For those who long for a white Christmas, Dubai might not be the first destination that springs to mind for a festive break. But with so many different nationalities coming together to celebrate the holidays, there’s certainly no shortage of festive cheer.

Here are just some of the reasons why we love spending Christmas in Dubai…

Have Christmas on the beach…

With an average of 8 hours of sunshine per day in December, and forecasted Christmas Day temperatures of 25°C, you’ll still get a white Christmas in Dubai – a white sandy beach Christmas, that is. Sit back, relax and soak up the vitamin D. You’ll tan like a Christmas turkey though, so don’t forget to baste with plenty of sunscreen. When the evening arrives, kick back on beanbags, enjoy lazy beachside views and emphasise the experience with some traditional Arabic shisha.

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Green Route, Stop: Jumeriah Public Beach

Hit the slopes…

If your Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without hitting the slopes, fear not, Dubai is home to the Middle East’s first indoor ski area, ‘Ski Dubai’. With ambient temperatures of -5°C, this alpine-themed resort boasts real snow and five slopes where skiers and snowboarders can get their fix. There are even toboggan rides and the chance to meet penguins. Spend your morning on the slopes and your afternoon on the beach. Surely this is the best of both worlds?

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Blue & Green Route, Stop: Mall of the Emirates

Attend a festive event…

Dubai might be more sand than snow, but there are still plenty of places to sit back and soak up the Christmas atmosphere with traditional mulled wine, mince pies and carol singers. Dubai enjoys a whole month’s worth of festivities, which kick off at the beginning of December when the huge Christmas tree lights are turned on at venues across the city. And end with the world-famous fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

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Visit a winter wonderland…

Be sure to visit the Madinat Jumeirah, which transforms into a Dubai winter wonderland, complete with a German-style Christmas market, a North Pole train ride, a giant snowball zone and daily appearances by Santa himself. Global Village is also a must-see attraction, showcasing a different country in each of its 30 pavilions. While it’s not a seasonal attraction in its own right, Global Village offers a unique opportunity to enjoy shopping, festive foods and cultural shows from countries all over the world.

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Green Route, Stop: Souk Madinat

Christmas shop round the clock…

Always leave your Christmas shopping to the last minute? No problem. With huge shopping centres like the Mall of the Emirates offering an abundance of choice, you can get all your shopping sorted in one place. Say goodbye to rushing around on Christmas Eve, long queues and limited stock, and say hello to a relaxed ‘Dubai style’ Christmas shopping experience, with hours extended until very late. Those looking for a more authentic experience when shopping in Dubai can try their luck at haggling at a traditional souk.

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Blue & Green Route, Stop: Mall of the Emirates

Feast on Christmas Day food…

Christmas day dining in Dubai takes overindulgence to a whole new level. With the top hotels and restaurants competing to stage the most memorable festive feast, Christmas day dining in Dubai offers a lot more than just turkey and sprouts. Many of the best restaurants in Dubai offer a seasonal twist on the classic Dubai brunch, with hours of free-flowing bubbles, buffet stations of epic proportions and festive afternoon entertainment.

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Dine underwater…

If dinnertime is more your thing on Christmas day, you can enjoy a truly unique underwater experience at Ossiano in Atlantis The Palm. Indulge in an exquisite seafood menu, surrounded by breath-taking underwater views of the Ambassador Lagoon and its captivating ocean life.

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Blue Route, Stop: Atlantis The Palm

Whether you’re sliding down slopes, picking up a candy cane at a winter wonderland, or experiencing some below-the-waves marine magic, Christmas Day in Dubai is never boring. And because the city is all lit up, be sure to take in the view of illuminated landmarks and attractions on one of our Big Bus Tours You’ll be able to see all the magical twinkling lights which just adds to the festive cheer.