Already overloaded with festive cheer? We have five days of fun planned out for you, from movie screenings and free yoga to an international DJ and a Christmas Day buffet.
Sunday, 24th December
Take little ones to the North Pole and explore the Little Elf’s Village. Actually, you’ll find this winter wonderland pretty near at hand, in Dubai Marina Mall, where there’s a Mushroom Elf House, Toy Factory, giant leaf swing, wishing well, playground and tons more activities, which are all completely free.
Marina Mall. 11am-8pm daily until 31st December. 04 361 020.
Clever Santa – he’s everywhere right now! Last chance today to catch him at Robinsons store in Festival City and grab a selfie before he sets off on his travels around the world.
Robinsons, Festival City. 4pm-9.30pm. Admission is free and includes an instantly printed photo.
Shake your baubles at Mr Miyagi’s festive brunch. From 8pm onwards, earn your place on that naughty list by murdering carols in karaoke battles and beginning the over-indulgence early with four courses of street eats – Peking duck, dim sum and plenty of sushi – at the colourful Asian-inspired eatery in Media One Hotel.
Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City. 04 420 7489. 8pm-11pm. AED 275 with house beverages/AED 375 sparkling.
Monday, 25th December
Wish your loved ones season’s greetings while enjoying views over the Arabian Gulf, Burj Al Arab and the Downtown skyline and stuffing yourselves silly with a three-course set lunch or dinner menu of festive favourites for AED 170 a head. Day or night, Riva Beach Club is a pretty picture.
Until 27th December. Served 12pm-11.30pm. RIVA Beach Club – between Buildings 7 & 8 of The Shoreline, Palm Jumeirah. 04 430 9466.
Once every present has been unwrapped and every single chocolate confused, let the kids blow off some steam at The Beach, JBR. The ice-rink is ideal for kids aged seven and up and hone their skills for a future Winter Olympics. There’s a free play area where they can enjoy Christmas crafts too.
3pm-11pm daily until 25th December. AED 15 for 20 minutes of skating.
Flying home at Christmas? Fuzziwig’s candy store has opened a ‘sweet stop’ in Terminal 3’s Concourse B at Dubai International Airport. Treat the folks back home with Dubai-themed jars of M&Ms and jellybeans, or while away the time to check-in by chowing down on homemade chocolatey FuzziTreats in travel friendly ‘grab n’ go’ FuzziTins.
Unlimited food and beverages awaits anyone hanging around the the Hungry Monkey bar on Christmas Day. This cosy Al Barsha watering hole in the Donatello Hotel will provide endless cheer (well, during opening hours) and festive finger food, aka chicken wings, skewers grills and such like, for AED 220 a person.
Donatello Hotel, Al Barsha 1. 4pm-2am daily. 04 275 9054. AED 220 for food and beverages.
Tuesday, 26th December
If you didn’t find what you wanted under the tree then New Orleans-inspired jazz haunt Nola in JLT has the perfect present – four complimentary beverages and 50 per cent off food for ladies and an Insta-worthy Santa giving away gifts, vouchers and more. Catch a live jazz band from 8.30pm-11.45pm.
6pm-3am. Nola, Armada BlueBay hotel, Cluster P, JLT. 04 399 8155.
They had us at unlimited popcorn, which you can enjoy along with soft drinks and a showing of lovable rom-com Love Actually at The Backyard of the Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay. Tickets are AED 75, which includes all of the above.
Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay, Al Abraj Street. From 8pm. 050 213 5816. Book tickets online platinumlist.net
Wednesday, 27th December
Don’t quit on fitness over the festive season. There are free beach yoga classes all through the holidays at The Beach, JBR. Spaces are first come, first served and don’t forget to bring your own mat, towel and water.
Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7am. Meet at South Lawn (near Seven Sands restaurant/the beach market).
Freshen up your tastebuds with a box of tasty Thai food. Award-winning budget Thai eatery, Cafe Isan, is delivery combo meals that capture the essence of southeast Asia. Try from green curry, noodles, kra pao and more. Vegetarian options are available too.
From AED 19. Delivery or takeaway, 12pm-7pm. Cluster M, JLT. 04 513 5289.
Thursday, 28th December
If you need some limbering up for NYE celebrations or simply want to beat the rush to the dancefloor, EDM DJ supreme Hardwell makes his début appearance at Nasimi Beach tonight. Hard-hitting beats and party anthems are a certainty.
Atlantis The Palm. Doors 7pm. Ladies free before 9pm. Tickets start from AED 200 for early birds at www.platinumlist.net. For table bookings call 055 200 4321.
Block chain and cryto-currencies are massive business buzzwords right now. Make sure you go into 2018 armed with knowledge by attending what’s set to be an intimate and lively discussion for 10-15 people, led by Nilesh Bhattad, founder and CEO of ThinkSmart.
6.30pm-8.30pm. Caribou Cafe, Marble Walk, DIFC. Registration at www.meetup.com/themagicofthinkingbig is a must.