It’s the time of year, in work places around the world, where people loosen up their ties a little, pull on garish knitwear and head out to the dance floor to carve up some fancy festive shapes.
You with the fake antler head-gear, we’re looking at you.
If you’re still searching for a little event inspiration – we’ve put together a jolly list of venues to satisfy the varied whims of our dear culturally diverse nation. Party ideas for informal impromptu team-unwinds from the last 12 months, as well as more traditional opportunities for a bit inter-departmental bonding.
Many of the activities are bookable until the end of January, for those companies – that dare to stare in to the face of convention and say ‘nah, we’ll do it later.’
Sing for your supper
We all love a good office party sing-a-long don’t we? Shared memories of when that quiet girl from accounts got up and absolutely nailed a note-perfect rendition of ‘Always’ by Bon Jovi to a stunned audience of colleagues.
If you’re looking for that mic drop moment, these are some of the best places to get your guilt-free karaoke fix this festive season.
Barsha Heights is home to one of this year’s most popular evening destinations. On school nights (Sunday – Thursday) until 11th January, Lucky Voice even have a special Christmas Party package with unlimited singing, drinking and eating from AED 295 per person.
8pm onwards. The Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights. 800 58259.
Nobody does entertainment quite like the Philippines. Makati acts as an excellent ambassador for this fine tradition, combining a line-up of comedy, live musical acts and, of course, karaoke booths.
7pm-3am. Makati, Asiana Hotel, Diera. Contact 04 608 2082
The upscale swankier option for those who wish to slam dunk the microphonic funk in sophisticated surroundings. The concept comes straight outta West Hollywood and provides the discerning clientele with five karaoke suites and one larger VIP area to choose from.
5pm-2am. The Atrium at Al Habtoor City, next to the W Hotel. 04 437 0033
Santa, known connoisseur of the ho-ho-hos, would surely endorse a comedy night as the prefect winter work outing. If you’re of like mind, and willing spirit and could be persuaded to partake in some festive comedy nights, we’ve found some absolute crackers for you.
The Laughter Factory
The team behind The Laughter Factory in Dubai routinely bring some of the circuit’s top rated talent in from overseas, for our kicks and giggles. For the 31st December they’ve lined up an extra special treat. One of Britain’s most popular comedians, Jason Manford is doing a special New Year’s Eve show at the Grand Millennium Hotel.
From AED 195. Starts 8.30pm. www.ticketline.com
Impro at Rove Trade Centre: Festive special
Spontaneity is the name of the game for This Is Impro’s special night of holiday-themed lols. Start your night out with some Yuletide yucks as the talented troupe of seasoned entertainers chuck a fistful of funnies at you, as if pulled straight from Santa’s sack.
Free. 21st December, 8pm-9pm. Rove Trade Centre. Register at www.courtyardplayhouse.com
Short+Sweet Comedy Festival
There’s not one but three nights of funny stuff going down at the Junction Theatre in December. The Short+Sweet comedy festival combines stand-up comedy, improv, sketch, plays, poetry and musical parody. The event promises to be a totes hilar trip out for the whole team.
From AED 40. From 7.15pm, 14th-16th December. The Junction, Alserkal Avenue. www.dubai.platinumlist.net
Christmas jumper parties
Ah, nothing says Christmas quite like pulling on ugly itchy woolen-wear in 27 degree heat does it? Does it? Not really, but it is immensely popular. Christmas jumpers are now widely accepted as being more festive than actual Santa. If you and the rest of the office recruits are desperate for an excuse to free the knitted festive fleek. Check out these nights specifically just for that
One of the Marina’s best-loved disco destinations: Societe, is holding a Christmas jumper party. With benefits. If you come attired in noël-themed knitwear, the elves behind the bar will give you 50 per cent discount all night.
Free entry. 10pm-3am, 15th December. Societe, Marina Byblos. 050 357 1126.
Forget Bitcoin, your Christmas jumper is considered legal currency in McGettigans this Thursday. As well as a free drink for wearing pulling on your pull-over, it can also win you prizes as the best or most creative item. So get altering.
Free entry. 6pm-3am, 14th December. McGettigan’s JLT, Bonnington Hotel. 04 378 0800.
The InterContinental Dubai Marina’s suave gathering spot, Marina Social will also be beckoning all those be-jumpered with festive flair. In exchange for dressing up in climatically inappropriate garments, sweating away under your sweater the venue will reward you with a free beverage and prizes for the best dressed.
Free entry. 11pm-3am, 22nd December. InterContinental Dubai Marina. 04 446 6664.