14 ways to turn this week into a winter wonderland

things to do, Dubai, skyline

It’s that time of year where we set our seasonal cheer to max, and move our colour scheme into the red. And then do the same with our credit cards. Festively relatable? Rejoice for we have value-packed activities for y’all on this yuletide week. 

Sunday, 9th December

Sandy scenes

Cinema on the Sand

The ultimate party destination becomes the ultimate outdoor movie destination. Zero Gravity is erecting a big screen. If you’ve got the need, the need for kitsch 80s action movie nostalgia – you’re in luck because on Sunday (9th December) – Tom Cruise cult classic Top Gun is showing. Are you “filthy animals thirsty for more?” (don’t be a hater, it’s a quote)  – popcorn, chilli fries, chicken wings, nachos, shawarma, burgers and more are yours for the buying too.

AED 50 (which you get back as credit to spend on food). Cinema on the Sand: 8pm, 9th December; Top Gun, Zero Gravity, Dubai Marina, Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Al Sufouh Road. 04 399 0009


Keep calm and carol on

Novotel Al Barsha

Young carollers and a special guest from the North Pole make sure of a special evening as the Novotel Al Barsha’s tree is lit up. Join them on Sunday and let the festive feels flow.

4.30pm-6.30pm. Novotel Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road, behind Sharaf DG Metro Station. 04 304 9000.


Monday, 10th December

Costa nothing

Sada Sadik, Costa Coffee, JBR, writing workshop, author

Aspiring authors, there’s a free workshop happening at the original Costa Coffee Drive-Thru in Jumeirah Beach Road. Cruise by at 7.30pm to hear from children and parenting author Sara Sadik. In support of the 2019 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, she’ll be spilling the tea on how to generate award-winning ideas and different techniques for writing a factual book. Costa has promised to keep you stocked up on goodies during the workshop, so all you need to do is sign up.

Costa Coffee Drive-Thru, Jumeirah Beach Road. 7.30pm-8.30pm. Register your space and sign up here.


Window wonderland

Dnata Winter WonderRemember that children’s book, where the characters walked through a wardrobe and were transported to a world of perpetual winter. Well if you head down to the dnata Travel centre at The Dubai Mall, you can pretty much claim – #same. Except you access this dNarnia through a red phone box, there’s little or no chance of running into evil ice queens, but you could win a holiday to England. Visitors also can get papped in the artificial cold snap, with a memento emailed straight to their inbox.

Free. 10am-12am until 5th January. dnata Travel, The Dubai Mall. 800 36282.


Tuesday, 11th December

Forecast of dough

dough balls pizza express

Pizza Express are giving away a free dish of their cultishly popular dough balls with every dine in and take away order on Tuesday. To trigger this Claus of seasonal generosity and get a pizza this action, simply toss the phrase ‘Free Snowball Dough Balls’ into conversation – super casually – whilst you’re ordering your mains. S’now joke. Won’t cost you any extra dough.

Mains from AED 40. Valid at Pizza Express outlets across UAE on the 11th December only. One portion per diner. 


Choral wreaths

Wreath-making classes with Florette [1]

Join Florette for some artful seasonal crafts and create stunning wreaths with expert tuition and the finest materials. Group sizes are kept intimate – so the masterclasses retain that personal touch. If you’re looking for that one item of show-piece decoration to add to your collection this year, the fruit of your own fair hands, this is it.

AED 330. 5.30pm-7.30pm, daily, throughout December. Shop 6 Miracle Residence, Arjan. www.florette.ae


Glow for it!

exercise for free, free fitness, free classes, Zumba

In the dark, no-one can see you sweat, and sweat you will, at a free Dark Zumba Event. Instructors Kate and Nada promise 60-minutes of calorie burning and body toning at Core Club Pro in Business Bay. Get ready for your glow up – no dancing experience needed.

6.30pm-8pm. Coreclub Pro, Exchange Tower, Business Bay. Call 04 240 3304 or
info@coreclubpro.com to secure your spot.


Wednesday, 12th December

Let’s go Lego

Legoland Dubai for the Christmas Bricktacular

What’s built using 364,481 Duplo bricks, took over 2,852 hours to create and weighs 4,035 kilograms? The nine metre tall Lego Christmas tree that’s at Legoland Dubai for the Christmas Bricktacular. Kids aged two to 12 year olds can build their own Lego tree ornament, dance in the snow on Factory Street and see the Twinkle Toe Dance Show.

10am-6pm, 12th-December-7th January. All Christmas Bricktacular activities are included in your admission ticket or Annual Pass. Tickets for UAE residents start from AED 175. Dubai Parks and Resorts. www.legoland.com/dubai/


Santa of attention

Santa bike

The CycleBar is gearing up for an active yuletide season with a free festive ride on Wednesday. Get on your Santa suits on and prepare to sweat it out as you deliver those gains and #sleigh your way to a leaner you. Enjoy a Xmas tune themed playlist and complimentary seasonal snacks after the event.

Free. 7.30pm. CycleBar, City Walk. Sign up and reserve your space by emailing citywalk@cyclebar.ae


For the Quizmas 

LSB Lock Stock and Barrel barsha

**Reads back of joke inside cracker** Question: which popular Barsha Heights bar is holding an awesome festive quiz on Wednesday, hosted by Virgin Radio’s Big Rossi? Answer: Lock, Stock & Barrel. And apparently the super trendy soiree spot will also be home to Santa for the evening – and he’ll be dumping some seriously decent prizes out of his sack – a AED 1,000 bar tab, NYE party tickets, a big FAT team brunch and some turkeys.

Free. 8pm-3am. Lock, Stock & Barrel, Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights. 04 514 9195. 


