Christmas and New Year's Eve meals and parties for under Dh500 in Abu Dhabi

Whatever cuisine you can think of, there's everything for everyone, at relatively budgeted prices

Fouquet's will serve premium ingredients such as scallops, caviar, foie gras and lobster for Dh450 per head. Photo: Fouquet's
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While staying at home is a valid choice during the busy (and oft expensive) festive season, those who want to eat out are spoilt for choices that won't break the bank.

Plenty of restaurants in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are serving relatively affordable Christmas and New Year's Eve meals to end the year on a high note. Here are some to check out in the capital.

Christmas Eve


The French restaurant housed in the Louvre on Saadiyat Island promises to transport guests to Paris with its Noel a Paris menu.

Curated by chef Pierre Gagnaire, the five-course menu includes lobster with yuzu and smoked sea scallops with Oscietra caviar for light bites. Guests can also expect endive stuffed with foie gras, as well as capon tournedos chestnut and wild mushrooms. For desserts, pastry chef Hugo Sipp has prepared frosted lemon and buche de Noel.

December 24; 6pm onwards; Dh450 per person; Saadiyat Cultural District; 02 205 4200


Expect a three-course dinner at the Italian restaurant.

The meal starts with a choice between seared scallops with truffle risotto and beetroot carpaccio with truffle goat cheese mousse. This can be followed by either rosemary and juniper-crusted rack of lamb or stuffed turkey roulade. End the meal with panna cotta with blood orange jelly or chestnut and chocolate tart.

December 24; from Dh289 per person; W Abu Dhabi, Yas Island; 02 656 0000

Bait Al Hanine

It's a traditional Christmas buffet at the Arabic restaurant at Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa. An array of grilled meats are on offer, from smoked brisket to carved turkey, as well as a selection of artisanal cheeses and festive sweets to end the meal.

December 24; 7pm-11pm; from Dh250 person; Al Wathba; 02 204 4444


The expansive Christmas Eve buffet at the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental restaurant is a mix of Arabic, Asian and Mediterranean cuisines.

The typical Arabic mezze is on offer, from hummus and spicy potato to mutabal and baba ghanoush. The Mediterranean section serves dishes such as beef medallion steak with wild mushroom and rosemary jus, and chicken breast stuffed with mushroom and cheese.

For those craving Asian food, there's a selection of tataki, nigiri and maki. There is also a dedicated corner for the little ones, with assorted mini sandwich, mac and cheese and other child-friendly bites. Desserts include tart vanilla, pistachio orange blossom and cream brulee, among others.

There also a live musician at the venue providing entertainment.

December 24; 6.30pm onwards; from Dh395 per person; Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental; 02 690 7999


The W Abu Dhabi restaurant is marking Christmas Eve with a festive brunch. Dishes include baked duck leg with braised cinnamon red cabbage and orange sauce, as well as roasted turkey with bread stuffing and cranberry sauce. For desserts, guests can indulge in a giant panettone or classic Christmas cookies.

December 24; 8pm-midnight; from Dh450 per person; W Abu Dhabi, Yas Island; 02 656 0000

Christmas Day

Butcher & Still

The Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi restaurant is hosting a 1920s-inspired Christmas Day brunch.

There are live barbecue stations, as well as pass-around sharing platters, but the main event is the stuffed turkey roulade. Guests can also indulge in quintessential Christmas delights such as home-made panettone, mince pies and eggnog panna cotta.

December 25; 1pm-4pm; from Dh495 per person; Al Maryah Island; 02 333 2444


The popular Irish pub has a three-course meal for diners on Christmas Day. On the menu are classics such as roast turkey and baked Irish ham with all the trimmings. There's also baked Brie, prawn cocktail and leek and potato soup. A live singer will be on hand to provide entertainment.

December 25; 1pm-5pm; from Dh289 per person; Hilton Yas Island; 058 598 3623

La Piscine Pool Bar & Restaurant

If you want to spend Christmas Day by the pool, the restaurant and pool bar at Al Raha Beach Hotel is a good spot. A spread of turkey, roast lamb and other meats from the live grilling station are on the menu, followed by many a sweet treat.

A Cuban band will set the mood, and Santa will hand out gifts to children.

December 25; 1pm-4pm; from Dh275; Al Raha; 056 545 0145


The cosy Al Seef Village restaurant is serving a festive set menu composed of a main dish and a dessert.

The main course is a rolled turkey breast with cheese and cranberry, served with roasted potato and sweet potato, grilled Brussels sprouts, home-made stuffing and lashings of gravy. The dessert is a sticky date pudding with ice cream.

December 25; 8am-10pm; Dh99 per person; Al Seef Village; 02 222 1142

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr

The five-star Abu Dhabi beach resort is hosting a festive-themed Christmas Market brunch.

On offer is a mix of international cuisines, from Italian to Japanese and Middle Eastern. Quintessential festive dishes such as turkey with bread stuffing, beef Wellington and Christmas puddings are on the menu. Live entertainment is on site, while children can enjoy activities, including an appearance from Santa.

December 25; 1pm-4pm; from Dh335 per person; Khor Al Maqta; 02 654 3333

New Year's Eve

Dino's Bistro Italiano

The Italian restaurant at Pearl Rotana Capital Centre is hosting a brunch on New Year's Eve, with a classic buffet that includes an antipasti station, cheeses and cold cuts, artisanal breads, as well as a turkey carving station. A live performer will set the festive mood.

December 31; 7pm-12.30am; from Dh340 per person; Al Rawdah; 02 654 3238

Grills at Chill'O

Head to the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche venue if you want to end the year with some French food. The buffet has a bouillabaisse station, and there's also foie gras, scallops, oysters, lobsters and other fresh catch. A live performance by QB and Royal Duo are also in the cards.

December 31; 8pm-1am; from Dh395 per person; Corniche; 02 813 7777


The family-friendly restaurant in The WB Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton is hosting a retro-themed party counting down to 2024.

The buffet includes a salad bar, antipasti section, pasta station and live grill. Mains include pan-seared sea bass with lemon butter, slow-cooked short ribs with braised red cabbage and vegetable lasagne with a tomato emulsion.

This is a good choice for families with small children, as the venue will host Warner Bros characters throughout the evening.

December 31; 8pm-midnight; from Dh199 per person; Yas Bay; 02 815 0000

Moon Deck

A good spot to watch the fireworks display on Al Maryah Island, the outdoor lounge is welcoming guests for a relaxed New Year's Eve party. A Dh350 entrance fee is fully redeemable on a la carte food and beverages.

December 31; 8pm-midnight; Dh250 per person; Le Meridien Abu Dhabi; 02 644 6666

The Director’s Club

Ring in 2024 with a dinner at the laid-back venue in The WB Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton.

The set menu starts with grilled razor clams followed by asparagus chowder with scallops. The main course is a choice between glacier cod fish with chorizo crisp and Josper-grilled Wagyu fillet. End the meal with a red fruit mousse with vanilla moist sponge.

December 31; 5.30pm-midnight; from Dh350 per person; Yas Bay; 02 815 0000

Updated: November 29, 2023, 6:53 AM