31 fun things to do in the UAE this December
Here’s how to make the most of the month ahead.
From festive dining destinations to concerts and sporting events – we have something exciting for you every day this month.
Thursday 1 December
Book a festive treat
From a cheerful afternoon tea to an iconic New Year’s Eve on the Palace view terrace, get ready to make grand festive memories at Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Residences Emirates Pearl this holiday season. Fill up your festive calendar early and receive 20% off when you book your festive activities before 5 December.
GO: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 510 1234 for reservations and more information.
Friday 2 December
Celebrate National Day
Mark Wahlberg has one, Shaquille O’Neal and now Lewis Hamilton has one too. We’re talking about celebrities with their very own burger brand. The Formula One World Champion has opened Neat Burger in Dubai, which specialises in vegan fast food. Plus, it has A-list backing, as Oscar-winning actor Leonardo Di Caprio is an investor. For National Day, diners can tuck into the Cheez, Spicy Cheez, Chick’n or Spicy Chicken burger with fries and green cola for just AED 51 in celebration of the UAE’s 51st National Day. Available daily from 1 to 4 December.
GO: Follow @neat.burger on Instagram for more information.
Saturday 3 December
Embark on a food and chai tour
In collaboration with Project Chaiwala and Frying Pan Adventures, Rove Hotels will be launching a “UAE National Day Food & Chai Tour” in Old Dubai. Participants can rediscover the city’s roots through a karak chai tour exploring hidden street food gems. Those joining the tour will begin the one-hour experience at Rove City Centre, where they’ll enjoy a cup of hot karak brewed by Project Chaiwala before leaving to explore several unknown spots in the city with Frying Pan Adventures. Saturday 3 December, from 8:45am to 11:45am and 11:45am to 1:45pm. AED 125 per person.
GO: Visit www.fryingpanadventures.com for reservations and more information.
Sunday 4 December
Visit Dubai’s highest dinner show
Boasting stunning interior design and views over the Dubai skyline from its floor-to-ceiling windows, 53 invites diners to enjoy sundowners that will evolve into a night to remember. Expect a unique approach to Mediterranean cuisine to complement the ever-changing shows that keep guests coming back for more. Available daily, from 9:30pm to 12:30am.
GO: Visit www.53dubai.com or call 056 253 5353 for reservations and more information.
Monday 5 December
Dine with chef Mauro Colagreco
Acclaimed chef Mauro Colagreco returns to One&Only Royal Mirage for an unforgettable dining experience at Celebrities. The evening begins with an aperitif curated by the resort’s mixologists. Dishes expected on the night include lobster with persimmon, hazelnut and trout eggs, seabass with parsnip espuma, lime and walnuts and aquatic mint emulsion, and veal fillet with sweetbreads, kuri squash and yuzu. Monday 5 December, from 7pm to 11pm. AED 525 per person.
GO: Visit oneandonlyroyalmirage.com or call 04 315 2414 for reservations and more information.
Tuesday 6 December
Visit The Secret Garden Brunch
Famed as one of the most Instagrammable venues in town, the Secret Garden Brunch is back at Flair 5 every Saturday to help you disengage from the work-week worries. This Secret Parties’ favourite features delicious food such as black cod miso glaze, maki rolls, ceviche and sharing dessert platters. Whilst entertainment comes from a live DJ, saxophonist and dancers. Saturdays from 1pm to 4:30pm. AED 345 (soft beverages) AED 445 (house beverages) and AED 545 (sparkling).
GO: Visit www.secret-parties.com for reservations and more information.
Wednesday 7 December
Visit Robbie Williams’ Art Exhibition
British superstar Robbie Williams is swapping the stage for a gallery, as he has opened an exhibition in Sotheby’s Dubai. The singer has collaborated with his creative partner, Ed Godrich, as they are holding the exhibition under a mash-up of their names: Williams Godrich. The exhibition is titled Black and White Paintings II and features 15 never before seen monochrome paintings. Available daily until 16 December.
GO: Visit www.sothebys.com for more information.
Thursday 8 December
Feast on healthy treats
The FACT Award-winning Café 302 at Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana has long held a reputation as the capital’s favourite café. This winter, the neighbourhood eatery has something new and trendy on the table. Exciting new promotions include the ‘Best of Vegan’ offering a choice of starter, main course and a drink for AED 89 on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 10pm. The ‘Best of Café 302’ allows you to select a choice of starter, main course and a drink for AED 89 every day, from 12pm to 10pm. A daily breakfast selection is also available for AED 69 daily, from 10:30am to 1pm. Plus, there’s a range of alcohol-free drinks starting from AED 27.
