Almost Like the Real Thing: These Christmas Markets in Dubai Hit the Holiday Spot

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best christmas markets dubai
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Christmas has landed in Dubai! While we may not have all of the snow, reindeer, and elves of the North Pole, what we do have here is the best of both worlds: Perfect weather for outdoor shenanigans and venues that bring the snow, reindeer, elves and the Christmas spirit along with it straight to us. Here are the most fabulous winter wonderlands and Christmas festive markets in Dubai to bring you that special holiday cheer.

1

Christmas in the Desert

Christmas in the desert? Yes please. At Dubai’s luxury desert resort, Bab Al Shams, you have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus, take Instagrammable photos in front of a 40-foot tree, decorated and lit to perfection in the sands of the desert. Meander through the 20 festive stalls, find the perfect Christmas gift or stocking stuffer, or just enjoy the lush gardens of Bab Al Shams Al Forsan‘s gardens.

The Festive Market is open from December 12th to December 20th, from 6pm to 10pm. AED 50 per child, fully redeemable towards F&B, and adults enter complimentary.

christmas markets in dubai
Photo: Courtesy of @babalshamshotel
2

Christmas in an Oasis

If you have never been to the lush, verdant, woodland oasis that is Al Barari, then you are certainly in for a treat this Christmas. Located in the heart of Al Barari, a winter wonderland has been mounted to please every child and adult alike. Get carried away with the Christmas spirit as you enjoy the ice rink, arts and crafts, a snow zone, live DJ, winter parade, specialty hot chocolate hut, and a festive market filled with unique treasures for every gift-giving occasion.

The Winter Wonderland is open December 16th to December 26th from 4pm to 10pm. AED 85 for individuals six years and older.

 

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3

Christmas in a Souk

The holiday spirit is coming back to Souk Madinat Jumeirah in style with its annual Festive Garden. Family-friendly activities and festivities abound like outdoor movie nights, Christmas carol sing-a-longs, crafting workshops for the kids, and Santa’s elves with the man in red himself zipping along on roller skates as he makes his way to Santa’s Grotto. Enjoy the outdoor German-style Christmas market, the immersive virtual/light/music art exhibit, or the dedicated art space for the tiniest guests to experience secret passageways and enter into magical worlds. Truly a Christmas to remember.

The Festive Garden is open from December 10th to December 26th until 10pm every night. Tickets are AED75 for adults and AED45 for kids aged 3-15.

CHristmas markets in dubai
Photo: Courtesy of @momofgabriel
4

Christmas in the Snow

Yes. You read that right. There is only one place in Dubai that has snow year round, and it has transformed its winter wonderland into a North Pole extravaganza just in time for Christmas. At Ski Dubai, you can build a snowman, have a snowball fight, or just play around in the snow, sip on some hot chocolate, make a gingerbread house, dance and sing some carols with the elves, and meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus in Santa’s Grotto. For everyone missing the colder months of home this holiday season, there is no better place to get your Christmas fix than Ski Dubai.

Christmas at Ski Dubai is open through the month of December. Visit the website for prices on various packages. 

 

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5

Christmas in a Palace

Al Habtoor Palace brings its famously festive Winter Garden back with all the things we loved about it last year. You’ll find good food stalls, live music, rides and slides for the kids, crafting areas, traditional favorites, and an enormous Christmas tree that would do Santa proud. So proud that every child and child-at-heart has a chance to meet the big guy in person. And the best part is that it’s free entry for all and very pet-friendly, so even our furry friends can get a bit of Christmas cheer.

The Winter Garden is open every weekend from 5pm to midnight. Complimentary access for all ages and pets.

 

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