Are you wondering how are Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Dubai? Would you like to know what to expect, see, and where to go?
Dubai is one of the best locations to spend your Christmas or New Year’s Eve. I can tell you that Dubai during this festive season is spectacular. I spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Dubai a few years ago and guess what? This year I’m going to be there for Christmas again.
So what is so special about Dubai during this festive season? I will tell you all about it, where to go, what to see, where to spend your Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and where to watch the fireworks. Let’s dive in.
How Are Christmas And New Year’s Eve In Dubai?
In one word magnificent. There are lights and Christmas decorations all over the city, on palm trees, inside shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants. There are concerts, shows, and activities for people of all ages. Here is a little bite from the festive season in Dubai.
Christmas in Dubai
During Christmas time, Dubai is turning into a shiny fairy tale where not only children but also adults enjoy the festive season. You will experience Christmas trees, decorations, and events all over the city.
There are concerts, shows, events, raffles, and big sales in shops usually from the beginning of December until the middle or end of January.
You wouldn’t believe but many of the venues are free of charge. Here are some of them.
In Bluewater Island and JBR Beach, you can watch an amazing drone show that is based on fairy tales with Emirati culture. You can experience the show in the sky every night from the 8th of December until the 14th of January from 8 pm to 10 pm for free.
Lights and sound shows will be happening in several locations with different themes in Dubai from the 8th of December until the 14th of January. For example, in Bluewater Island, Gold Souk, and Al Seef you can see Anooki characters (two friends traveling the world to spread the message: our planet is precious).
Also, the historic part, Al Seef and the Gold Souk will light up with awesome neon decorations, turning the whole place into a super positive and inspiring wonderland. To make your experience even greater, take a traditional Abra boat to see the lights illuminating on water.
Another one is Amazon Lights Happening from the 13th of December until the 31st of January at West Beach in Palm Jumeirah. Transport yourself into the Amazon rainforest with parrots and flowers. Amazon Parade will take place between 22-24 of December. Also, this event is free to attend.
Christmas Markets and Winter Garden
To experience the real Christmas atmosphere with Christmas trees and decorations, gingerbreads, snow, or even Santa, you should visit at least one of these places.
Madinat Jumeirah Market
Madinat Jumeirah is a beautiful place with bazaars and restaurants, next to the water and a stunning view of Burj Al Arab. During the festive season, you can soak up the Christmas atmosphere with a tall Christmas tree, food stalls, and Christmas songs, and children can use the carousel or North Pole train.
Taking a journey on traditional Abra will amplify the experience. This market will be available from the 15th of December until the 7th of January.
Winter Garden at Habtoor Palace
Winter Garden at Habtoor Palace is fun for all ages and it is happening every year from the 1st of November until the 31st of January. Here you will find a Christmas tree and decorations, food trucks to enjoy delicious food, and singers who will cheer up the place with some good music. And the cherry on the cake is a daily visit by Santa.
The Plaza Terrace at Jumeirah Emirates Towers is turning into a Winter District, and you won’t want to miss the festive fun.
Imagine this: the stunning Museum of the Future as your backdrop, a gigantic Christmas tree, and an outdoor market filled with cool stalls full of handmade goodies. It’s the perfect spot to pick up unique gifts and more.
And guess what? Santa will be there too. Don’t forget your camera to capture those special family moments! The event is available from the 14th of December until 4th of January.
Enjoy the winter wonderland at Nakheel Mall, packed with awesome holiday activities for everyone in the family. What can you see here? Winter decorations that’ll take your breath away, a fascinating water fountain installation, a jaw-dropping festive tree, flower installations, and a bunch of other winter surprises.
Ski Dubai located in the Mall of the Emirates will remind you of the real North Pole with real snow. You can ski, snowboard, slide, and meet Santa who will be there from the 1st until the 25th of December.
Shows and Events
There will be different shows performed by artists in several malls in Dubai. Whether you love music, dance, theater, or a water show, you can find them all here from the 8th of December until the 14th of January.
