How to Spend Christmas in Dubai

Christmas in Dubai | © Caroline Menezes Torres
Christmas in Dubai | © Caroline Menezes Torres | Flickr
When you think of Christmas, usually a hot desert, palm trees on the beach, and a skyline of minarets don’t come to mind. But as more and more expats are moving to Dubai, Christmas traditions are slowing making their way into the lifestyle of winter in Dubai.

See a show

If you are in Dubai for Christmas, there are numerous things to do and see that will make you feel like you are still getting in on some of the holiday spirit. Head over to the Dubai Opera for its sparkling holiday shows. From the Chamber Orchestra of Europe to the Ballet Russes performance, from the Jingle Bell Favorites show to the ever popular Harry Potter in Concert orchestra, you’ll find something at the Dubai Opera for everyone in your family or friend circle this year!

Christmas in Dubai will still get you in the holiday spirits! Flickr

Eat festive food

In addition to Dubai’s holiday shows, you can also fill up on a traditional Christmas roast lunch at the Irish Village during the 12 days leading up to Christmas day. Enjoy the cooler winter weather by sitting outside in the garden while filling up on a traditional Irish three-course meal (it even comes with pudding at the end!). If, after this, you get in the mood for a bit of afternoon tea, head over to the Shangri La Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road for English-inspired festive afternoon tea, complete with a magnificent Christmas tree. You might even forget you’re even in Dubai!

Dubai's authentic Irish Village Flickr

Hit the slopes

For most of us, Christmas just doesn’t seem complete without a bit of snow. Luckily for those of us in Dubai, we can enjoy snow and skiing even while in the desert. The Mall of the Emirates has an enormous indoor ski resort, with more than 22,500 meters of ice and snow, and five different slopes for skiing at different levels. During the Christmas holidays you’ll also be able to enjoy skiing and playing in the snow while listening to Christmas carols and traditional songs, making that hot cocoa at the end taste even better.

Ski Dubai Flickr

Go to a church service

Finally, for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Dubai is home to such a vibrant and colorful array of different churches that you’ll have a hard time decided which one to stop by. From the Russian Orthodox Church to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, from the gospel singing Winners Chapel to the Emirates Baptist Church; you’ll get to experience the true spirit of Christmas no matter what you choose to do during the holiday.