Over Turkey with Trimmings? Give These 11 Festive Meals in Dubai a Try

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elf christmas eating gif
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Use the term “Christmas lunch” during the Word Association game, and you’re bound to hear the following: turkey, gravy, roast potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mince pies, and pudding. But what if you’re ready to stray from culinary tradition? The festive season in a diverse city like Dubai means no rules apply, so you can dine in a circus-themed environment, journey to India through Christmas lunch with a twist, and even swap brussels sprouts for gingerbread waffles. Here, Savoir Flair rounds up 11 unique offerings to get you started.

1

Frevo

If Brazil Is on Your Bucket List

If celebrating Christmas on a beach in Brazil sounds appealing, head to Frevo at Fairmont The Palm for dinner on Christmas Eve. Hosting a ‘Christmas in Rio’ themed feast from 7 p.m. to midnight, the churrascaria will serve prime skewered meats carved tableside in South Brazilian style, traditional Brazilian snacks, special Christmas-inspired beverages, and Brazilian holiday desserts to complement the marinated turkey. Live entertainment, courtesy of the resident band, will add a touch of South American flair to the affair.

For more details and to book a spot, click here.

2

'Cirque De Cuisine', Atlantis The Palm

If You're One to Crave Variety

The Christmas edition of ‘Cirque De Cuisine’ at Atlantis The Palm is less than two weeks away, kickstarting the festive season. Taking place on December 7th, the always-exciting event entails an experience like no other in Dubai – you’ll dine on both traditional Christmas dishes and signature creations from the likes of Nobu, Ronda Locatelli, Bread Street Kitchen, Seafire Steakhouse & Bar, Ossiano, YUAN, The Burger Joint, Shawafel, and Asia Republic by walking freely from one to the other. But that’s not all.

Setting the tone of the night will be a full-fledged circus environment complete with street performers, jugglers, and other types of entertainers – even Santa and his elves are set to make an appearance in The Avenues. After sampling your way through the resort, you can hop over to The Lost Chambers Aquarium for desserts before joining the afterparty as resident DJs spin the night away.

For more details and to book a spot, click here.

atlantis the palm dubai aerial view
Photo: Courtesy of @AtlantisThePalm
3

Eggspectation

If You Love Breakfast for Dinner

Breakfast for dinner? Always a yes, especially if it’s been jazzed up for the holiday season. Throughout the month of December, both branches of family-friendly eatery Eggspectation (The Beach JBR and City Walk) will serve three sinfully delicious dishes that Santa is sure to approve: the signature brioche french toast paired with mixed-berry compote and orange cream cheese frosting, gingerbread waffles topped with cinnamon and caramelized apples, and red velvet pancakes accompanied by orange cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries – because turkey at Christmas is so cliché.

4

Royal China Dubai

If You're All About Asian Food

If you can’t actually journey to the Far East over the holiday season, why not settle for the region’s finest food instead? The award-winning Royal China Dubai in DIFC will be hosting two seasonally inspired set menus from December 24th until January 1st: the ‘Seafood Gourmet Menu’ and the ‘House Dinner Menu’. Both will consist of three courses and showcase the festive culinary traditions of China – think: ‘Crispy Aromatic Duck’ and ‘Fresh Lobster’ paired with popular favourites such as ‘Lotus Leaf Rice’ and ‘Sautéed Chicken with Red Chilli Sauce’.

To make a reservation, click here.

5

'The Nights Before', INKED

If You Love the Element of Surprise

If they ever give out an award for dinner pop-ups done in style, INKED would win by a landslide. The creative space located in Alserkal Avenue is getting foodies into the holiday spirit with The Nights Before, a dining experience that will feature a themed four-course dinner, festive soft drinks, and plenty of surprises. The best part? There’s absolutely no way of knowing what they are, so head there with an open mind and adventurous palate.

For more details and to book a spot, click here.