GO: Call 02 610 6688 for reservations and more information.
Friday 9 December
Watch Guy Manoukian at Dubai Opera
After his recent sold-out concert at L’Olympia in Paris, Guy Manoukian returns to Dubai Opera this month. The master performer presents his new show, “Ya Ashikat-Al-Wardi”, with modern and classical melodies of the East. Friday 9 December. Tickets from AED 275 per person.
GO: Visit www.dubaiopera.com for more information.
Saturday 10 December
Watch a candlelight concert
Candlelight Concerts has announced a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at Sheraton Mall of the Emirates this winter. This concert will see the hall illuminated by thousands of candles, allowing viewers to fully immerse themselves in the music of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, performed by a string quartet. The Four Seasons is one of Vivaldi’s best-known works and Candlelight Concerts’ presents a 65-minute adapted version to appeal to a broader audience. Friday 9 and Saturday 10 December ay 7pm and 9pm.
GO: Visit https://candlelightexperience.com for reservations and more information.
Sunday 11 December
Visit the Mother of the Nation Festival
The MOTN Festival returns to Abu Dhabi this month, bringing thrills and excitement for the entire family. Street food vendors will be spread across six distinct zones, with highlights including Patty&Bun, Peggy Porschen, Knafeh Bakery and Truffle Burger. This year, festivalgoers can break the fourth wall and become part of an immersive digital art installation by MOTN Funhouse x ANIMA. The Inspire Space is inspired by London’s premier clothing streetwear store, Dukes Cupboard. Finally, kids can enjoy unforgettable educative and fun experiences in the Amusement Park with the YouTube phenomenon CoComelon. Available daily from 9 to 18 December. Tickets from AED 35 per person.
GO: Visit www.ticketmaster.ae for more information.
Monday 12 December
Visit the WinterFest at IMG Worlds of Adventure
IMG Worlds of Adventure hosts a magical WinterFest to celebrate the arrival of the holiday season. With six epic zones, visitors can enjoy a world of sparkling lights, amusements and spirited entertainment. Highlights include the extravagant festive decoration, Fro-Zone, Santa’s Grotto and Elves Workshop. The winter entertainment will feature Rudolf’s Christmas Wish and a holly Day dance performance by Jolly Jamboree. Available daily until 15 January 2023.
GO: Visit www.imgworlds.com for more information.
Tuesday 13 December
Sample masterful mixology
Raffles The Palm Dubai have launched a new mixology experience in collaboration with Memo Paris. Available at Sola Jazz Lounge, guests will witness masterful mixology inspired by the signature fragrances of Memo Paris. The five visually arresting cocktails include Inlé, inspired by the same lake in Myanmar, which is fresh and floral with a hint of lime to African Leather that features the aromas of essential oils. Guests who order one of these drinks will also receive a glimpse of the fragrance that inspired it, served alongside. Available daily, from 5pm. The cocktails start from AED 80.
GO: Email email@example.com or call 04 248 8888 for reservations and more information.
Wednesday 14 December
Visit the new look Hikina
Lapita at Dubai Parks and Resorts has re-opened Hikina Restaurant. An ode to the history of the Lapita tribe, which departed Asia on a journey to explore and settle throughout Polynesia, Hikina encourages diners to explore the diverse range of Far Eastern cuisines by elevating the street food experience with gourmet dishes and exclusive cocktails. Signature dishes include Pad Thai, Indonesian Chicken, Glazed Salmon, Tom Yam, and Singaporean Noodles.
GO: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 04 810 9421 for reservations and more information.
Thursday 15 December
Try the festive menu at Scalini
The FACT Award-winning Scalini Dubai celebrates the winter season with an elevated menu of unique dishes designed to bring friends and family together. Guests are encouraged to indulge in the exquisite specials that capture the essence of Neapolitan cuisine. Ending every meal on a sweet note, Scalini serves a traditional Italian Panettone topped withhomemade Mascarpone and shavings of Italian chocolate. Available daily until 6 January 2023, from 12pm to midnight.
GO: Call 04 349 0068 for reservations and more information.
Friday 16 December
Watch a performance of The Nutcracker
The festive season wouldn’t be complete without Tchaikovsky’s all-time Christmas favourite, The Nutcracker. This artistic ballet from the Moscow Ballet “La Classique” showcases lavish costumes and magnificent stage sets, taking spectators back in time to the nostalgic world of Clara, her beloved nutcracker doll and the magician Drosselmeyer. Friday 16 and Saturday 17 December. Tickets from AED 350 per person.
