Dubai Christmas delights: a ‘desert’ selection

From Christmas trees to man-made ice rinks, Dubai is proving once again that it can pull off festive season celebrations in style

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From massive Christmas trees, to man-made ice rinks and fake snow, Dubai is proving once again that it can pull off festive season celebrations in style despite its desert location.

While the city cannot boast the world’s tallest Christmas tree, there are quite a few other jaw-dropping attractions to talk about this festive season.

To start with, the so-called ‘seven-star’ Burj Al Arab hotel and its Skyview bar, suspended 200 meters and 27 floors above the sea, is hosting a truly dazzling extravaganza for the festive season.

The “Birth of an Icon” cocktail is offered by the bar at a shocking price of Dh15,000 ($4,080) for a glass. The drink was available to order from December 1. Affluent customers who want to try tipple will be given a Crystal barrel as a special gift to keep as a memento.

The winter wonderland at the Souk Festive Market at Madinat Jumeirah will be open until Dec. 27. It promises a variety of traditional and creative family-friendly activities including a traditional North Pole train, ice rink, Santa’s Grotto, a bouncy castle and a Reindeer Rodeo.

Not forgetting adults, the winter wonderland allows aspiring cooks and foodies to enjoy the festive season too, through participating in cooking classes with award-winning Chef Paul Hayward and Chef Gabriel Kurz, as well as enjoying food and beverages from stalls offering festive treats. This is in addition to allowing visitors to have a choice of sampling numerous offers and deals from a wide variety of restaurants located at the Madinat Jumeirah complex. Premium chocolate brand, Lindt Maître Chocolatier, is also conducting two workshops for adults and children.

The Atlantis hotel on the Palm Jumeirah man-made island, is known for its massive New Year’s eve celebrations, with an astonishing fireworks display and events that are usually the talk of the town at this time of year.

For Christmas, Atlantis is featuring a large tree in the lobby, but one can also find Christmas decorations and trees in most corners, and the hotel’s numerous restaurants offer attractive deals for Christmas eve dinners and Christmas day brunches and lunches.

In 2010, the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi exhibited a 13-meter high Christmas tree, dressed with jewelry comprising diamonds, gold and rubies, among other gems. The tree was worth a reported $11 million. While the extravagant feature is no longer on show this year, the Emirates Palace is displaying a tree with decorations, rather than gems.

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