| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Let’s celebrate!

We ask Party Zone’s Bhavna Mulchandani for festive decorating tips

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For families who are staying in Dubai for the season and are buying their Christmas decorations from scratch, what do you suggest?
Every family should have a great tree, with plenty of baubles, ornaments, lights and, of course, something to put at the top of the tree, too. Christmas crackers, a wreath and stockings are always a nice way to add a something extra. Traditionally, colour schemes have always been about red and green. But recently we’ve noticed new trends, such as blue and silver, purple, and copper. This year white seems really popular, champagne too, as the mix of silver and golds tends to match everyone’s usual colourscheme at home.

There’s plenty of choice when it comes to decorations in Dubai, but how can I make sure they’re safe for the little ones?
Always ensure that trees are fire-resistant – here artificial trees have an advantage over real ones. The same goes for choosing your decorations too – always choose ones that are labelled as flame resistant, and make sure that tinsel and general decorations are made from plastic or non-leaded metals. Also, it may seem obvious, but make sure you keep glass ornaments well out of little ones’ reach.

I’m trying to choose between a real tree and a fake one, but have childhood memories of artificial trees being pretty small and unrealistic – is that still true?
With artificial trees you have no needles to clean up, no forgetting to water it and you don’t have to dispose of the tree at the end of the season. You can simply pack it away in a box and re-use it for years, which makes it much more cost effective than real trees, and reduces waste in the long run. Artificial trees have known to be stiffer, so your glass ornaments hang on more easily, they’re also better for families who suffer from asthma and allergies (as long as you give them a good dusting down each year you unpack them from storage). You can get artificial trees in all sizes and colours these days to suit your preference. In our stores, they typically stock up to 15 feet, however they can go as high as your imagination and can be ordered especially.

When it comes to Christmas stockings, surely it’s the bigger, the better? What’s the biggest you sell?
We have a huge range of stockings starting from five inches and going up all the way to 20 inches! Kids love these as parents can stuff them up with all sorts of Christmas treats and presents!

Aside from traditional board games, what other Christmassy activities can you recommend once the presents are all opened?
We have a range of DIY paint sets which are very popular with the kids. The little ones can paint and decorate their own baubles and ornaments to add a personal touch to the Christmas tree.

Any suggestions of what to offer as favours at our upcoming Christmas bash?
Here in Dubai, Christmas crackers are a popular pick as they look festive and serve as a decoration piece as well as a party favour. Christmas mugs and stockings have been pretty popular with kids, too.
Party Zone has stores in Jumeirah (04 344 8464) and Mirdif (04 288 8567) www.partyzonellc.com.

Time Out Dubai,

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