| Victoria Zurakowski
2021 Christmas Markets and Events in Dubai Not To Be Missed
Updated December 2021
Disclaimer: Please note, that while all these events are scheduled to take place, due to Covid-19 restrictions in Dubai and in light of what’s happening globally, we recommend that you double-check on the events’ website pages and/or social media to ensure no other restrictions have been put in place closer to the date.
Christmas in Dubai is magical. Every year, the emirate’s best hotels, bars and restaurants go all out when it comes to Christmas events in Dubai, creating a unique festive feel that can’t be replicated.
While you may be away from your family during one of the happiest times of the year, Christmas in Dubai will not disappoint. It may not be London or NYC, but we guarantee plenty is going on during the Christmas period in Dubai that will surely help you get into a festive mood. Come the beginning of December in Dubai, the emirate metamorphoses itself into a magical wonderland, which brings the city to life through what seems like endless colourful lights and displays.
This year, it’s even more important to spread the Christmas love in Dubai after what has been a challenging year for most.
At Sand Dollar Dubai, we’re excited about the impending festivities, so it’s only fair to share with you our favourite Dubai Christmas events in 2021 that will make this holiday season an extra special one. From Dubai Christmas markets to Winter Wonderlands in Dubai, here are our favourite Dubai things to see and do this Christmas.
1. Madinat Jumeirah Christmas Markets
A Christmas market in Dubai is probably not the first image that comes to mind when you think of Christmas in Dubai, but the annual popular Christmas market at Madinat Jumeirah never disappoints. Offering fun-filled festive magic, this is a great way to kick-start the Christmas celebrations in Dubai.
The Fort Island Christmas market features an impressive array of traditional festive foods and drinks, live performances and music, carol singing, and you’ll even get the unique chance to go on an abra ride with Santa – where else in the world can you do this? Adults can relax and take in the live music and enjoy the festive cheer with food and drinks while the little ones can enjoy a number of Dubai’s best Christmas activities for kids from playing in the oversized snowball zone to getting creative at the gingerbread house making station. So it’s time to don your Christmas jumper, get your singing voice ready and head on down to Madinat Jumeirah Christmas markets.
2. Habtoor Palace Christmas Markets
Every year, the sprawling Versailles Gardens at Habtoor Palace transform into an impressive Christmas market. Dubai tourists and locals alike, love getting lost in the magical winter wonderland that features a plethora of themed Christmas activities for the entire family, including children’s Christmas activities, games, live Christmas entertainment, and an eye-opening selection of Christmas crafts and food stalls.
As far as 2021 Christmas events in Dubai go, this is one of the most exciting. The stunning garden will transform into a dazzling display of lights, where holiday carolers will sing and the little ones will be entertained. Keep an eye out for the jolly big man, who makes a nightly appearance. There will also be several outdoor kiosks serving some of your favourite Christmas delights.
3. Christmas Lights at Dubai Garden Glow
Dubai Garden Glow has now reopened its doors to visitors, just in time for Christmas in Dubai. For a mixture of traditional Christmas lights in Dubai and other spectacular light shows, this is one place you don’t want to miss.
Showcasing its “back to nature” theme, there are many fun zones that are worth checking out, including Dubai’s famous Glow park, which is created from eco-friendly, handmade lights. Kids, and big kids alike, will love the Dinosaur Park, which boasts more than 120 illuminated prehistoric creatures.
4. Christmas with Santa at The Atlantis, The Palm Dubai
Good news, The Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai has just been #Santaapproved, meaning that 2021 Christmas in Dubai can still go ahead as planned. Nestled within the crescent of the iconic Palm Island in Dubai, the Atlantis, The Palm will maintain its festive spirit with some seriously cool (and socially distanced) Santa experiences.
From getting to meet Santa in Dubai as he goes about his visits around the world to watching Santa scuba diving among 65,000+ marine creatures in the Ambassador Lagoon to attending a Christmas kids’ club with the elves, the Atlantis, The Palm will still make 2021 Christmas in Dubai is a memorable affair. For in-house guests, the famous UAE resort also prepares Christmas goodie baskets for the kids, which will make this Christmas in Dubai an everlasting memory despite the present challenges the world’s facing.
