Christmas in Dubai A Glittering Guide to the Festive Season

Christmas Celebrations in Dubai

Christmas Celebrations in Dubai

Have you ever dreamed of a Christmas that’s both luxurious and exciting? Look no further than Dubai, the city that transforms into a winter wonderland every December.

While Christmas isn’t an official holiday here, the spirit of the season is undeniable. From twinkling lights and festive treats to lavish brunches and breathtaking views, Dubai offers a truly unique Christmas experience.

Imagine yourself strolling through a shimmering Christmas market overflowing with festive delights. Picture yourself indulging in a delicious Christmas brunch with loved ones, surrounded by the sparkling city skyline.

This guide will help you navigate the enchanting Christmas festivities in Dubai. We’ll reveal the most spectacular Christmas trees, recommend the most delectable brunches and dinners, and guide you through the bustling markets.

We’ll also share the best places to experience the festive spirit, unveil unique Christmas traditions in Dubai, and answer all your questions about celebrating Christmas in this vibrant metropolis.

So, buckle up and prepare to be swept away by the magic of Christmas in Dubai! Let’s embark on a journey through the city’s most dazzling festive experiences and discover why Dubai is fast becoming a sought-after destination for celebrating the most joyous time of the year.

Best Christmas Experiences in Dubai

Dubai’s Christmas season is a smorgasbord of delightful experiences, catering to every taste and budget. Whether you’re seeking a luxurious feast for the eyes or a charming family-friendly outing, the city has something in store for you.

Bejeweled Trees

  • The Grandest of Them All: Marvel at the towering Christmas tree at Atlantis the Palm. This magnificent behemoth takes center stage in the opulent resort lobby, shimmering with thousands of twinkling lights and exquisitely crafted ornaments.
  • Festive Fairytale: Immerse yourself in the whimsical world of the Christmas tree at Madinat Jumeirah. This enchanting tree, adorned with snowflakes and gingerbread houses, recreates a magical winter wonderland right in the heart of Dubai.
  • Underwater Wonderland: Witness the mesmerizing underwater Christmas tree at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Surrounded by vibrant marine life, this unique tree adds a touch of aquatic magic to the festive season.

Brunches Fit for Royalty

  • Festive Feast with a View: Indulge in a luxurious Christmas brunch at the Burj Al Arab. Savor gourmet dishes and sip on bubbly while enjoying panoramic views of the city’s iconic skyline.
  • A Culinary Adventure Around the World: Embark on a culinary journey at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. Their Christmas brunch features an array of international cuisines, from traditional roasts to exotic Asian delights.
  • Family-Friendly Festivities: Create lasting memories at the Jumeirah Mina A’Salam. Their Christmas brunch caters to families with a dedicated play area for children, carol singers, and a visit from Santa Claus himself.

Christmas Dinners to Remember

  • An Evening of Elegance: Celebrate Christmas Eve in style at the Pierchic restaurant. This award-winning seafood restaurant offers a menu that perfectly blends festive flavors with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
  • A Taste of Tradition: Enjoy a classic Christmas dinner at the English Tea Room. This charming restaurant serves up roast turkey, all the trimmings, and traditional English Christmas pudding.
  • A Modern Twist on Christmas Classics: Experience a contemporary take on Christmas cuisine at the Folly by Nick & Scott. This innovative restaurant offers a unique tasting menu that reinvents classic Christmas dishes with a modern flair.

Free Festive Delights

  • Caroling under the Stars: Join in the joyful caroling sessions at The Pointe. This waterfront promenade comes alive with festive music and beautiful lights, creating a truly magical atmosphere.
  • Ice Skating Extravaganza: Glide across the ice rink at Dubai Ice Rink. This festive rink offers a fun-filled activity for all ages to enjoy the winter wonderland atmosphere.
  • Sparkling Festive Markets: Explore the bustling stalls at the Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market. Discover unique Christmas gifts, handcrafted ornaments, and delicious seasonal treats amidst twinkling lights and festive decorations.

