8 Festive Things to do in the UAE!

From ice skating to Madinat Jumeirah's Christmas market, we've got everything you need to feel festive this season!
BySarah Hedley Hymers
,Surena Chande
Monday , 19 December 2016
8 Festive Things to do in the UAE!
© The StudioWilbur Smith
The Madinat Jumeirah Christmas market is back!

Boost Your Bash with a Fishfayce Photo experience

If you want to really impress your party guests this festive season, hire a FishFayce photo booth. Partygoers get to play fancy-dress with Instagram-able props and then collect their passport-sized pics from the booth to keep as souvenirs. Better yet, FishFayce has introduced the all-new FishFayce Gif Booth, which creates mini videos to share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – and you can still take home a four-frame print! You can customise your Gifs with branded backdrops and overlays to complement cheeky signs and fun accessories to match the theme of your event. INFO: The FishFayce Gif Booth service is available for both small and large-scale events throughout the UAE, from Dhs2,970 per booth, call 800 fishfayce (347432923)/056 149 4591, info@fishfayce.com, fishfayce.com

Breakfast at Burj Khalifa

Forget breakfast at Tiffany’s – we’ve found another romantic way to start the day, high up in the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. Level 122 at At.mosphere Lounge has just introduced its vertiginous brekkie with a view, and we can’t think of a more glamorous way to begin a festive day. Expect pastries and cheese from the continental stand, and à la carte classics, such as waffles, French toast, sweet and savoury crepes and omelettes. Alternatively, sample some dishes from the signature menu (Dhs95 supplement applies to signature dishes), including the delicious truffle-scrambled eggs and slow-cooked beef fillet with organic eggs. INFO: 7am-10.30am daily, Dhs325 per person including soft drinks

Head to Ski Dubai

While it’s lovely having sunshine all year round, most of us are all still dreaming of a white Christmas. So head to the indoor ski slope and enjoy an hour or two frolicking in the snow. If, like Frozen’s Anna and Elsa you want to build a snowman or have a lil’ snowball fight, visit the snow park. Or, better yet, visit the penguins. They’re guaranteed to make you laugh with their cheeky nature – they’ll do anything to get some fish – and they’re super-soft, too. INFO: 12noon-9pm for penguin encounter daily, 10am-11pm Sat-Wed and 10am-12midnight Thu-Fri for Snow Park, Dhs335-Dhs1,300 for the snow penguin encounter, Dhs180 for children’s snow park access, Dhs200 for adult’s snow park access, Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, 800386, skidxb.com

Madinat Jumeirah’s Festive Market

It’s become a classic Christmas pastime in Dubai, so we’re chuffed that the Festive Market’s back from Saturday 17 to Tuesday 27 December. It’s is set to feature a shimmering Christmas tree surrounded by a host of market stalls, a North Pole train for little ones, along with slides and games, plus a two-lane bungee jump for teens and a snow ball zone for children of all ages. Kids can also take abra tours with Santa and decorate a huge gingerbread house and cookie garden. Adults can tuck into roasted chestnuts, seasonal drinks and a variety of food stalls. INFO: 3pm-1am Sun-Wed. 12noon-1am Thu-Sat, Dubai, jumeirah.com

Watch Our Top 10 Christmas Films

After much debate among Team Ahlan!, we’ve arrived at our 10 fave festive flicks!

1 Elf (2003) Starring Will Ferrell

2 Miracle on 34th Street (1994) Starring Mara Wilson

3 Love Actually (2003) Starring Hugh Grant

4 Arthur Christmas (2011) Starring James McAvoy

5 The Grinch (2000) Starring Jim Carrey

6 Home Alone 2 (1992) Starring Macaulay Culkin

7 The Santa Clause (1994) Starring Tim Allen

8 The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Starring Jack Skellington

9 The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) Starring Michael Caine

10 It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) Starring James Stewart

Listen to Our Top 10 xmas Songs

If you’re stuck in the office pulling late nights in the lead-up to Christmas, stick these songs on and we guarantee you’ll feel a tiny bit better!

1 Fairytale of New York, by The Pogues

2 Do They Know It’s Christmas?, by Band Aid

3 All I Want for Christmas is You, by Mariah Carey

4 Happy Christmas, by John Lennon

5 Last Christmas, by Wham!

6 Driving Home for Christmas, by Chris Rea

7 Wonderful Christmas Time, by Paul McCartney

8 It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, by Michael Bublé

9 Merry Christmas Everybody, by Slade

10 Winter Wonderland, by Dean Martin

Take the Yellow Boats’ Festive Sea & Tea Tour!

The 75-minute tour of Dubai sets sail from Dubai Marina and cruises around Palm Jumeirah, taking in the incredible architecture, luxury villas and the world’s most iconic hotels, including Atlantis The Palm. The state-of-the-art 10-seater rigid inflatable craft then hits the open water, circling the seven-star Burj Al Arab, as Yellow Boats’ skippers offer insider knowledge on beautiful photo opportunities.

Guests then make their way to the Ritz-Carlton Dubai hotel to enjoy afternoon tea at the Lobby Lounge and fill up on sweet and savoury treats, sip hot cocoa and enjoy the sounds of the pianist and, at weekends, the angelic choir.

The Yellow Boats NYE Night Tour takes guests in the boat by moonlight at 10.30pm on 31 December, before heading out for an extended 120-minute trip, stopping next to the Burj Al Arab, for an unrivalled view of the city’s world-class fireworks overhead. INFO: Sea & Tea Tours run from 6-13 Dec, Dhs330 for adults, Dhs240 for children including afternoon tea; Yellow Boats NYE Night Tour costs Dhs500 per person; advance bookings are essential; 800 892/04 432 8543/055 995 0153, book@theyellowboats.com, theyellowboats.com

Go Ice Skating!

Whether you’ll be clinging to the rails or you reckon you’ll be gliding gracefully, give the ice rink a whirl. Not only is it a cool way to get that Christmas feeling, but it’s good exercise, too! Each session is over an hour, so there’s no reason not to give it a try – unless you resemble Bambi on ice. You’re guaranteed just the right amount of chill – wrap up in a scarf to make yourself feel a little more wintry – with ‘snowfall’ at various hours as well. INFO: 10am-12midnight Sun-Thu, 10am-1am Fri-Sat, Dhs30 for children, Dhs60 for adults, Dubai Ice Rink, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, 04 448 5111, dubaiicerink.com

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