Cactus at la Gomera island with Christmas-tree decorations.
Photo: Courtesy of INKED
6

3in1

If You Want to Keep It Casual

A pool, a large terrace area, perfect weather, a casual dress code, cabanas to lounge around in, and a picnic basket brimming with festive treats – Christmas can’t possibly get more laid-back than one celebrated at the contemporary Mediterranean restaurant 3in1 in Vida Downtown. Priced at only AED 295 for the soft drinks package, and AED 345 for the house beverages package, the ‘Urban Picnic Brunch’ is a sure-fire way to guarantee that Christmas Day is spent in a state of sheer bliss.

To make a reservation, click here.

7

Armani/Amal

If You Want to Spice Up Christmas

Spice makes nice – and that’s why Armani/Amal lands a spot on this list. The super sleek restaurant in Armani Hotel is taking the holiday season to introduce diners to the complex flavors of India. Here, four-course tasting menus will span everything from the royal kitchens of nawabs to the more humble communities found on the coast, so you can expect plenty of festive dishes with a South Asian twist – think: watercress shorba, Chettinad-spiced scallops, Rajasthani-style slow braised lamb, and masala-scented stuffed peppers. Served from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., these special menus will be in place for three nights, starting Christmas Eve.

To make a reservation, click here.

Armani Amal - New Year - Tali machchi John dory, lobster porichattu, lobster jelly, green pea wasabi, beetroot and spicy mayo
Photo: Courtesy of Armani/Amal
8

The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri

If You Want to Adopt a New Tradition

This festive season, don’t just learn about the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” – live it at The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri. The longstanding Christmas Eve tradition hails from Italy, and entails fish and other seafood being served as a result of people abstaining from eating red meat until Christmas Day. And in keeping with tradition, The Artisan will host a four-course culinary spread featuring appetizers like sea bream carpaccio, octopus salad, and fried prawns with calamari and a zesty chilli-lime sauce.

These will be followed by decadent mains such as fregola sarda with seafood and lobster alla catalana. And fret not if you’re a hardcore carnivore; The Artisan’s à la carte menu will also be available to choose from. Dinner on Christmas Eve will be served from 8 p.m. to midnight, while lunch on Christmas Day will take place from noon to 4 p.m.

To make a reservation, call (+971) 4 338 8133.

9

360°

If You Want to Dance Off the Christmas Calories

Sandwich a more traditional Christmas Day lunch with unlimited platters of Pan-Asian favorites like sushi and dim sum alongside inventive bar bites and house beverages aplenty at beloved lounge 360° in Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The ‘Festive Sunset Brunch’ will be held on Christmas Eve from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., while the ‘Festive Party Brunch’ on Boxing Day will kick off at 1 p.m. Combined with the eclectic tunes and gorgeous views, this one’s a no-brainer, especially if you’re hosting guests.

To make a reservation, click here.

10

Khaymat Al Bahar

If It's Your First Christmas in the Region

If you’re the type to fly home for Christmas, but unable to hop on a flight this time around, cheer up – it might just be time to see what a festive feast in this part of the world looks like. Enter: Khaymat Al Bahar, an authentic Lebanese eatery located in Jumeirah Al Qasr. Dinner on Christmas Eve will see sharing dishes ranging from mezza to mixed grills and pastries complemented by entertainment like belly dancing and live music, a relaxed setting, and an atmosphere upbeat enough to cheer up the Grinch. You’ll even ride an abra to get there. Win-win.

To book a spot, click here.

#MyDubai-burj al arab madinat jumeirah
Photo: Courtesy of @MyDubai
11

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa

If You Want to Be at One with Nature

If the idea of getting far, far away from the city for a bit sounds appealing, the ‘Jazz in the Dunes’ brunch on Christmas Day at Al Maha is just the ticket. Not only will you dine amongst rolling dunes in a vast expanse of desert, but also the freely roaming gazelles and Arabian oryx that call the resort home. The brunch will take place at signature eatery Al Diwaan, with al fresco tented seating setting the mood.

The festive feast will include a buffet of traditional favorites alongside live stations for caviar and foie gras, a cigar-rolling station, and the soothing sounds of a live jazz band – all complemented by uninterrupted views of the infinite desert sky. The brunch will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with two different packages on offer.

To make a reservation, click here.

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