There's so much going on in Abu Dhabi over the festive season, so it is hard to know from where to start. One of the highlights this year is the number of Christmas markets that are popping up all over the Emirate.
Enjoy Winterfest at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, a gingerbread factory at Ristorante Il Cavallino which also features a hot chocolate bar and a special performance at the Red Theatre.
Al Muneera Beach Plaza
Credit: Flickr / Caroline Bagger / CC BY 2.0
Head to Al Muneera Beach Plaza, Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi for a winter-inspired market with family and friends. Be greeted at the entrance by a host of life-size gingerbread men, experience quintessential Christmas music, indulge in delicious treats and join in with the number of festive activities and live entertainment. Your kids can enjoy bell painting and a cupcake making workshop. Entry is free.
Date and opening hours: 11th to 14th December from 4.00 pm to 10.00 pm.
Jumeirah Beach Resort Market
Jumeirah resorts all around UAE are bringing back their weekend-long Christmas celebrations. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah is hosting a special Christmas market with over a dozen stalls and other fun activities. Expect visits from Santa Claus, gingerbread decorations and a variety of seasonal dishes. Indulge in the turkey ham croquettes, roasted turkey roulades, cold cuts, cheese and Käsekrainer hot dogs. For desserts you can get churros with hot chocolate sauce, gingerbread cookies cut in various shapes and candy floss.
Date and opening hours: Friday, December 6 &, December 7, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm
Along with Abu Dhabi, one can also visit a few of the following places in Dubai to celebrate Noel.
Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market
Credit: Flickr / Bryan Allison / CC BY-SA 2.0
The annual Madinat Jumeirah is back again with a festive market that will run from 13th December to 28th December for a fortnight of fun and frolic. Enjoy live music and visits from Father Christmas as well as activities like a gingerbread house and cookie decorating sessions. You’ll also find a lot of festive food and drinks, lookout, especially for the mulled wine. Head to the Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre, Umm Sequim, Dubai for a wonderful Christmas experience.
Ripe Christmas Market
Ripe Market, at the Dubai Police Academy Park in Umm Suqeim, will be embodying the spirit of the holidays with heaps of activities for all the family to enjoy. Kids will love meeting Santa in his grotto and jump aboard the Polar Express train that winds around the park. Older kids can also participate in some gingerbread house making, or sit down to focus on a spot of festive-themed sewing or join their parents in the gift wrapping workshops. Entry is free and the market will be open on Fridays (9.00 am to 7.00 pm) and Saturdays (10.00 am to 7.00 pm) throughout December.