Santa’s com­ing

The best ways to en­joy the fes­tive sea­son in the sand­pit

Time Out Dubai - - INSIDE -

So we hope you’ve been good. We’ve rounded up the best Christ­mas par­ties, mar­kets, and more. Happy hol­i­days

Fes­tive sea­son is well and truly upon us, and we hope that you’ve be­haved your­self this year, be­cause to be on the naughty list in Dubai this yule­tide would be a very sad state of af­fairs. The fat man him­self is pop­ping up left, right and cen­tre to be­stow sea­sonal joy, and there’s any num­ber of events, brunches, tree light­ings, fes­tive mar­kets, fairs, grot­tos – and a fal­con in a palm tree. We’ve rounded up the best the city has to of­fer this Christ­mas.

Tree light­ings Bab Al Shams Desert Re­sort & Spa

It’s all go­ing on at the tree-light­ing cer­e­mony at Bab Al Shams. There’ll be a Christ­mas carol per­for­mance to en­joy while nib­bling on gin­ger­bread, win­ter pies and Christ­mas cook­ies washed down with steam­ing hot cho­co­late and mulled grape in the spe­cially dec­o­rated Al For­san Gar­den area where Santa Claus with be dish­ing out the presents.

→ Free. Fri Dec 7, 5.30pm-7.30pm. Bab Al Shams Desert Re­sort & Spa, Al Qu­dra (04 809 6100).

Fair­mont The Palm

Where bet­ter to see a tree light­ing than from the sands of a man-made shrub-shaped is­land? The an­nual tree light­ing cer­e­mony at Fair­mont The Palm fea­tures com­pli­men­tary fes­tive de­lights and bev­er­ages, plus the nov­elty of see­ing a mas­sive pine tree be­ing lit up against the back­drop of sprawl­ing white sands and crys­tal blue seas.

→ Free. Wed Dec 5, 5pm-7pm. Fair­mont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3457).

FIVE Palm Jumeirah

This ho­tel sparkles at the best of times, but not one to be out­done, FIVE Palm Jumeirah has of course in­vested in a mas­sive tree – and you’re in­vited to watch it light up to the tune of car­ols from a live choir and all of your fes­tive foodie favourites.

→ Free. Tue Dec 4, 6pm. FIVE Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 9999).

Habtoor Palace

Is there any­thing that says Christ­mas like the high-pitched trills of a chil­dren’s choir? Not quite, and at Habtoor Palace’s tree light­ing, your eardrums will be treated to carol singing from Jumeirah In­ter­na­tional School Kids Choir. If that doesn’t sound ex­cit­ing enough, there’ll also be a spe­cial visit from Santa, plus a per­for­mance from a live band.

→ Free. Tue Dec 4, 6pm-11pm. Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City (04 435 5555).

QE2

Visit the QE2 Win­ter Won­der­land this Christ­mas, with a Won­der­land Brunch on the Fri­day De­cem­ber 14 from 1pm to 4pm fol­lowed by the Christ­mas tree light switch-on at 6pm (free en­try) then an evening brunch at 8pm fea­tur­ing a trib­ute to the Jer­sey Boys. Then on Satur­day De­cem­ber 15, guests can browse hand-made arts and crafts while en­joy­ing fes­tive nib­bles at the ARTE Mak­ers Mar­ket from 10am-2pm.

→ Prices vary. Fri Dec 14, 6pm. Port Rashid, Deira (04 526 8888).

Swim & Tonic

If one choir just isn’t enough, the tree light­ing cer­e­mony at Swim & Tonic could prob­a­bly rouse huskies (from The North Pole). The In­ter­na­tional Ger­man School Choir are per­form­ing at the tree light­ing, which will host a load of fes­tive food and drinks stalls. Also show­ing his face, will be the afore­men­tioned chubby whiskered one, who keeps show­ing up like a bad penny (but in a good way).

→ Free. Wed Dec 5, 6.30pm-8pm. Steigen­berger Ho­tel Busi­ness Bay (04 369 0000).

Sher­a­ton Mall of the Emi­rates Ho­tel

Join Santa (again) for a grand tree light­ing com­plete with car­ols, spiced bev­er­ages and home­made sweets. It’s no won­der Mr Claus

is a lit­tle ro­tund af­ter all those treats. → Free. Thu Dec 6, 7pm-on­wards. Sher­a­ton Mall of the Emi­rates, Al Bar­sha (04 377 2000).