Best Christmas Markets in Dubai

  • Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market: This iconic market is a must-visit for anyone seeking the quintessential Christmas experience in Dubai. Nestled amidst the waterways and traditional wind towers of Madinat Jumeirah, this market features over 70 stalls adorned with festive decorations. Here you can find handcrafted ornaments, unique Christmas gifts, delicious seasonal treats, and even enjoy a ride on an abra with Santa Claus himself.
  • Winter City at Expo City Dubai: This brand-new market is another must-visit for families. With a snow park, ice rink, and a variety of festive activities, Winter City promises a fun-filled day out. You can also find a range of international food stalls, live entertainment, and a stunning Christmas tree.
  • Winter Garden at Habtoor City: This charming market offers a more intimate atmosphere. With a focus on local vendors and artisans, you can find unique handmade gifts, traditional crafts, and delicious Emirati cuisine. The market also features live music and entertainment, making it a great place to relax and soak up the festive spirit.
  • Jumeirah Emirates Towers Winter District: This vibrant market offers a modern take on the traditional Christmas market. With a focus on entertainment and activities, you can enjoy snow tubing, ice skating, and a variety of games and rides. The market also features a wide range of food and beverage stalls, making it a great place to spend an evening with friends and family.
  • Ripe Market: This popular farmers’ market transforms into a festive wonderland during the Christmas season. With a focus on local and organic produce, you can find unique gifts, handcrafted ornaments, and delicious seasonal treats. The market also features live music and entertainment, making it a great place to support local businesses and enjoy the festive spirit.
  • Global Village: This sprawling cultural attraction transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. With pavilions from over 80 countries, you can experience a global Christmas celebration. You can also find a wide range of festive treats, unique gifts, and live entertainment from around the world.

Exploring Christmas Festivities

Christmas in Dubai offers a unique blend of Western traditions and local customs, creating a truly magical experience for visitors from all over the world. From festive decorations and dazzling light displays to special Christmas menus and heartwarming traditions, Dubai embraces the spirit of the season with open arms.

How is Christmas Celebrated in Dubai?

While Christmas isn’t an official holiday in the UAE, the spirit of the season permeates the city throughout December. Hotels, malls, and public spaces are adorned with twinkling lights, sparkling Christmas trees, and festive decorations, creating a vibrant and cheerful atmosphere.

One of the most unique aspects of celebrating Christmas in Dubai is the opportunity to experience a variety of cultural influences. From traditional caroling performances to festive Arabic music, the city offers a diverse array of ways to celebrate the season. Many hotels and restaurants also host special Christmas events, offering guests a chance to indulge in delicious meals, live entertainment, and traditional Christmas activities.

Unique Christmas Traditions in Dubai

  • Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies: Witness the magical moment when Dubai’s iconic landmarks, such as the Burj Khalifa and Atlantis the Palm, light up their Christmas trees, marking the official start of the festive season.
  • Festive Feasts: Enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings at one of Dubai’s many hotels and restaurants. Many establishments offer special Christmas menus featuring roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and other festive delights.
  • Caroling under the Stars: Gather with friends and family and sing along to traditional Christmas carols in the open air. Many public spaces and restaurants host carol singing events throughout the season.
  • Gifts and Treats: Explore the bustling Christmas markets and shops to find unique gifts for your loved ones. Dubai offers a wide variety of handmade ornaments, festive decorations, and delicious treats, making it the perfect place to find the perfect Christmas gift.
  • Visits from Santa Claus: Santa Claus makes special appearances at many hotels, malls, and public spaces throughout the season. Children and adults alike can enjoy meeting Santa Claus, taking photos, and sharing their Christmas wishes.

Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in Dubai

While the entire city embraces the Christmas spirit, certain areas offer particularly festive experiences. Here are some of the best places to celebrate Christmas in Dubai:

  • Downtown Dubai: Immerse yourself in the dazzling lights and festive atmosphere of Downtown Dubai. Burj Khalifa’s captivating Christmas tree, the Dubai Ice Rink, and the festive decorations around the Dubai Mall make this a must-visit destination during Christmas.
  • Madinat Jumeirah: This charming resort complex offers a traditional Christmas experience with its enchanting Christmas tree, festive market, and caroling performances.
  • Jumeirah Beach Residence: This popular beachfront area boasts a vibrant Christmas market, festive lights, and a variety of hotels and restaurants offering special Christmas events.
  • The Palm Jumeirah: Enjoy stunning views of the Palm Jumeirah while exploring the festive decorations and enjoying the Christmas offerings at its many hotels and resorts.
  • Global Village: This multicultural attraction offers a unique way to celebrate Christmas with its Christmas-themed decorations, festive markets, and live entertainment from around the world.

Additional Information for a Magical Christmas in Dubai

To make your Christmas in Dubai even more special, here’s some additional information to help plan your festive journey:

How to Say Merry Christmas in Dubai:

The most common way to say Merry Christmas in Dubai is “Eid Milad Majid”, which translates to “Glorious Feast of Birth” in Arabic. Another common phrase is “Eid Milad Saeed”, which means “Happy Feast of Birth”.

Best Hotel for Christmas

Dubai offers a wide range of hotels catering to all budgets and preferences. For a truly luxurious Christmas experience, consider the iconic Burj Al Arab. This opulent hotel features a breathtaking Christmas tree, a special Christmas menu at its award-winning restaurants, and a variety of festive activities and events.

