Everything from low-key festivities to raucous costume parties
411 Christmas Edition Top decksmiths Masterstepz and Mr Shef Codes are behind the decks for a special festive-themed edition of this award-winning urban night at the glamorous People by Crystal. Free (door policy applies). 10pm-3am, Saturday December 22. People by Crystal, Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (050 297 2097).
Boston Bar on Christmas Eve No one’s really sure why, but for years expats in the know have been trekking annually to low-key US-themed Boston Bar to celebrate Christmas Eve. A set menu will be served, but for us it’s more about the jovial cheer. Free. 6pm-3am, Monday December 24. Boston Bar, Jumeirah Rotana, Satwa (04 345 5888).
Christmas parties at West Beach Bistro It may be better known as a place to catch the game, but over Christmas West Beach Bistro & Sports Lounge gets into the spirit with special drinks packages at its daily retro nights, playing ’80s and ’90s club classics – and Christmas tunes. Free. 6pm-3am, Monday December 24-Monday 31. West Beach Bistro & Sports Lounge, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach (04 449 8888).
Christmas Special at The Music Room There are free Christmas presents for everyone who ventures through The Music Room’s doors on Christmas Eve, while any teachers, hoteliers or musos who stick around will get 40 per cent off drinks all night. We’re sure that rocking house band Shine will have learned a few festive classics too. Free. 6pm-3am, Monday December 24. The Music Room, Majestic Hotel Tower, Bur Dubai (056 799 6355).
Festive drinks at Bab Al Shams Fancy something different? To celebrate the fact you’re spending Christmas in foreign climes, head out into the serenity of the desert and stop off at the Arabian-themed Al Sarab Rooftop Lounge, which will be serving special festive drinks alongside live music from an oud player. Free. Open Sun-Thu 6pm-2am; Fri-Sat 4pm-2am. Al Sarab Rooftop Lounge, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa (04 809 6194).
Mahiki’s Festive Pin-Up Monday For one night only, Mahiki’s popular ladies’ night has shifted to Monday for Christmas Eve. Expect free festive-themed mixed drinks, tinsel, mistletoe and cheesy tunes – and free-flowing drinks for ladies between 9pm and midnight. Free. Open 7pm-3am, Monday December 24. Mahiki, Jumeirah Beach Hotel (04 380 7731).
Mayan End of the World party at 360°… It may not be your conventional festive bash, but top al-fresco spot 360° is commemorating the prophetic 21/12/12 calendar date, believed by the Mayans to signal the end of the world. Expect to see ice sculptures and Mayan models mingling with clubbers – and there’s even talk of celebs including Sylvester Stallone and footballer Edgar Davids stopping by. With Audio Tonic regulars Rich Showell, JC, Raxon, Tristain Bain and more behind the decks, we can’t say we’d blame them. Free (reservations recommended). 4pm-3am, Friday December 21. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel (056 682 6617).
… or at XL Beach Club XL is also getting in on the Mayan action with a fancy dress party. Dress apocalyptically (we’re thinking zombies), or as the person you’d want to be if the world ended tonight. Free for ladies all night; free for men before 11pm, Dhs100 after. Noon-3am, Friday December 21. XL Beach Club, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa (056 640 6161).
Movida on Boxing Day High-end club Movida will open its doors to high-rollers who want to carry on celebrating the day after Christmas. Free (door policy applies). 11pm-3am, Wednesday December 26. Movida, Radisson Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (055 174 4449).
Savage Garden’s Night Before Christmas party On Christmas Eve, this quirky Satwa salsa spot is serving a late-night set menu of festive treats, complete with two glasses of the bubbly stuff, plus live Christmas carols from La Terraza Band. Dhs299. 10pm-3am, Monday December 24. Savage Garden, Capitol Hotel, Satwa (04 346 0111).
Tim Cheddar’s Christmas party at Nasimi Beach Cheese-tastic DJ Tim Cheddar (see what he did there?) hosts another of his annual Christmas shindigs, which are legendary thanks to their unashamed, jingle-tastic tunes and silly festive outfits. This year, we’re certain, will be no exception. Free before 5pm; free for ladies and Dhs50 for men 5pm-7pm; Dhs100 for all after. Timings TBC, Friday December 21. Nasimi Beach, Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
Vintage Christmas Homely bar Vintage is introducing a Victorian theme and stocking a fine fir over the Christmas period, as well as serving a special menu of festive dishes, including cold cuts, speciality cheeses, Norfolk turkey, mince pies and, of course, some of the best mulled grape in town. Free. Open daily 5pm-1am. Vintage, Wafi, Oud Metha (04 324 4100).