The Ir­ish Vil­lage

You can’t beat a tra­di­tional Christ­mas tree light­ing and the Ir­ish love noth­ing more than a jig around the spruce. The Ir­ish Vil­lage are pulling out all the stops, with two choirs and car­ols as well as mulled grape and home­made mince pies.

→ Free. Mon Dec 3, 7pm-10pm. The Ir­ish Vil­lage, Garhoud (04 282 4750).

Tow­ers Rotana Dubai

Get into the fes­tive spirit over some fes­tiv­i­ties goodies and Christ­mas car­ols, led by the Ho­tel Choir and The Aspens, last year’s so­cial me­dia Christ­mas carol com­pe­ti­tion win­ners. We are im­pressed (and a lit­tle bit jeal­ous).

→ Free. Sun Dec 9, 7pm-on­wards. Tow­ers Rotana Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 312 2201).

Fes­tive mar­kets Fam­ily Christ­mas fair

Head to Fair­mont The Palm’s Falcons Kids’ Club where young­sters (and you) can meet Santa (who is clearly some kind of in­flu­encer), dec­o­rate gin­ger­bread houses and have fun cre­at­ing spe­cial fes­tive mem­o­ries.

→ Dhs280 (kids aged three-15). Sat Dec, 22 2pm-4pm. Fair­mont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3331).

Habtoor Palace

The ho­tel is host­ing a fes­tive mar­ket from Tues­day De­cem­ber 4 to Fri­day De­cem­ber 21, and it’ll be brim­ming with daz­zling dec­o­ra­tions. The en­chant­ing win­ter won­der­land will fea­ture hol­i­day car­ols in­side Habtoor Palace’s beau­ti­ful Ver­sailles Gar­den, with fun rides for kids and plenty of fes­tive foodie treats. It runs daily from 3pm un­til mid­night, and Santa him­self will be com­ing along each evening at 6pm. Then at 7pm un­til 11pm, there will be a live band. On the first night of the mar­ket, Habtoor Palace will also be light­ing its Christ­mas tree, com­plete with snow­falls and carol singing from the Emi­rates In­ter­na­tional School Kids Choir.

→ Free en­try. Tue Dec 4-Fri Dec 21, 3pm-mid­night. Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City (04 435 5555).

La Farine

Visit La Farine’s fes­tive mar­ket for sea­sonal cakes, hot cho­co­late, straw­berry fon­due, home­made waf­fles, and gift ham­pers to take home. We do love a party bag.

→ Free. Dec 4-26, 10am-10pm. JW Mar­riott Mar­quis Dubai, Busi­ness Bay (04 414 3000).

Raf­fles Gar­den

Raf­fles Gar­den has been trans­formed into

a fes­tive mar­ket with a de­light­ful chil­dren’s choir, a se­lec­tion of gift stalls and fun ac­tiv­i­ties. We can’t wait for some gin­ger­bread at this fun af­ter­noon.

→ Free. Fri­day Dec 7, 1pm-6pm. Raf­fles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 324 8888).

Re­form So­cial & Grill

Be quick to visit this one at Re­form So­cial & Grill, it’s on for one day only, on Satur­day De­cem­ber 1. Shop for gifts, watch tricks by a ma­gi­cian and let chil­dren write let­ters to Santa be­fore meet­ing the ro­tund one him­self – if you haven’t al­ready…

→ Free. Dec 1, noon-6pm. The Lakes Club, Emi­rates Hills (04 454 2638).

Souk Mad­i­nat

Look­ing for a mas­sive mar­ket to sat­isfy your fes­tive shop­ping ap­petite? Head to Souk Mad­i­nat Jumeirah for a tra­di­tional Ger­man mar­ket that’s packed full of places to buy your Christ­mas pressies. There’s also plenty of food stalls as well as abras through the Mad­i­nat wa­ter­ways steered by Santa and his elves. Go­ing with the fam­ily? There’s a spe­cial snow zone for chil­dren (pic­tured, be­low), a gin­ger­bread house mak­ing sta­tion and a kids’ play area. That’s not to men­tion the huge Christ­mas tree, which will be dec­o­rated and lit up bring­ing a fes­tive feel to the whole of Mad­i­nat Jumeirah.

→free en­try. Thu Dec 20-Fri Dec 28, noon-late. Sun 23 and Wed 26, 3pm-late. Souk Mad­i­nat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, wwwjumeirah.com.

Sher­a­ton Mall of the Emi­rates

Fair­mont The Palm

Habtoor Palace

Souk Mad­i­nat Jumeirah

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