Twinkling lights and enchanting festive celebrations mark the holiday season in Dubai. An undercurrent of whimsy charges the atmosphere as captivating stage productions and alfresco markets inspire all to get into the Christmas spirit. There’s no better time to bring out your woolly sweaters and make merry with your loved ones at these season specials.
Wrap up last minute holiday shopping
Whether you missed out on sales or are grabbing gifts at the eleventh hour, Gifting Weekend is the best time to catch up with your holiday to-do list. Your favourite fashion, lifestyle, home and sportswear brands are getting into the giving spirit with amazing discounts from 12-14 December – think Nike, Pottery Barn, Bloomingdales, and Bath & Body Works. Plan where to shop with a full list here.
When: 12-14 December
Sing Christmas carols with a live choir
You know the holidays are near when Jingle Bell Favourites returns to Dubai Opera. Four years in, this season staple will see The London Concert Orchestra Show Band and Capital Voices Choir perform top Christmas carols in the 2,000-seat venue. Warm up your vocal cords for this popular sing-along through the quintessential holiday playlist.
When: 12-14 December
Where: Dubai Opera
Set sail to Neverland with Peter Pan and friends
Discover the home of lost boys and Tinkerbell aboard the QE2, where James Matthew Barrie’s timeless tale Peter Pan comes to life as a captivating stage production. Fly off on exciting adventures and outsmart the evil Captain Hook with your little ones, who will undoubtedly love this story of imagination, youth and faith. Increase the glamour by attending afternoon tea with the characters.
When: 12-24 December
Where: Theatre by QE2, Queen Elizabeth 2
Dash to the North Pole at Festival City
Make room for those inevitable holiday pounds at Festival City’s annual Santa Run. Deck out in your Santa gear, beard and the works to run a 5km distance along Dubai Creek, while children can take on the 2.5km run. Exciting prizes and surprises await spectators and participants alike, including a limited-time Santa’s Grotto. Best dressed Santa also wins a fun reward.
When: 13 December
Where: Festival City
Jive to Arab jazz with Omar Kamal
This may not be your ordinary holiday celebration, but jazz and winter vibes pair sweetly. Palestinian singer Omar Kamal is performing his niche genre of soulful Arab jazz inspired by late music heroes Frank Sinatra, Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Fairouz. It’s a unique way to welcome the season and certainly one to remember.
When: 15 December
Where: Dubai Opera
A holiday movie night at Cinema Akil
There’s no movie better suited to the holidays than Home Alone starring a young Macaulay Culkin. Following young Kevin, forgotten at home by his family and under threat by bungling burglars, this classic film is the perfect pick for a family movie night. Cuddle up with hot karak chai and popcorn and catch a screening at Cinema Akil’s cosy theatre from 16-23 December.
When: 16-23 December
Where: Cinema Akil, Alserkal Avenue
See if the shoe fits
Dubai Panto is back, this time reviving the enchanting tale of Cinderella as a pantomime at Fairmont The Palm. Bring children to enjoy this memorable story of a beautiful, misunderstood princess-in-the-making whose kind heart and generosity change her fate. Expect stunning backdrops, costumes and music during the show, along with laughter and audience interaction.
When: 18 - 27 December
Where: Fairmont The Palm
See the world at Global Village
Ring in the occasion with the Dubai touch by touring the world at Global Village. Explore cultures near and far, sample exotic foods and watch mesmerising performances at this multicultural festival for a different kind of holiday activity. You can even see international celebrities perform hits on stage, such as Waleed Al Shami who will sing for fans on 20 December.
When: 20 December
Where: Global Village
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