8 great festive markets to visit in the UAE
Souk Festive Market
One of Dubai’s most popular Christmas markets returns at the Madinat Jumeirah. With the LED Christmas tree as its centre-point, the German-themed festive market will include daily appearances from Santa between 5pm-7pm, bungee jumping, a snowball fight zone and a host of festive fare, including roasted chestnuts, from the hotels’ kitchens.
When: 3pm-1am; Sunday - Wednesday, 12pm-1am; Thursday-Saturday, December 15-27
Where: Fort Island, Madinat Jumeirah
Contact: +971 4 366 8888, website
Dubai Winter Festival 2017
Get yourself down to the Media City Amphitheatre if you want to build a snowman. The annual event returns to the amphitheatre and, in addition to building your own Mr Frosty, you can take part in a snowball fight or simply wander around the many gift and food stalls. With carol singers performing live on stage and a funfair for the kids, this is one to get the seasonal feels going.
When: 4pm-7pm; Wednesday, 4pm-10pm; Thursday, 3pm-10pm; Friday-Saturday, December 6-9,
Where: Media City Amphitheatre
Price: Tickets from AED75
Dubai Ice Rink SnowFest
This has become an annual fixture in the country’s biggest mall, with stalls surrounding the ice and Santa’s grotto in one corner. In addition, there are also snowfall skating sessions from AED100.
When: December 14-January 5
Where: The Dubai Mall
Contact: +971 4 448 5111, website
DBS Winter Wonderland 2017
An Adventure to the North Pole is the theme of Dubai British School’s festive offering. ARTE, The Makers Market will be present so you can grab some hand-crafted gifts for friends and family. There’ll also be live bands, performances, games and a polar bear photo booth for you and your family to squeeze into.
When: December 13, 6pm-9pm
Where: Dubai British School, Emirates Hills
Contact: +971 4 361 9361, website
BurJuman Mall will have a distinctly chilly theme this festive season as the interior gets a full wintery makeover. As well as a snow park, where artificial flakes will fall every 30 minutes, there’s an augmented reality zone to transport you to a virtual world of wonder. Arts and crafts stalls and activities will also be available to all ages.
When: December 7-January 6
Where: BurJuman Mall, Bur Dubai
Winter Garden Market at The St Regis
The St Regis Hotel is transforming its fantastic garden into a winter wonderland again. The festive theme will include seasonal décor and lights, festive carols, stalls packed with gifts and, activities and events for the little ones and, of course, one of the most beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the entire emirate.
When: 5pm-11pm; Sunday-Thursday, 3pm-11pm; Friday-Saturday, December 3-26
Where: Al Habtoor City
Contact: +971 4 435 555 77, website
Festive Wonderland at Al Maryah Island
The Galleria will come alive with festive cheer this season. Santa’s grotto, live performances and marching bands will all be
on-hand to provide entertainment for all the family. Festive food and beverages will be in the mix too,
in and around the arts, crafts and wintery carnival zones.
When: December 14-26
Where: The Galleria, Al Maryah Island
Swiss Christmas Market
A small Swiss village made up of 44 intricately decorated wooden chalets will welcome guests to the Beach Rotana. The Swiss theme is hammered home with a traditional band entertaining the crowds, local choirs singing carols and the usual fare such as cheese fondue to give you that ski-lodge feel.
When: 4pm-9pm; Wednesday, 2pm-10pm; Thursday, 11am-10pm; Friday-Saturday, December 6-9
Where: Beach Rotana