GO: Visit www.dubaiopera.com for more information.
Saturday 17 December
Experience a culinary collab at FACT’s Restaurant of the Year
To conclude Ossiano’s year of critically acclaimed collaborations with some of the world’s greatest chefs, Chef Gregoire Berger will join forces with Chef Enrique Olvera and his team for a one-of-a-kind gastronomic journey. Diners will be able to enjoy a unique ten-course tasting menu highlighting Olvera’s nuevo rustic Mexican style and Berger’s innovative oceanic-inspired cuisine at FACT’s Restaurant of the Year 2022. Available on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 December.
GO: Call 04 426 0772 for reservations or more information.
Sunday 18 December
Watch the World Cup Final
As the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 draws to a close, you can watch the final match in style at Palazzo Versace Dubai. Guests at Arena can catch all the football action on the huge state-of-the-art outdoor screen and choose from multiple seating options, including a VIP area with loungers and recliners for maximum comfort. Also on offer? Stadium-style snacks with a German twist – think: haus-made pretzels, nachos with Emmental cheese served with a choice of toppings, chicken wings doused with a variety of sauces, and the ever-popular schnitzel with potato salad. If you’re feeling especially famished, you can dig into a foot-long hot dog, steak and fries, a double Wagyu hamburger, Angus beef short ribs, or a variety of flatbreads.
GO: Visit www.palazzoversace.ae for more information.
Monday 19 December
Dine on the festive menu at Myrra
Each year Myrra at Club Vista Mare transforms into a magical winter wonderland, ready to welcome the festive season with Mediterranean flair. The seasonal menu features a delicious starter of Canelones Rellenos (braised short rib and oxtail canelones complemented by a decadent bechamel sauce), whilst the main course comprises a flavourful Carne Guisada (48-hour braised short rib accompanied by a rich Manchego mashed puree). The celebrations finish on a sweet note with traditional Greek cookies known as Turrons, Available from 19 to 25 December, from 12pm to 2am.
GO: Email email@example.com or call 04 770 1433 for reservations and more information.
Tuesday 20 December
Enjoy a festive Greek feast
With the festive season around the corner, the FACT Award-winning Opa invites guests to welcome the holidays with plate-smashing celebrations. The restaurant décor will set the tone for transporting guests into the holiday spirit with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, while the restaurant will be covered in festive lighting. OPA will have DJs spinning the decks for a lively and fun-filled Christmas celebration, accompanied by plate-breaking and Zorba dances. A seasonal menu of Arnaki Ston Fourno and Chocolate Diples will also be available from 20 to 26 December.
GO: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call for reservations and more information.
Wednesday 21 December
Experience the Sound of Christmas
The Dubai Opera Big Band returns for a Christmas celebration featuring all your favourite Christmas songs, including Santa Baby, Jingle Bell Rock, Winter Wonderland, Feliz Navidad, All I Want for Christmas Is You and Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. The Dubai Opera Big Band features twenty-five of the very best Jazz musicians in the GCC. Every ticket includes a complimentary Santa hat and a welcome Christmas beverage. Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 December. Tickets from AED 215 per person.
GO: Visit www.dubaiopera.com for more information.
Thursday 22 December
Have breakfast with Santa
The Christmas countdown has officially begun. Santa Claus is coming to town and you can meet him and his merry elves at Ski Dubai throughout the festive season. The breakfast experience includes festive treats such as snowman pancakes and signature hot chocolate. Each ticket includes one breakfast dish, a beverage and a souvenir photo. Available daily from 8am to 10am. AED 125 per person.
GO: Visit www.skidxb.com for more information.
Friday 23 December
Embrace the holiday season at Expo City Winter Wonderland
Have you been wishing you could return to Expo? Well, Christmas has come early, as you can return to the site for an exciting Christmas-inspired experience. Expo City Winter Wonderland has transformed the site into a festive, family-friendly experience. Spanning the Mobility District, the Surreal water feature and Al Wasl Plaza. The area will be home to chalet-style Christmas markets, traditional fairground games, a letter-to-Santa station and pine trees. Plus, there’ll be plenty of ways to get merry, as there’ll be hot chocolate, mince pies and, of course, mulled drinks. Available daily until 8 January 2023.
GO: Visit expocitydubai.com for more information.