For a family-friendly Christmas experience, look no further than the Atlantis the Palm. This resort boasts a magical Christmas tree, a bustling Christmas market, and a variety of festive activities and entertainment for children of all ages.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are still plenty of hotels and resorts offering affordable Christmas packages. Be sure to book your accommodation well in advance, as Christmas is a peak season in Dubai.

Christmas in Dubai Facts

  • Although Christmas isn’t an official holiday in the UAE, Dubai has been celebrating Christmas for over 20 years.
  • Dubai’s tallest Christmas tree stands at 48 meters tall and is located at the Atlantis the Palm.
  • The first Christmas market in Dubai opened in 2004 at Madinat Jumeirah.
  • Dubai Ice Rink, one of the city’s most popular Christmas attractions, is the largest outdoor ice rink in the Middle East.
  • Dubai’s Christmas celebrations are known for their extravagance and luxury.

Weather in Dubai at Christmas

The weather in Dubai during December is typically warm and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from 21°C to 27°C. This makes it a great time to escape the cold winter months in other parts of the world and enjoy a festive holiday in the sunshine.

Important Dates and Events

Here are some important dates and events to keep in mind when planning your Christmas trip to Dubai:

  • November 14th – December 27th: Global Village
  • December 1st – December 27th: Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market
  • December 1st – January 8th: Winter City at Expo City Dubai
  • December 1st – January 14th: Winter Garden at Habtoor City
  • December 7th – December 27th: Festive Feast at Pierchic
  • December 15th: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Burj Khalifa
  • December 24th: Christmas Eve Dinner at the English Tea Room
  • December 25th: Christmas Day Brunch at the Jumeirah Mina A’Salam
  • December 24th – December 27th: Christmas Eve Party in Dubai Desert.

Planning your Christmas trip to Dubai is essential, especially if you’re traveling with family. Be sure to book your flights, accommodation, and tickets for any events or attractions well in advance.



As you embark on your Christmas journey to Dubai, prepare to be enchanted by the city’s glittering decorations, vibrant markets, and enchanting festivities. This is a place where the spirit of Christmas transcends cultural boundaries, creating a truly universal celebration of joy and togetherness.

From indulging in lavish Christmas brunches and dinners to marveling at the towering Christmas trees and bustling markets, your festive experience in Dubai will be filled with unforgettable moments. Whether you’re seeking a luxurious escape or a family-friendly adventure, Dubai offers something for everyone.

So, embrace the festive spirit, embrace the warmth of the Dubai sunshine, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Merry Christmas from Dubai!


  • Winter Garden at Habtoor City
  • Winter City at Expo City Dubai
  • Jumeirah Mina A’Salam
  • Dubai Ice Rink
  • Global Village

The cost of a Christmas vacation in Dubai can vary depending on your travel dates, accommodation choices, and activities. However, you can expect to spend more during the peak Christmas season (December 20th – January 5th).

Here’s a rough estimate of costs for a 7-day Christmas vacation in Dubai:

  • Flights: $500 – $1,500
  • Accommodation: $100 – $500 per night
  • Food: $50 – $100 per day
  • Activities: $50 – $100 per day
  • Transportation: $50 per day

While Christmas isn’t an official holiday in Dubai, many Emiratis enjoy celebrating with traditional dishes. Some popular Christmas foods in Dubai include:

  • Luqaimat: Sweet fried dumplings soaked in date syrup.
  • Chebab: A savory pancake made with flour, water, and yeast.
  • Harees: A porridge made with wheat, meat, and spices.
  • Balaleet: Sweet vermicelli noodles cooked with saffron, cardamom, and rosewater.
  • Khubz: A flatbread traditionally eaten with dips and stews.

Yes, it is safe to travel to Dubai during Christmas. The city has a low crime rate and is generally considered a safe destination for tourists.

  • Eid Milad Majid: This translates to “Glorious Feast of Birth” in Arabic and is the most common way to say Merry Christmas in Dubai.
  • Eid Milad Saeed: This means “Happy Feast of Birth” and is another common Christmas greeting in Dubai.
  • Frohe Weihnachten: This is the German way to say Merry Christmas and is also used in Dubai by some residents.
  • Joyeux Noël: This is the French way to say Merry Christmas and can be heard in Dubai, especially in French-speaking restaurants and hotels.

When you’re celebrating Christmas in Dubai, you may want to listen to some festive music to get in the spirit. Here are some popular Christmas songs that you can enjoy:

  • “Jingle Bells”
  • “Deck the Halls”
  • “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”
Elina Shaukat
Grumpy but gorgeous.