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31 amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi this December

Here’s how to make the most of the month ahead.

As the year draws to a close, Abu Dhabi comes alive with a tapestry of events and activities that capture the essence of the festive season. From the enchanting cultural experiences to the vibrant atmosphere of the celebratory season, there’s a plethora of options to explore in the capital this December.

Friday 1 December

Kick off the UAE Union Day long weekend

Check into The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort for an unforgettable UAE Union Day long weekend. This luxurious haven promises a perfect blend of elegance and opulence with breathtaking views of the capital’s turquoise waters. Complete with a refreshing pool and around-the-clock butler service, this is the ultimate way to celebrate the UAE Union Day weekend in the capital.

GO: Visit www.stregissaadiyatisland.com for more information.

The St. Regis Saadiyat

Saturday 2 December

Catch the UAE Union Day fireworks

Visit the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival this UAE Union Day. This festival, held annually, is a tribute to the UAE’s founding father. Prepare to be awestruck by a majestic fireworks spectacle. Plus, there’s an array of activities to indulge in, making it your one-stop shop for all things fun.

GO: Visit https://zayedfestival.ae for more information.

Abu Dhabi this November

Sunday 3 December 

Catch a circus

Hop on a short road trip to Al Ain and get ready to be spellbound as The Great Circus of Europe pitches its tent at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium. This circus brings a phenomenal lineup of artists showcasing the best aerialists, acrobats and clowns who’ll have you laughing until your sides ache. Tickets for The Great Circus of Europe are available via Platinumlist for AED 75.

GO: Visit https://al-ain.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

Great Circus of Europe

Monday 4 December

Enjoy an outdoor dining experience

Head to Yas Bay for a dazzling outdoor dining experience at Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar. This FACT award-winning rooftop restaurant not only treats you to stunning Arabian Gulf views but also wraps you in a glamorous vibe. Indulge in a fusion of Mediterranean and Asian delights paired with unique cocktails and watch this dining concept transform into the ultimate nightlife spot.

GO: Visit www.siddhartalounge.com for more information.

Siddharta Lounge

Tuesday 5 December

Get into the festive spirit with LPM Restaurant & Bar

Dive into the festive vibes with LPM Restaurant & Bar’s Business Lunch where the menu offers a true reflection of the restaurant’s culinary excellence. Kick off with the standout starter, Pan-Fried Foie Gras with Dates, setting the tone for a culinary adventure, followed by Pan-Fried Scallops with Artichoke Puree and conclude your feast with the heavenly Itakuja Flan, a decadent dessert blending rich chocolate with passion fruit aromas.

GO: Visit www.lpmrestaurants.com for more information.

LPM Abu Dhabi

Wednesday 6 December

Make your way to the Yas Winter Fest

Head to the Yas Winter Fest as it promises a winter wonderland that’ll captivate visitors of all ages. Dive into the Snow Zone or head to the North Pole Zone with plenty of activities for you and the little ones. With rides, skill games, and more, it’s a festive fiesta you won’t want to miss.

GO: Visit https://yaswinterfest.com for more information.

Yas Winter Fest

Thursday 7 December

Be a part of a Christmas Tree Lighting

Get into the festive spirit and make your way to Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi for the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. Watch as carolers serenade you with a mix of classic and modern Christmas tunes. Indulge in festive treats and be a part of the grand opening of the annual festive market. Plus, Santa himself will make a jolly appearance.

GO: Visit www.dusit.com for more information.

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi

Friday 8 December

Visit the region’s first-ever MICHELIN Guide Food Festival

Foodies, brace your taste buds for the ultimate experience at the MICHELIN Guide Food Festival. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Louvre Abu Dhabi Park, this gastronomic extravaganza boasts 16 handpicked MICHELIN Guide-recognised restaurants, each set to whisk you away on a delectable journey. Immerse yourself in a star-studded lineup of culinary virtuosos showcasing their craft, complete with exclusive masterclasses.

GO: Visit https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

MICHELIN Guide Food Festival

Saturday 9 December

Watch a candlelight concert of Mozart’s masterpieces

Dive into the enchanting world of Mozart’s Masterpieces at the NYU Blue Hall and join pianist Aldo Dotto for a mesmerising 65-minute performance. This unique candlelight concert brings Mozart’s genius to life. Grab your tickets now to experience the brilliance of classical music bathed in the gentle glow of candlelight.

GO: Visit www.feverup.com for more information.

Weekend Guide

Sunday 10 December

Watch a magic show

Get ready to be astounded by The Illusionists — the world’s most talented magicians. Conjuring up mind-bending illusions, magic tricks, and breathtaking feats, you will be gasping in amazement. Watch as people vanish and reappear in the most unexpected places, experience mind-reading tricks that challenge reality, and witness daring acts that will leave you breathless. This holiday show promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle that’ll etch itself into your memory.

