Ho Ho Holidays

From tree lightings and Christmas brunches, to winter wonderlands and more, there’s lots of festive fun to be enjoyed by the whole family

Fairmont the Palm
The Fairmont Falcons Kids’ Club will be transformed into Santa’s workshop comprising handicraft sessions, Christmas tree and decoration making and lots of seasonal games.
AED 140 per child aged 3–15 years, 23 and 24 December, 2-4pm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.

Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market
This popular festive market will run from 13 December to 28 December, offering 15 jam-packed days of Christmas fun with a live band, daily visits from Santa from 5-7pm, gingerbread house decorating, abra tours with the big man himself, cookie decorating sessions and plenty of delicious food and drinks.
Free, 13-28 Dec. Sun-Wed 3pm-late, Fri-Sat noon-late (24-25 December noon-late). Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre, Umm Sequim, Dubai.

Winter Wonderland at the QE2
Dubai’s iconic ocean liner, the QE2 is bringing back its big ‘Winter Wonderland Weekend’, featuring special Peter Pan performances, Captain Hook brunches and a Christmas tree lighting event with a choir performing carols and lots of pretty seasonal markets offering handmade arts, crafts and gifts.
Prices vary. 12-14 December. QE2, Port Rashid, Dubai.

Dubai Opera
Get the family together for this jolly sing-along including favourites such as Frosty the Snowman, Silent Night and Let it Snow, led by the London Concert Orchestra Show Band, Capital Voices and West End soloists. There’s also a free Christmas market to browse for gifts from 4-14 December.
From AED 175. 12 December 8pm, 13 December 11am, 3pm & 8pm,
14 December 2pm & 7pm. Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com

Ripe Market
One of Dubai’s most popular markets is getting a festive makeover. Little ones will be excited to meet Santa in his grotto and jump aboard the Polar Express train as it winds its way around the park. Kids can partake in gingerbread man and house-making and there’s holly wreath-making lessons and gift wrapping workshops for grownups, too.
Free. Fridays 9am-7pm, Saturdays 10am-7pm until 21 December. Dubai Academy Park.

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert
Little ones can get crafty with pastry experts at a Gingerbread House Decorating Day.
AED 120 children 4-12 years. Saturday 7, 14 & 21 December, from 2-3pm.
Or indulge in a scrumptious festive afternoon tea at Farmhouse.
Free for children under six years, AED 80 children 6-12 years,
from AED 160 adults. Daily 8-23 December, 2-5pm. Ras Al Khaimah.

Kempinski Mall of the Emirates
Who said it doesn’t snow in Dubai? Enjoy a backdrop of the white stuff as you shop the many treats on offer at the Aspen Lounge and enjoy a selection of mince pies.
Free. 3 December-8 January. Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

Jumeirah Golf Estates
Leave the cooking to someone else and enjoy a family brunch at the Earth Terrace. A festive-themed buffet will serve up all the traditional favourites, with a bouncy castle, face painting, Santa and live entertainment.
From AED 135 kids, AED 290 adults. 25 December. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, Dubai.

The Meydan Hotel
From turkey takeaways to festive afternoon teas, sumptuous brunches and New Year’s Eve celebrations, this is the ultimate holiday hotel. Farriers restaurant offers live entertainment and surprises for the little ones.
Kids under four dine free, kids 5-12 years half price. Al Meydan Road, Dubai.

Manzil Downtown
The hotel will be transformed into an enchanted wonderland. The three Fridays of December will offer live entertainment, with a festive brunch on Christmas Day.
From AED 275 per person, kids 7-11 years half price, kids under 6 free. Downtown Dubai.

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Escape the city and spend an afternoon full of festivities at Al Forsan Garden. Tuck into a delicious roast turkey while kids enjoy face painting, magic shows and a mini zoo, with a surprise visit from Santa Claus himself.
From AED 250 kids 6-12 years, free kids under 5 years, from AED 495 adults. 25 December.

Media One Hotel
Pick any three hours and enjoy a roast turkey with all the trimmings, unlimited house drinks and entry to the famous garden Quizzmass quiz with Dubai 92 DJs playing tunes.
From AED 399. 25 December 12pm-10pm (quiz starts 8pm). Dubai Media City, Dubai.

Le Meridien Dubai Hotel
Santa’s Garden will be open for 12 days, during which elves will be helping kids build and decorate gingerbread houses.
AED 25 kids 12 years and under. 12-24 December, 4pm-8pm. Near Dubai Airport.

Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Majlis will serve a festive afternoon tea with a chef’s table of treats throughout Christmas and into the New Year.
From AED 250. Until 15 January, 3pm-6pm. Al Maryah Island.

Elf Adventures at WAFI
Treat the kids to a magical experience at Elf Mountain, featuring a ski simulator, mince pies and Santa’s grotto.
From AED 70 (grotto ticket includes simulator). 6-24 December, 8.30am-9.30pm. Oud Metha Road, Dubai.