Thursday, 13th December

Deck the halls with bows and LOLling


Santa famously loves a good belly laugh. If you want to make like the fella in the big red suit, and ho ho ho your way into the holiday season, catch the Laughter Factory’s Christmas Special. Proving that the smaller gifts tend are the better ones – there’s the little person stand-up star, Tanya Lee Davis from the USA, Irish prince of the podcast Rory O’ Hanlon is also PRESENT along with raucous raconteur Josh Howie.

Tickets AED 150 (F&B packages from AED 300). 9pm Thursday. Movenpick JBR, Dubai. www.800tickets.com


Merry ChristmYas 

Xmas Tree

Load up those sleighs and brace yourself for a yomp across the arctic tundra – it’s off to Yas Island we go. There are five days of free festive fun at Yas Winter Carnival, including pantomimes and princess shows, simulated snow fall, Christmas carol singalongs, farmers markets, carnival rides, a giant tree and fireworks. If you make the trip, and come back still not feeling festive then you, my friend, have a serious case of the humbugs.

Free. 11th-15th December, Tuesday and Wednesday, 4pm-10pm. Thursday-Saturday, 4pm-11pm. Gateway Park South, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Register for FREE passes and parking at  www.wintercarnival.ae


Festive flicks

Christmas Break-In

Spirited kids. Bumbling crooks. We know where Christmas Break-In is going, but we’re along for the ride anyway. This 86-minute family friendly flick tells the story of nine year-old Izzy, who gets left at school on the last day before Christmas break and ends up saving the day.

Cinemas across the UAE. 


Just Dandy

Analog Room

If you like your beats heavy and your dancefloors sweaty, then where you need to be this weekend is the Analog Room. Electronic music makers Dandy Jack and Siamak Amidi take us towards the end of another year of big things from this homegrown club. Clubbers of the female variety get selected drinks for free until midnight.

Stereo Arcade, JBR. 10pm-3am. Entry AED 100 per person. info@analogroom.com


Earlier this month…

camel beach

It may just be a three day working week, but that’s still plenty of time to cram in some awesome feels, feeds and fun.


Tuesday, 4th December

Breakfast Cultcha 

Kulcha King

Rapidly expanding restaurant chain Kulcha King is rolling out breakfast in some of its Dubai stores. In fact it promises a total coverage before the end of the year. Right now you can get the eatery’s full menu from 8am at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Road & Karama locations. Enjoy a regal breakfast of kulcha (from AED 14), peratha, roti (from AED 5) or you know what, where in the rules does it say you can’t have biryani (from AED 29) for brekkie.

From 8am. Current participating outlets Khalifa Bin Zayed Road & Karama. 800 585 242.


Stuffed with crust

Pizza Rustica

All you can eat pizza for AED 50. That’s pretty much all we really need to say about this exceptional bargain from Pizza Rustica. There’s no point in topping the actual deal itself with some throw away words, or worse, lazy puns. They’ve sliced right through the gimmicks, stuck to their base and delivered people what they want. ALL YOU CAN EAT PIZZA FOR AED 50. Shut up, take our money.

AED 50. 8pm-11.30pm. Pizza Rustica, Business Bay. 04 240 0880. 


Wednesday, 5th December

Rank(ed by) outsider(s)

courtyard playhouse

The Courtyard Playhouse in Al Quoz does come up with some pretty ingenious concepts for its improv nights. Maestro – sees the usual hysterical dose of comedic improvised story telling – with the added… shall we say hilarity? Joyful cringe? Of letting the audience rank the performers from 1-5 after each skit, slowly eliminating the weakest links until only ‘The Maestro’ is left. SAVAGE, is what I think the kids today would call it.

Generous donations warmly received. 8pm-10pm. Courtyard Playhouse, Al Quoz. 050 781 2269


Loving Frida 


The painfully talented student artists at Mawaheb from Beautiful People have been working on a collection dedicated to, and as an homage, to – the inspirational Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. See these amazing sculptures, paintings, furniture and jewellery on display in their beautiful studio, which just so happens to be amongst the alleyways of one of Dubai’s hidden gem neighbourhoods.

Free. 8.30am-3pm. Mawaheb Studio, Al Fahidi. 050 421 3070. 


Stollen hearts 

Stollen dubai

The Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates and the good old M of the E itself will be holding their annual stollen bake sale from Friday the 7th December. For those of the uninish-ed stollen is a festive German fruitcake – and the sale here helps raise funds for the excellent work carried out by the Emirates Red Crescent charity. But cake heads needn’t wait till Friday, there’s a pre-sale going down on the 5th – at Aspen, the Kempinski’s lobby lounge.

Cake prices from as little as AED 5. From 6pm. Aspen, Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates. 04 341 0000. 


Thursday, 6th December

Drawing conclusions


There’s another Drop in and Draw session at Tashkeel on Thursday. Artist Katie Venner-Woodbridge leads the group with a focus on geometric patterns – share ideas with like minds, doodle, sketch, create – set your artistic spirit free. Just don’t forget to arm it with sketchpad and pen before it leaves.

AED 30. 6pm-8pm. Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba. 04 336 3313


Garden the winter Palace


If you’re the type of person that has a reputation for busting out Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas’ the day after Halloween, we’ve got news. As of the 4th December the Festive Garden at Habtoor Palace is officially open. There’s a whole bunch of chrimbo-themed  retail fun, entertainment and dining (including seasonal grape blends). Wait – there more. Specially for the kiddlywinks – find a train, a perpetual snowball war and possibly even a visit from Santa himself if you’ve been really good this year. Or bad, but effective in covering it up.

3pm-12am. Untill 21st December. Habtoor Palace, Business Bay. 04 275 1542.

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