Christmas is round the corner which means its time to get in the festive mood. From Christmas decorations and lights to festive delicacies and winter markets, check out Christmas traditions and events which should be on your list of things to do.

Light up the tree!

Christmas is all about the decorations and the lovely tree. If you’re interested in decorating and lighting the Christmas tree, take part in events around the city.

  • The Irish Village Dubai is hosting a Christmas Tree Lighting event on 7 December 2015. Indulge in the Christmas spirit and sing along the Christmas carols. Treat yourself to seasonal beverages and home baked pies from 7 pm to 9 pm.
  • Light up the tree in Christmas colors on 7 December at Fairmont, The Palm. Kids can meet Santa Claus and be entertained by the activities at the Kids corner. Festive treats and children’s choir performances will also be a part of the event which starts at 5.30 pm. Entry to the tree lighting ceremony is free for all.

Christmas Markets

Christmas markets make shopping for the festive season a fun and joyful experience. Watch out for the Christmas markets around UAE and indulge in festive shopping.

  • Embassy of Switzerland is organizing a Swiss Christmas Market at the Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi. The festive market will feature handicrafts, ornaments, decorative gifts, seasonal and Swiss delicacies and chocolate treats. Activities for kids include story telling, face painting, Christmas arts and crafts, gingerbread decoration and open air cinema. Entry to the event is free for all. The event will be held from 9 to 12 December.
  • Santa Claus is coming to town on 12 December 2015 at the Christmas Carnival, Dubai Creek Park from 3 pm to 6 pm. Shop from the local vendors showcasing their products such as clothing, cards, candles, toys and more. Kids can participate in various activities at the kids corner.
  • Take your kids to Aquarius Christmas Market for a festive playdate. With activities such as petting zoo, face painting, arts and crafts, festive photo shoots and a meeting with Santa, visit Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes on 7 December 2015 from 10 am to 6 pm. Festive shopping items will also be put on display.
  • Spend Christmas at Santa’s Village 2015, hosted by Emirates Golf Club. Take part in the festivities, with activities lined up for the entire family. The event will be held on the Christmas weekend from 23 to 26 December 2015. Entry is free for all.
  • DUCTAC’s ‘ Things Yule Like ‘ annual festive market will be held on 12 December from 12 pm to 6 pm. You will find hand made crafted goods and gifts along with food stalls and theatre acts and performances.  Entry is free for all at DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates.

[Related: Plan your spends, season by season]

Dubai Snowfest 2015

Dubai Mall has lined up a number of events and activities to celebrate Christmas. These include the Village Market, Skating under the snowfall and Elementis show on ice.

  • Shop for gifts for your loved ones at the Village Market and  indulge in food delicacies. Kids can meet Santa and also engage in activities such as Elves arts and crafts workshop. Tickets are priced at AED 20 for adults. Children under the age of 12 go free.
  • Join a magical skating session in the backdrop of snowfall and merry music at the Dubai Ice Rink. You can choose between the Festive Skating Session, Disco Skating Session or the DJ Skating Session that will feature a celebrity DJ. Tickets start at AED 80 and can be booked online.
  • Gather you friends and family to watch the Elementis skating show on ice. The show will feature performances of over 100 skaters from all over the UAE as well as international skaters. Watch an electric LED acrobatic performance along with nine solo performances on the night of 26  and 27 December 2015 at the Dubai Ice Rink. Tickets start at AED 35 and can be booked online.

Dubai Winter Festival

  • From carol singing to winter market, gingerbread house, skating rink, Santa’s grotto, fun fair and snow fight zone, find everything Christmassy under one roof at the Dubai Winter Festival. Head to The Dubai Winter Festival at the World Trade Centre for a weekend packed with Christmas fun from 17 to 19 December 2015. Tickets can be booked online and also give you access to the BBC Good Food Show. Children under three years go free.