GO: Visit https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

The Illusionists Abu Dhabi

Monday 11 December

Enjoy art above the waters

Embark on an artful adventure at Lulu Island as part of Manar Abu Dhabi. Immerse yourself in captivating installations by renowned artists Nujoom Al Ghanem, Jumairy, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Take a scenic stroll through Lulu Island, starting with a 15-minute boat trip, and let the light art installations enchant your senses.

GO: Visit https://abudhabiculture.ae for more information.

Manar Abu Dhabi

Tuesday 12 December

Catch the Cartier exhibition at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Prepare to be dazzled by the exquisite blend of Islamic inspiration and modern design at Louvre Abu Dhabi’s captivating exhibition, ‘Cartier, Islamic Inspiration and Modern Design.’ Featuring over 400 objects from various collections, you’ll witness the evolution of Cartier’s designs, from masterpieces of Islamic art to jewellery, drawings, design sketches, miniatures, textiles, photographs, and archival material.

GO: Visit http://louvreabudhabi.ae for more information.


Wednesday 13 December

Groove with the Black Eyed Peas

Get ready to groove at the Mother of the Nation Festival in Abu Dhabi because Black Eyed Peas will be hitting the stage. With chart-topping hits like I Gotta Feeling, Where Is the Love? and Boom Boom Pow, amongst many others, the trio have been dominating the music scene for over two decades. Set against the scenic backdrop of the Abu Dhabi Corniche, this musical extravaganza is about to turn up the beats for an unforgettable night.

GO: Visit https://motn.ae for more information.

Black Eyed Peas

Thursday 14 December

Watch Wonka in the cinemas

Head to the nearest cinema for a magical adventure to explore the untold tales of Willy Wonka’s childhood — long before he opened his legendary chocolate factory. Timothee Chalamet brings the beloved character to life, taking you on a journey filled with delightful surprises and sweet escapades.

GO: Visit https://uae.voxcinemas.com for more information.

Wonka Movie

Friday 15 December

Head to Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island for a weekend getaway

Weekend retreats don’t get much better than a stay at Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island. Nestled along a picturesque stretch of natural shoreline, this beachfront resort is one to visit with the family. With a plethora of activities for the little ones, while you bask in the sun, you’re in for some much-needed downtime.

GO: Visit www.rixos.com for more information.

romantic staycation

Saturday 16 December

Brunch at the newly-opened Broadway

Step into the glamour of the 1920s at Broadway, located in Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental. Elevate your afternoon with a lavish brunch, complete with live music, premium cocktails, and a tantalising menu boasting delights like Lobster Omelette, Steak Frites, Steak Tartare, and Wild Sea Bass. It’s an extravaganza that takes leisurely dining to the next level.

GO: Visit www.mandarinoriental.com for more information.


Sunday 17 December 

Go on a road trip for an eco-friendly dining experience

Make your way to Le Pre at Al Ain’s Qasr Al Muwaiji and indulge your taste buds with a variety of culinary delights. From Italian-inspired pies at Eight Pizza to classic burgers at Popup Burger and international dishes at Matera, it’s a feast for your taste buds. Here, the live music will amp up the vibrant atmosphere, all while you soak in the eco-friendly vibes.

GO: Visit https://apres.ae/le-pre for more information.

Le Pré

Monday 18 December

Enjoy an exclusive culinary journey at the Cafe James pop-up

Embark on a culinary journey at the Cafe James exclusive pop-up at Al Qana. This limited-time pop-up, set against the backdrop of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, promises an immersive experience for up to 20 diners at a time. Indulge in this rendezvous with French-inspired delights, from freshly baked croissants to signature coffees and desserts — all with stunning views of the water.

GO: Follow @jamescafe.ae on Instagram for more information.

Cafe James Abu Dhabi

Tuesday 19 December

Soak in all the artsy vibes at Fahid Island

Discover the mesmerising light art installation Self Similar by Jim Denevan at Fahid Island as part of Manar Abu Dhabi. Take a leisurely 40-minute walk to fully absorb the enchanting artwork, offering a unique perspective from designated viewing points with staircases on either end.

GO: Visit https://abudhabiculture.ae for more information.

Manar Abu Dhabi

Wednesday 20 December

Stay in and order a turkey-to-go

Turn your home into a festive haven with The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal’s Turkey takeaway. Indulge in the spirit of togetherness with their meticulously curated festive feast, starring a whole roasted turkey accompanied by stuffing, rich gravy, and roasted root vegetables. It’s the perfect way to savour the season without the kitchen hustle. 

GO: Email abudhabi.restaurants@ritzcarlton.com for more information.

Courtyard Festive

Thursday 21 December

Catch 50 Cent live

Get ready to groove with the rap legend 50 Cent as he hits the stage at Etihad Arena as part of the World Tennis League. With chart-toppers like Candy Shop and In Da Club, this concert is not to be missed.

GO: Visit www.etihadarena.ae for more information.

