Where to get your Christmas tree

Which tree?
First things first, you need to decide what kind of tree you want. Each tree offers something a little bit different. Here are your main options.

Fir trees
Firs and spruces appear quite similar, but look to their needles to know what’s what. Fir trees have longer needles that are softer and flatter and can’t be easily rolled between your fingers. People tend to go for fir trees because they are long lasting and have a nice, fairly sweet fragrance.
This year Uber will be delivering them to your door. A live 2-2.5 metre (7-8 ft) Frasir Fur UberTree is available on demand for Dhs300 in the UAE. Teaming up with Oleander, they'll come with a stand and extra help assembling.
Request between 2pm – 8pm on Sunday, from the “UberTreeDXB” option via Uber app and the tree will be delivered within minutes. Availability is limited and on a first ordered, first served basis.

Spruce trees
The original Christmas tree, spruce’s needles are shorter and sharper than those of the fir and can be easily rolled between your fingers. They have a very traditional Christmas tree shape and the blue spruce has a lovely colour that reflects lights and decorations perfectly. The pine needles have a strong scent – similar to a minty/lemon concoction – but the needles tend to drop quickly, so don’t buy this one more than a week before Christmas Day.

Pine trees
Pine trees are a good Christmas choice, and white pines are great for people with sensitive noses as they are less pungent than the other options. Don’t go for this if you have a lot of heavy ornaments though, as the bouncy branches are best suited to smaller decorations.

Imitation trees
The most cost effective choice, these trees keep for years, don’t drop needles, are flame retardant and require no maintenance. Avoid trees made out of PVC as this harsh plastic is hard on the environment and your health.

So you’ve decided what kind of tree you want, now comes the tricky part of finding the perfect one. Follow these tips when browsing for a tree.

1. Measure the height of the ceiling and remember you’ll also need to factor in a tree topper and tree stand.

2. A good tree should be full from top to bottom with no bare patches.

3. Look for sap – the freshest trees will still be producing it and will have some visible sticky patches.

4. The top branch should shoot straight into the air.

5. Choose a tree with a nice base colour – silver or blue will nicely reflect your lights and decorations.

6. Remember that longer branches can hold heavier decorations, whereas branches that are further apart can hold bigger ornaments.
Caring for your tree
Now that you’ve tracked down your ideal tree and got it home, you need to give it the care it needs, especially if it’s a real one
* When you bring your tree into the house for decorating, make a cut across the trunk one to two inches from the bottom. This allows the tree to take in water, keeping it hydrated.

* Keep in mind that these Christmas trees can by thirsty creatures, drinking up to four litres of water a day. Be sure to check the water level in the tree stand daily and keep it topped up.

* Position your tree away from fireplaces, heaters, televisions direct sunlight or any other source of heat, and turn off tree lights when you’re not at home.

* Safety first! Don’t use any flammable decorations, even if your imitation tree tells you it’s fire retardant. Turn off the lights before you go to sleep, and never decorate it with lit candles.
Where to get your Christmas tree

Time Out Dubai has a guide on where to buy Christmas trees in Dubai, including fake Christmas trees and real Christmas trees from garden centres and more.

Which tree?

First things first, you need to decide what kind of tree you want. Each tree offers something a little bit different. Here are your main options.

Fir trees
Firs and spruces appear quite similar, but look to their needles to know what’s what. Fir trees have longer needles that are softer and flatter and can’t be easily rolled between your fingers. People tend to go for fir trees because they are long lasting and have a nice, fairly sweet fragrance.
This year Uber will be delivering them to your door. A live 2-2.5 metre (7-8 ft) Frasir Fur UberTree is available on demand for Dhs300 in the UAE. Teaming up with Oleander, they'll come with a stand and extra help assembling.
Request between 2pm – 8pm on Sunday, from the “UberTreeDXB” option via Uber app and the tree will be delivered within minutes. Availability is limited and on a first ordered, first served basis.

Spruce trees
The original Christmas tree, spruce’s needles are shorter and sharper than those of the fir and can be easily rolled between your fingers. They have a very traditional Christmas tree shape and the blue spruce has a lovely colour that reflects lights and decorations perfectly. The pine needles have a strong scent – similar to a minty/lemon concoction – but the needles tend to drop quickly, so don’t buy this one more than a week before Christmas Day.

Pine trees
Pine trees are a good Christmas choice, and white pines are great for people with sensitive noses as they are less pungent than the other options. Don’t go for this if you have a lot of heavy ornaments though, as the bouncy branches are best suited to smaller decorations.

Imitation trees
The most cost effective choice, these trees keep for years, don’t drop needles, are flame retardant and require no maintenance. Avoid trees made out of PVC as this harsh plastic is hard on the environment and your health.

So you’ve decided what kind of tree you want, now comes the tricky part of finding the perfect one. Follow these tips when browsing for a tree.

1. Measure the height of the ceiling and remember you’ll also need to factor in a tree topper and tree stand.

2. A good tree should be full from top to bottom with no bare patches.

3. Look for sap – the freshest trees will still be producing it and will have some visible sticky patches.

4. The top branch should shoot straight into the air.

5. Choose a tree with a nice base colour – silver or blue will nicely reflect your lights and decorations.

6. Remember that longer branches can hold heavier decorations, whereas branches that are further apart can hold bigger ornaments.

Caring for your tree

Now that you’ve tracked down your ideal tree and got it home, you need to give it the care it needs, especially if it’s a real one
* When you bring your tree into the house for decorating, make a cut across the trunk one to two inches from the bottom. This allows the tree to take in water, keeping it hydrated.

* Keep in mind that these Christmas trees can by thirsty creatures, drinking up to four litres of water a day. Be sure to check the water level in the tree stand daily and keep it topped up.

* Position your tree away from fireplaces, heaters, televisions direct sunlight or any other source of heat, and turn off tree lights when you’re not at home.

* Safety first! Don’t use any flammable decorations, even if your imitation tree tells you it’s fire retardant. Turn off the lights before you go to sleep, and never decorate it with lit candles.

Now that chlorophyll-frying temperatures are behind us and barbecue season is in full swing, Dubai’s long-neglected back gardens are once again getting the attention they deserve.

Your gardener has no doubt done a stellar job of keeping the grass green and the desert rose as alive as possible, but things are probably looking a little tatty and unloved. They might need new flowers. Some fast-growing trees. A pizza oven (oh please, Santa!). Dubai Garden Centre has the lot, and much more. From colourful, rapidly growing creepers like dry weather-friendly bougainvillea to the more unusual (and barbecue conversation-starting) fig trees and giant sunflowers, DGC has a nursery’s worth of options – and a whole team of staff and racks of books to teach you how to care for them. It’s a little pricier than the nurseries on Dubai’s outskirts in Al Warsan, but for proximity to New Dubai and the guidance available in store, many visitors are happy to stump up the bit extra.

For some homesick Europeans, the Garden Centre can also just be a familiar, relaxed place to hang out on the weekend. As well as plants and pots and garden furniture galore, there’s Vitamins and Vinyl juice bar, and popular breakfast spot Roseleaf Café, as well as a stylish printing shop and flower kiosk selling beautiful bouquets.

We recommend you check out the Christmas stock, too. If you need us, we’ll be ogling those Jamie Oliver ovens.

It might not be the biggest supermarket in Dubai, but Park ‘n’ Shop still has a better selection of goods than most of its rivals. The bakery is great, there’s a fine butcher’s section, and DIY goods, CDs, books, cards – pretty much everything you’ll ever need for survival in Dubai.

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