One of the best parts of Christmas is buying a tree, then decorating it with baubles and tinsel before putting a star on top. (If you're looking for a place to buy decorations, Carrefour has opened a huge Christmas section – take a peek inside here.
Across Dubai in December, you’ll see festive firs in many a window, as well as plenty in the city’s malls and top hotels.
The best news? You won’t need to wrap up warm for these, because the weather is beautiful and sunny.
All together now! We wish you a Merry Christmas...
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, Dubailand (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).
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 the Emirates International School 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).
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 treats. It’s no wonder Mr Claus is packing it into that red suit.
Free. Thu Dec 6, 7pm-onwards. Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel, 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 irresistible 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).