Saturday 24 December
Watch a Christmas Musical
You can catch Elf The Musical during the festive season in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates. Elf The Musical is based on the film Elf, and the live show was created in 2010. The Oliver Award-winning musical started life on New York’s Broadway, and toured the world including London’s West End. Plus, it was one of the fastest-selling shows at London’s Dominion Theatre. For those unfamiliar with the 2003 film, it is a modern-day Christmas story which has earned its place as a cult favourite. Starring Will Ferrell as the innocent but lovable Buddy, we follow his journey from the North Pole to New York as he tries to find his biological father. Available 17 to 24 December. Tickets start from AED 100.
GO: Visit https://feverup.com for tickets and more information.
Sunday 25 December
Celebrate Christmas with a festive feast
Whether you’re after a festive feast or alternative eats, team FACT have selected the top places to enjoy Christmas brunch in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Whether you’re in search of a lavish buffet or plated selection, these are the best places for Christmas Brunch.
Monday 26 December
Tuck into a Boxing Day Roast
Wind down after Christmas with your nearest and dearest over a relaxed all-day roast at The Croft. The traditional festive feast is accompanied by all the trimmings and offers the perfect antidote to those post-Christmas blues. Monday 26 December, from 12pm to 11pm. AED 150 per person (food only).
GO: Visit www.marriott.com or call 04 319 4000 for reservations and more information.
Tuesday 27 December
Visit a festive escape room
One of the world’s fastest-growing entertainment phenomena, Escape Hunt Dubai, located at The Galleria Mall, Al Wasl Road, is ready to transport guests to a winter wonderland with the launch of their incredible “Christmas Story” VR game Step into the night before Christmas where all is not going to plan – Santa is lost in a snowstorm and Christmas is in jeopardy. With no sign of the snow stopping and no one else to deliver the presents, you must help with the preparations and find a way to guide Santa home before it’s too late. You and your team must achieve your mission before the clock chimes midnight. AED 120 per person.
GO: Call 04 334 4473 for more information.
Wednesday 28 December
Groove the night away with Social Jams
Buzzing DIFC hotspot BB Social Dining is now home to Social Jams. The weekly event transforms the restaurant’s ground floor into a music studio for a new generation of artists to play a blend of alternative rock, jazz, funk, soul, R&B, and hip-hop. Wednesdays from 10pm until midnight. AED 175 per person (including premium bubbles, wines, beers, and signature canned cocktails).
GO: Visit www.thisisbb.com or call 04 407 4444 for reservations and more information.
Thursday 29 December
Enjoy a mushroom degustation
Autumnal influences define the seasonal dining experiences at Armani/Ristorante with a six-course degustation experience that celebrates the rich, earthy flavours of fungi. Hand-selected trumpet, porcini, chanterelles, morels and pioppini are given star billing and presented across a collection of classic Italian dishes infused with modern elements. From appetisers to dessert, mushrooms perfume every dish, including a grilled pioppini tartlet with goat cheese and pear-ginger jam, handmade chestnut tagliatelle with porcini, aged duck breast accompanied by morels, plums and an espresso jus, and an intriguing chocolate and mushroom-infused crème brûlée to finish. Available Thursday to Saturday, from 7.30pm to 10.30pm. AED 649 per person.
GO: Email email@example.com or call 04 888 3666 for reservations and more information.
Friday 30 December
Party with Martin Garrix
Why wait until New Year’s Eve to party when you can catch DJ and music producer Martin Garrix live at Coca-Cola Arena on 30 December? The talent behind hits like “Scared to Båe Lonely” and “Summer Days”, he is bringing a whole lot of lights, sounds, energy and music to kickstart the year-end celebrations.
GO: Visit www.coca-cola-arena.com for more information.
Saturday 31 December
Try Dubai’s most exclusive dining experience
Few dining pop-ups manage to garner attention, let alone fame – then again, Sublimotion is no ordinary pop-up. The brainchild of Paco Roncero and Eduardo Gonzales, Sublimotion offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira. Returning with a brand new show, it will once again feature ten whimsical courses that transform with every scene, complemented by interactive dishes and paired with incomparable performances. Guests can expect a culinary experience like no other, as the scenes slowly unfold around them. There will be two daily shows (6:30pm and 9:30pm), each priced at AED 5,000 per seat, including unlimited premium beverages. Meanwhile, the soft drinks and mocktails package is AED 3,500 per seat.
GO: Visit www.sublimotiondubai.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations and more information.