Some of the places where you can see the shows are Mall of the Emirates, Nakheel Mall, Bluewaters, City Centre Deira, Ibn Battuta Mall, City Centre Mirdif, City Walk, Dubai Festival City Mall, and more.
When you are spending Christmas in Dubai, I’m sure you would like to go for a traditional Christmas dinner. In Dubai, you have so many choices as all of the restaurants prepare Christmas dinner menus or brunches you can choose from.
One of the best places would be around Burj Khalifa, for example, restaurants in the Palace Downtown Hotel, Souk Al Bahar, in Dubai Marina with amazing views, Madinat Jumeirah, or Palm Jumeirah.
New Year’s Eve in Dubai
Whether you are a party animal, love to enjoy a dinner with friends or family, or just watch the fireworks, Dubai is a place to be on New Year’s Eve. Restaurants prepare special menus, nightclubs parties, and the city is getting ready with several fireworks in different places.
The best firework with a laser show is prepared at Burj Khalifa every year. This is a must-see when you are coming to Dubai. It is an unforgettable experience. To stay close to Burj Kalifa, check out the top hotels here.
This year, the first year in history, Dubai prepared some secured and paid spots to watch the fireworks so you don’t have to push in the crowds. The tickets for children 5-12 years old cost 150 AED and for adults 300 AED. This includes two drinks and some food.
If you don’t want to buy a ticket, you can come early next to Dubai Mall and grab a good spot, enjoy the music, fountain, and atmosphere while waiting for midnight.
In case you want to see it in a more stylish way, book a table in one of the nearby restaurants and watch from there.
If you prefer a more chill-out atmosphere, you can take your picnic blanket and head over to Jumeirah Beach to watch the fireworks on Burj Al Arab. It is better to come early as they don’t allow too many people in order not to get too crowded.
If you like to party or go for a gala dinner, prepare your wallet and book the table in advance. All of the nightclubs in Dubai are ready with a New Year’s Eve party.
Top places to spend New Year’s Eve in Dubai
Here is a list of the few top places to spend your NYE in Dubai.
To see the Burj Khalifa fireworks:
- Address Sky View hotel – Ce La Vi restaurant and Deck Too Lounge will secure a stunning view of Burj Khalifa
- Karma Kafe – located at Souk Al Bahar
- Thiptara restaurant in the five-star Palace Downtown hotel – enjoy Thai food with a breathtaking view of Burj Khalifa
- Weslodge saloon – North American restaurant in JW Marriott Marquis
- Time Out Market
- Dubai Opera
- Atlantis the Palm
- Zero Gravity
- Aura Sky Pool – at Palm Jumeirah with a 360-degree view of the city
- Bla Bla – on the JBR Beach
To watch fireworks:
- The Burj Khalifa
- Jumeirah Beach
- Atlantis Palm Jumeirah
- Global Village – Best value, entry ticket starting at 25 AED at the gate and 22.5 online. It is a great place for families with many activities during the evening and night. There are several fireworks to watch in different pavilions throughout the Global Village.
What do you need to know before you go
Before you decide to come to Dubai during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you should know a few things.
As the weather is very pleasant at this time and it is the favorite time to visit Dubai, the prices of accommodation, flight tickets, and menus in restaurants and clubs will be at their peak. Therefore you need to book in advance and also to be prepared with a higher budget.
During the NYE celebration, the streets will be packed. Public transportation is mostly fully crowded, it is difficult to get a taxi and a journey that normally takes 15 minutes can take you more than one hour. So be well prepared for that.
Conclusion: Christmas And New Year’s Eve In Dubai
Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Dubai is an amazing time to visit this extraordinary city. All the events, decorations, concerts, activities, and festive atmosphere will bring memories for a lifetime.
I do recommend visiting Dubai at least once during this time. Whether you are young, or old, have children, love to party, or enjoy great food, you will definitely enjoy it. I can’t wait for my second Christmas visit to Dubai. How about you?