With an abundance of alluring outdoor activities and an endless array of festive occasions for all ages, Dubai’s winter season is the perfect time to visit the emirate and join in the fun and celebrations.
Dubai Shopping Festival
One of the most popular events of the year, Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) runs from 26 December to 27 January encompasses far more than just retail. Sure, it is one of the best times of the year to snag a great deal, thanks to participating retailers across the emirate offering discounts throughout the month-long event, but it’s also a time of celebration that brings people together. From live music and performances, to a huge variety of entertaining shows that exhibit Dubai’s cultural flavour and community spirit, it’s the perfect excuse to prolong the festivities of the winter season. More information here.
Head to Madinat Jumeirah for a dose of festive cheer, thanks to the annual festive market that promises to whisk you away to a veritable winter wonderland. There’s a traditional North Pole train as well as Santa’s Grotto to keep the kids happy, while all ages can enjoy the ice rink and festive treats at the various food and beverage stalls. From roasted chestnuts to warm spiced gingerbread and hot mulled drinks, you’ll find all your seasonal favourites here, alongside plenty of stocking fillers and the chance to create some great memories. More information here.
The tradition of afternoon tea, or high tea, is one that dates back to the 1800s, when the Duchess of Bedford decided to gather with friends for a light meal between lunch and dinner. Key to the whole indulgent affair is to relax and proceed at a leisurely pace. While a large number of Dubai’s high-end hotels offer delicious, beautifully prepared afternoon teas, few do it better than The St. Regis Dubai, which serves a sumptuous spread in its French-inspired café. More information here.
There’s nothing quite like real snow to get you in the holiday spirit, so head to Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates, where you’ll find not just the largest indoor ski slope in the region, but also an extensive snow park that offers fun for all ages. Ski Dubai provides ski and snowboard lessons as well as rentals, but if the slopes aren’t your thing, you can take in the action while sipping on hot chocolate in Ski Dubai’s special wintery café built right on the piste. More information here.
Fireworks at the Burj Khalifa
Spectacles enjoyed by all, Dubai’s firework displays take pyrotechnics to new heights when paired with one of the most iconic buildings in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Whether it’s for National Day celebrations on 2 December or to ring in 2018 on New Year’s Eve, you’re guaranteed a truly awesome display that will stay with you long after the festivities have ended. And with the year-end fireworks televised around the world, why miss out on the chance to see them in person?
Festivities at the Dubai Ice Rink
There’s no better time to get your skates on than during the winter season – and there’s no better place to do so than at the Olympic-size Dubai Ice Rink in The Dubai Mall. For the holidays, the rink encompasses a village market complete with elves, various arts and crafts workshops, and a range of festive gifts and treats. You’ll also have the chance to skate under snowfall, with themed music and entertainment. More information here.
New Years´s Eve under the stars
When there’s an endless array of fireworks to be watched all over the city – spending the end of 2017 al fresco is a good idea. And what better way to welcome 2018 than to watch the beautiful displays while enjoying dinner under the stars, in the fresh air and beautiful winter weather? Catch the fireworks as you indulge in a gala dinner at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, book yourself in for a dinner feast at one of the restaurants at Atlantis The Palm, or say cheers to an epic year at the WHITE Masquerade – before promising to make the next one just as memorable.
Set to become a new favourite winter weekend spot in Dubai, Soho Garden is an entertainment hub due to launch in December at Meydan in the Nad Al Sheba area. The destination will feature a stunning open-air pool complete with a waterfall-style water feature, lavish lounging areas and four lounges, as well as clubs, restaurants and more set to open down the line.
One of the best parts about celebrating the festive season in Dubai is that although you can go skiing or visit a festive market, you can still hit the beach and enjoy leisurely meals out in the sunshine with your loved ones. Carve into a delicious turkey as you overlook a large racecourse at The Meydan Hotel, sip special holiday beverages at 360°, or tuck into themed festive feasts at a number of other beautiful terraces in Dubai.
Photos: DTCM, www.visitdubai.com