And, if you’re looking for some traditional Christmas food in Dubai, why not check out Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen and Bar, which is located within Atlantis, The Palm. It will be serving a traditional English Christmas dinner in Dubai with all the trimmings on Christmas Eve (bookings essential).
5. Christmas at the Kempinski Mall of the Emirates
For a truly festive atmosphere that will remind you of Christmas at home, there’s no better place to spend your Dubai Christmas holiday than at the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, because no place in Dubai complements the holidays and winter vibes like Dubai’s only luxury ski resort.
The Christmas market at Aspen Lounge doesn't get any more Christmassy than this. With the snow of Dubai's ski slope creating an enchanting backdrop, you'll be able to browse the variety of Christmas crafts, trinkets, gifts, and sweet treats on offer. And if you’re looking for some luxury Christmas gifts to buy in Dubai, this is the place – there’s an impressive range of high-end Christmas hampers for sale that will remove some of the stress from your Christmas preparations.
6. A Desert Winter Wonderland at Bab al Shams Desert Resort
Bab al Shams Desert Resort in Dubai is making Christmas 2021 extra unique with its desert Christmas celebrations. The famous Bab Al Shams Desert Resort in Dubai will be transformed into an enchanting Christmas wonderland from December 12 to 20. The desert-themed Christmas market in Dubai will run daily from 6-10 pm, bringing a much-needed Christmas spirit to Dubai’s dunes.
If you love singing at Christmas, Dubai’s Bab al Shams won’t disappoint. At 6.30 pm every evening, you’ll be able to listen to and take part in a half-hour Christmas carol singalong. And if you’re not into singing, grab a cup of hot mulled wine or a delicious hot chocolate and meander around the specialist Christmassy kiosks that are stocked with some of your favourite Christmas treats, which of course includes mince pies. What’s possibly even more exciting is the Christmas stall dedicated solely to Bouche De Noel - that’s your Christmas cake in Dubai sorted this year!
7. Winter Wonderland at the QE2
Another annual Christmas event in Dubai is QE2’s Winter Wonderland extravaganza weekend. From mid-December, the iconic ocean liner will host several Christmas markets on the decks selling handmade crafts and unique Christmas gifts.
What’s Christmas without a Christmas pantomime? Dubai’s Theatre by QE2 will showcase a children’s classic this year - Beauty and the Beast. Shows start on December the 16th and run through to December 27th (except for Christmas Day). Dubai’s Covid restrictions may still be in place, but it doesn’t mean that kids (and adults) should miss out on a happy festive show.
8. Christmas at Fairmont The Palm
Anyone who loves the festive period will love the variety of Christmas celebrations at Dubai’s Fairmont The Palm, which includes the annual Christmas tree switch-on show, storytelling sessions with Santa Claus, a variety of Christmas baking classes, children's Christmas parties, and last-minute Christmas shopping opportunities at Sand Dollar Dubai, which is conveniently located within the hotel’s premises.
The mission of Fairmont The Palm is to spread festive cheer and create a sense of magic and excitement with the countdown to Christmas.
9. Dubai Christmas at Irish Village
If you love Christmas time in Dubai, it’s worth checking out the number of Christmas events run by Dubai’s Irish Village, a small piece of Ireland in the heart of the city, because if there’s one place in Dubai at Christmas that goes all out, it’s the Irish Village.
One eagerly anticipated Christmas event in Dubai is the Christmas tree lighting party at The Irish Village. The big switch-on will be held at Garhound Pub. This is the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit and begin your official Christmas countdown in a festive but socially distanced way. The party features carol singing from the Dubai Duty-Free choir and St Mary's Church choir. And there is also free mince pies on offer – seriously, how could you turn that down?
If you’re looking for a traditional Christmas lunch in Dubai with all the trimmings, you’ll also find it here, where you’ll certainly feel the true Christmas spirit and a whole lot of family love. And for all the children that have been well behaved throughout the year, there will be a special visit from Santa.
What To Wear
Being away from home and family during the festive period can be tough, but Christmas in Dubai is a memorable experience with plenty of fun-filled family activities for all. From traditional Christmas markets in Dubai to Santa’s Grottos to skiing in the “Alps” to Christmas tree switch on parties, this is a time when Dubai comes to life.
Wishing you a very safe and happy holiday from the team at Sand Dollar Dubai!