| VICTORIA ZURAKOWSKI
9 Christmas Markets and Events in Dubai Not To Be Missed
Christmastime in Dubai is magical. Every year, the state’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. 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 that will make this holiday season a special one. From Dubai Christmas markets to Christmas parties 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 16 days of fun-filled festive magic starting from December 13, 2019, this is a great way to kick-start the Christmas celebrations if you’re 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 expats, 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 craft stalls and food stands.
As far as 2019 Christmas events in Dubai go, this is one of the most exciting. The Habtoor Palace Christmas markets in Dubai guarantee family fun. Crazy golf, mini trains, snowball fighting zones, merry-go-rounds, and kids’ gingerbread making classes are just some of the fun activities on offer. But what is a Christmas market without the appearance of the big man himself? Make sure you’re there for 6pm, when Santa Claus makes his daily appearance. Running through to Christmas Eve, this family Christmas event in Dubai is also pet-friendly, meaning even your dogs can enjoy the fun – after all, they are part of the family as well!
3. Dubai Opera Christmas Market
Opera, Dubai, Christmas Market…these are three words that you wouldn’t usually put together, but Christmas 2019 in Dubai is about to get even more festive with the inaugural Dubai Opera Christmas market that will run for 10 days.
With all the Christmas traditional favourites, such as steaming hot chocolate topped with lashings of whipped cream, mince pies, and Christmas craft stalls selling artisanal crafts, candles, and Christmas decorations, this is another Christmas activity in Dubai that is set to become a popular tradition. With plenty of things for the kids to do like getting messy at the Christmas craft station, making Christmas sweets, riding the mini train, listening to Christmas stories, and of course visiting a traditional Santa’s Grotto, visiting Dubai Opera this Christmas will create even more family memories and possibly new traditions.
4. The Ripe Christmas Market
One of Dubai’s more esteemed markets, the Ripe Market gets a complete seasonal makeover come Christmas. From the popular farmer’s market that Dubai foodies relish to a festive Christmas market for the whole family, there is a ton of Christmas activities for young and old alike. And if you haven’t already put up your Christmas tree, or worse still not bought one, the Ripe Christmas Market in Dubai is the place to go.
With what appears to be endless market stalls selling Christmas crafts, Christmas sweet treats and hot drinks, you could easily spend a good part of your day weaving in and out of the stalls. What makes this Dubai Christmas market stand out is the selection of Christmas craft workshops on offer, which includes Christmas sewing classes, Christmas decoration making, wreath making, gingerbread house decorating, and even a Christmas present wrapping workshop so you’ll be able to present your beautifully wrapped gifts with pride. Kids love riding the Polar Express train; paying a visit to old SC in his grotto is a must! Ripe Market is open on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the day until 7pm and is located in Dubai Academy Park.
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 one and 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. The Gingerbread House at Kambaa, Dubai Marina
The Christmas celebrations at Dubai’s Kambaa at Dubai Marina are in full swing. Taking the kids to visit and play in a real-life Hansel and Gretel candied home is a must. A fun Christmas activity for the whole family, you’ll have the unique opportunity to explore a made-to-scale life-size gingerbread house that’s home to a plethora of Christmas sweets and festive surprises, which includes Christmas chocolate galore, Yule logs, freshly-baked gingerbread, puddings, and a ton of Christmas cheer to boot; and fortunately there’s not a wicked witch to be seen!
Open from December 3 through to New Year’s Eve, there’s plenty of time to head down with the family to check it out!
7. Winter Wonderland at the QE2
Another annual Christmas event in Dubai is QE2’s Winter Wonderland extravaganza weekend. From December 12 to December 14, the iconic ocean liner will feature Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle pantomime performances, Captain Hook inspired brunches and several Christmas markets on the decks selling handmade crafts and unique Christmas gifts.
To get into the festive pantomime spirit, Tinkerbelle will even be hosting her very own tea parties pre and post-performance. And if you're looking for fun traditional festive fare with a twist, on Friday, 13, there will be a Captain Hook brunch at the Lido restaurant that boasts almost 200 different festive dishes from around the world. And if you’re looking for an impressive Christmas tree light switch on event in Dubai, be sure to visit the QE2 on Friday 13 at sunset.
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. During the Fairmont The Palm’s premium cooking classes on December 14 and 16, you’ll be able to create your handmade Christmas presents to gift to your friends and family. The Fairmont Falcon Kids' Club also has a number of Christmas activities for kids in Dubai, including Santa's workshop, a Christmas fair, and also Christmas cooking classes for children.
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, which will be held on December 11. The big switch-on will be held at Garhound Pub, with the festivities kicking off at 7pm. This is the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit and begin your official Christmas countdown. The party will also feature carol singing from the Dubai Duty-Free choir and St Mary's Church choir. And there'll also be 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.
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 really comes to life.
Wishing you a safe and happy holidays from the team at Sand Dollar Dubai.