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The best things to do in the UAE this week: 19 to 25 December

For festive fun in Dubai, look no further.

As we venture into Christmas week, there are plenty of ways to celebrate. From festive feasts to late-night eats, read on for our picks of the week.

Monday 19 December

Try the festive menu at Bagatelle

The holiday season is upon us and Bagatelle is pulling out all the stops to ensure diners have a truly magical celebration. The French restaurant will be decked out in festive finery whilst a festive menu features a selection of classic French favourites, including Pomme Tatin au foie gras et calvados jus (shortcrust parmesan puff pastry with slices of salted caramel apple and foie gras) and Dinde rôtie, pain perdu aux pommes purée et Périgord jus (roasted turkey served with Savoy cabbage, a side of foie gras bread pudding, mashed potatoes and Périgord sauce). To finish on a sweet note, guests can choose between Mont Blanc (a chocolate and orange mousse with chestnut cremeu) and Bagatelle’s Bûche de Noël (flourless chocolate cake roll with chocolate mousse). Available from 19 to 25 December, from 8pm to 3am.

GO: Visit or call 04 354 5035 for reservations and more information.


Tuesday 20 December

Join the sunset society

With panoramic views overlooking Palm Jumeirah and Bluewaters Island, there’s no better place to enjoy intimate catch-ups or large get-togethers whilst admiring Dubai’s sunset than at Attiko. Created by mixologist Andrii Knapik using traditional infusion methods, the Sunset Society concoctions include the Yuzucello (limoncello, yuzu, and sparkling wine), the Artichoke Spritz (artichoke liqueur, orange, and sparkling wine), and the refreshing Elderflower Spritz (elderflower liqueur, green apple, strawberry, and sparkling wine). Available daily, from 4pm to 7pm. Curated cocktails are priced at just AED 50 per drink.

GO: Call 04 350 9983 for reservations and more information.

festive fun in Dubai

Wednesday 21 December

Celebrate the longest night of the year

Palazzo Versace Dubai’s signature Persian restaurant prepares to revisit centuries-old Iranian traditions and celebrate Yalda, the longest night of the year. Shab-e Yalda is a Persian winter solstice festival that symbolises the triumph of the light over dark. Celebrate with a limited-edition set menu featuring Zeytoon Parwardeh (green olives with walnuts and pomegranate), Kashke Bademjun (charcoal grilled eggplants with Kashk), Kuku Sabzi Palazzo (Persian herbs frittata with barberries and candied walnuts), mouthwatering kebabs and traditional Iranian desserts. Wednesday 21 December, from 7pm to 11pm. AED 450 (food only).

GO: Email or call 04 556 8805 for reservations and more information.

festive fun in Dubai

Thursday 22 December

Swim in the sky 

AURA will be hosting two of its famed night swims this December. Guests can enjoy the world’s first and highest 360-degree infinity pool at night, complimented by music from AURA’s resident DJ and roaming live entertainment acts. Relax on a comfortable sunbed with spectacular views of Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, and Ain Dubai and swim under a blanket of stars. Thursday 22 and Friday 23 December. Prices from AED 250 per person.

GO: Visit for reservations and more information.

AURA Sky Pool

Friday 23 December

Tuck into Shanghai Me’s festive menu

Shanghai Me celebrates the festive season with a menu of special dishes designed to be shared between friends and family. The curated menu features a contemporary blend of flavours and textures that pay homage to East Asia, including scallop xiao long bao, wok seabass and xiong’s chilli bean sauce, and an enticing grilled duck breast, with foie gras and black pepper sauce. Spicy king crab with Szechuan butter and toro tataki ponzu will ignite the festive tastebuds, whilst the crispy crab maki and kunafa shrimp maki are delightfully indulgent specialities. Ending the gastronomic feast on a sweet note, diners can indulge in a classic Japanese cheesecake, whilst the choux with homemade truffle ice cream will stir the senses beautifully. Available until 25 December, from 9pm to 2am. 

GO: Call 04 564 0505 for reservations and more information.

Shanghai Me

Saturday 24 December

Celebrate the festive season

Celebrate this festive season at Delta Hotels Jumeirah Beach, offering guests delicious traditional turkey takeaways, enthralling Christmas Eve Dinner or a Christmas brunch with live entertainment at Fogueira Restaurant. Ring in NYE together with friends and family with beautiful views of Ain Dubai and views of the fireworks from the Rooftop Lounge located on the 35th floor. 

GO: Email or call 050 189 6214 for reservations and more information.

festive fun in Dubai

Sunday 25 December

Experience Omakase under the shadow of Ain Dubai 

Peruvian-Japanese restaurant Clay introduces their omakase dining experience. The upscale Bluewaters restaurant is hosting an eight-seater omakase experience at the sushi counter with chef Jolbi. The menu will take guests through a variety of distinctive flavours such as the black cod shishito, gold leaf o-toro seasoned with truffle and caviar, Hokkaido scallops and the lucuma lava cake. Available daily for lunch and dinner. AED 499 (eight-course omakase) and AED 599 (12 course omakase).

GO: Email or call 04 422 5600 for reservations and more information.

Review Clay Dubai

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