50 Cent

Friday 22 December

Watch Akon and Ne-Yo perform live

Followed by 50 Cent, R&B sensations Akon and Ne-Yo are hitting the stage at Etihad Arena for yet another unforgettable night. Dance to their hit tunes and get ready for the festive season up ahead. Expect hits such as I Wanna Love You, Lonely, Right Now (Na Na Na), and Smack That for Akon, and Because of YouCloser, Let Me Love You and So Sick from Ne-Yo.

GO: Visit www.etihadarena.ae for more information.

Ne-Yo World Tennis League

Saturday 23 December

Brunch at Nahaam

Brunch lovers, we’ve got news. Nahaam’s FACT Award-winning Saturday Brunch is making a triumphant comeback, and this time, it’s bigger and better than before. This expansive buffet will be loaded with delectable starters and decadent desserts that’ll make your taste buds dance with joy. From exotic salads to succulent seafood, and live entertainment, Nahaam at Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers has got it all.

GO: Visit www.hilton.com for more information.

best restaurants in Abu Dhabi

Sunday 24 December

Head to Garage for a Christmas Eve dinner

Prepare to unwrap the holiday magic at the FACT Award-winning Garage in Abu Dhabi this Christmas Eve. Dive into a festive feast featuring signature dishes like baked duck leg with braised cinnamon red cabbage and orange sauce or succulent roasted turkey with bread stuffing and sweet cranberry sauce. Don’t forget to save room for the Christmas desserts.

GO: Visit www.wabudhabidining.com for more information.

Christmas Eve in Abu Dhabi

Monday 25 December

Enjoy a Christmas brunch at Butcher & Still

Step into FACT Award-winning Butcher & Still for an unforgettable Christmas brunch. Immerse yourself in the rich aromas of slow-roasting meats as the buffet-style feast comes to life with live barbecue stations and pass-around sharing platters delivered right to your table. Delight in festive specialities like stuffed turkey roulade, homemade panettone, mince pies, and eggnog panna cotta.

GO: Email dining.abudhabi@fourseasons.com for more information.

Christmas brunch in Abu Dhabi

Tuesday 26 December

Witness views of Neom in Dunki

Head to the nearest cinema and watch Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s Dunki.” The film follows a group of friends taking a leap of faith, leaving the cosy comforts of home to chase a dream that could change their lives. With stunning backdrops of Saudi Arabia’s Neom, this is one film you wouldn’t want to miss.

GO: Visit https://uae.voxcinemas.com for more information.

Dunki Movie

Wednesday 27 December

Enjoy a day out at the Mother of the Nation Festival

Make your way to the Mother of the Nation Festival as it takes over Abu Dhabi Corniche for its last leg. This year’s festival is turning up the excitement with a blast from the past, drawing inspiration from America’s ’50s and ’60s. With international acts, dazzling artists, carnival rides, art installations and retail outlets, this is a paradise for all.

GO: Visit www.motn.ae for more information.

Mother of the Nation Festival

Thursday 28 December

Dine at Flamingo Room’s Abu Dhabi outpost

Elevate your dining experience at the newly opened Flamingo Room by tashas in Abu Dhabi. Indulge in Afro-fusion bites and sweets at African Lounge, and explore luxury finds at Collective Africa. Dive into a curated range of clothing, homeware, jewellery, and perfumes sourced globally. Flamingo Room by tashas promises a journey through Africa with its signature blush pink walls, jungle chic interiors, and a menu featuring exciting seafood and meat dishes. 

GO: Visit www.flamingoroombytashas.com for more information.

Flamingo Room by tashas

Friday 29 December

Stay in and watch Berlin

Stay in and get ready for a thrilling experience as love and fortune steal the spotlight in Berlin. This dark and intriguing tale, centred around the enigmatic character from Money Heist is one to watch. Brace yourself for a perfect blend of romance and suspense that promises to keep you on the edge of your seat.

GO: Visit www.netflix.com for more information.

Berlin Netflix

Saturday 30 December

Enjoy your last brunch of 2023

Get ready for a sensational send-off to 2023 at VaKaVa at Conrad Abu Dhabi. Head to the restaurant’s grand finale brunch, where you can bid farewell to the year in true Latin American style. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, complete with mesmerising carnival dancers. This fiesta promises an unforgettable experience, with a brunch and after-party infused with the spirited essence of Latin America.

GO: Visit www.hilton.com for more information.


Sunday 31 December

Kick off the New Year in style

Get ready to step into the opulent world of Belle Epoque at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, for a French-inspired New Year’s Eve celebration. Transporting you to a bygone era of bohemian flair and unabashed splendour, the countdown to 2024 kicks off with a special tribute to the Gipsy Kings. Dance the night away with a live DJ, captivating performances, an exclusive dinner experience, and a fireworks show over Khor Al Maqta Creek will provide a breathtaking backdrop to usher in the new year in style.

GO: Visit www.shangri-la.com for more information.

New Year's Eve in Abu Dhabi

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