be counting down until Christmas, with fabulous presents revealed every day from behind the doors at 4pm. Adding to the festive spirit and taking place between 13 December and 19 December, children can spend time at the Raffles’ gingerbread workshop and get a chance to meet Santa while their parents sip and savour the festivities. Raffles’ pastry chefs will teach the little ones how to build their own gingerbread creations with icing and sweets decoration. The Raffles Festive Afternoon Tea is served daily from 1 December to 7 January, from 2pm to 7pm. AED 180 (including a glass of mulled grape).

GO: Call (0)4 324 8888 for reservations and more information.

Studio One Hotel – The First-Ever Studioville Festive Market:

Studio One will transform into Studioville on 12 December so whether you’re a Christmas Grinch or a Cindy Lou, Studio One will have something for you. Held in the courtyard, the Festive Market will have various stalls, where you can grab a last-minute gift for your loved ones or enjoy a festive day out with the Family. There will be free pizza for kids and other fun festive workshops provided by Busy Kids Studio. Saturday 12 December from 10am to 7pm.

GO: Call (0)4 581 6870 for reservations and more information.

Swissôtel Al Ghurair – Afternoon Tea and Gingerbread House Decorating:  

Partake in a magical high tea as you embark on a delightful festive culinary journey seasoned with traditional Christmas favourites, flavourful teas and a speciality karakcino (Karak tea but with a twist) are to be enjoyed as you catch up with loved ones. Turn the experience into a family affair by bringing along your little ones for a Gingerbread House decorating workshop. 4, 16 and 23 December, from 12pm to 6pm. AED 150 for two adults and two children (inclusive of afternoon tea and two gingerbread house decorating kits)

GO: Call (0)4 293 3000 for orders and more information.

The H Dubai – Kids Festive Baking Classes

A sweet festive treat for children awaits at Eat & Meat Restaurant. Let your children get creative with holiday baking classes while adults can find some relaxing time at The Gallery Café or Mandara Spa. Under the supervision of expert chefs and staff, children will learn to bake various dessert recipes ranging including chocolate truffles and a gingerbread house. 13 December to 31 December ( Sunday to Thursday only) from 10.30am to 12pm. AED 399 per week (five classes) or AED 99 per class.

GO: Call (0)4 4 501 8644 for reservations and more information.

The Lobby Lounge – The Ritz-Carlton Dubai JBR – Festive Afternoon Tea:

Relax in luxurious surroundings, over a quintessential afternoon tea experience with a festive twist. Dine inside under the sparkling chandeliers for the ultimate festive ambience or al fresco on the terrace overlooking the luscious resort gardens. Indulge in cranberry scones accompanied by Devonshire clotted cream with strawberry jam and lemon curd, a selection of elegant sandwiches, complemented with an assortment of sweets – the perfect ending to a refined high tea. 5 December to 31 December, from 12:30pm to 5pm. AED 195 (including tea infusions and coffee), AED 285 (including a glass of sparkling) and AED 95 (children aged six to eleven years).

GO: Call (0)4 318 6150 for reservations and more information.

Town Square Dubai by Nshama – Festive Season:

Gather your friends and family to celebrate this festive season at Town Square Dubai. Kick start the holidays with a tree lighting ceremony of the 50 foot Christmas tree, on 11 December from 6pm, with a special guest that will be sure to put you in the festive mood. Pick up a tasty treat from one of the festive food stands including roasted chestnuts, or satisfy your sweet tooth with a smooth and silky hot chocolate at the park from the Angelinapop-up. With a 12m x 6m ice skating rink and festive themed acts held throughout the park, your little elves will even have the chance to meet Santa and take a picture with him that you can cherish forever. 11 December 2020 to 6 January 2021.

GO: Visit for more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As the editor-in-chief for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications, David Tapley is a self-proclaimed Hip-Hop aficionado, championing all things, food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the UAE and KSA. This sneakerhead may also be Kanye West's biggest fan.

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