Ten fun-filled Christmas Day feasts in the UAE

Unable to make it home for the holidays or want to celebrate in the UAE? Here are our top picks on where to enjoy a merry feast on Christmas Day in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
La Brasseries offers a roast night on Christmas Day starting at Dh295. iStock
La Brasseries offers a roast night on Christmas Day starting at Dh295. iStock

We’ve sifted through the many holiday offerings at restaurants across the country (there are a lot) for a list of favourite festive feasts. All you have to do is show up and enjoy.


Santa’s Enchanted Village at Le Meridien Hotel: This holiday brunch takes place across the hotel’s large garden and features food from the hotel’s signature restaurants. There will be a seafood buffet, Greek dishes, Arabic cuisine, Italian bites from a live pizza, pasta and risotto-making station, a barbecue station and more. It’s a good opportunity to get a taste of the hotel’s two newly opened restaurants: The Latest Recipe and Acropolis. There will be a festive kids’ buffet and Santa Claus will be on hand to take photos and hand out gifts. From Dh260 per person, Dh130 for kids. From 1pm onwards. For reservations, call 02 644 6666.

Christmas at The Foundry: This celebrated steakhouse in the Southern Sun Hotel offers a festive brunch complete with festive lights and decorations. Chefs will serve up traditional holiday favourites along with a range of global dishes. Santa Claus will also visit the restaurant to pass out gifts to kids. From 12:30pm to 4pm, Dh275+. For reservations, call 02 818 4888.

The InterContinental Abu Dhabi Marina Brunch: The hotel’s famous marina brunch will transform into a festive setting on Christmas day. Guests can enjoy signature dishes from Chamas, The Yacht Club, The Belgian Cafe and more while relaxing to sounds of the hotel’s Christmas choir who will sing festive carols throughout the brunch. For kids, there will be a bouncy castle, a cartoon corner and a visit from Santa Claus. You can also visit the gingerbread house in the lobby, which will be selling traditional Christmas treats throughout December. From panettone to homemade cookies, you’ll easily find something to satisfy your sweet tooth. The brunch runs from noon to 4pm, from Dh250+. For reservations, call 02 666 6888.

Festive Brunch at the Silk Route Cafe: Brunch with Santa Claus at one of the best value brunches in the capital. The Silk Route Cafe at the Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi is offering a festive brunch for just Dh149. Guests will get their fill of the restaurant’s extensive buffet with traditional roast turkey, Christmas puddings and more. Along with a visit from Santa Claus, kids will stay entertained with special activities in the hotel’s Kidz Zone (there’s a kids’ buffet too). Kids under age 6 eat free. From 12:30 to 3:30pm. For reservations, call 02 657 4856

Christmas at the Ritz: The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal will fire up 27 live cooking stations on Christmas day and serve guests a feast fit for kings. Stations include Wagyu beef carving, noodle pulling, and a seafood and oyster bar. The Dolce dessert room is what kids’ Christmas dreams are made of: chocolate fondue, Christmas cookies, minced pies, panettone, yule logs and more. Kids will also enjoy a surprise visit from Santa Claus. A pianist will be on hand to add to the festive atmosphere. The brunch runs from 12:30pm to 4pm, Dh400+, children age four and under are free. Dh100 for kids from four to 12 years old and a 25 per cent discount for those between 13 and 16. For reservations, call 02 818 8282.


Raffles Dubai: On Christmas day, the hotel offers a Winter Wonderland themed roast in a festive atmosphere. The celebration will feature traditional Christmas market stalls and gingerbread houses serving holiday sweets. Executive chef Tuomas Heikkinen will serve up many festive dishes inspired by his childhood, including his favourite: Finnish hot smoked salmon prepared over an open fire pit. From 12:30 to 4pm, Dh595 per person, inclusive of beverages. For reservations, call 04 324 8888.

Brunch at the Souk Festive Market, Madinat Jumeirah: On Christmas day, head to the Souk Festive Market for a one-of-a-kind brunch. Children will have exclusive, unlimited and complimentary access to rides and activities throughout the brunch, which include a North Pole train, an ice rink, Santa’s grotto, bouncy castle and a reindeer rodeo. Everyone dining for brunch will have exclusive access to the festive stalls and live entertainment on site. From noon to 5pm, Christmas day, Dh500+ per person. For reservations, call 04 366 6730. *The Souk Festive Market operates through December 27 and is open to all with free entry on all other days and times. Those who come for the brunch have exclusive access to the market during noon to 5pm only on Christmas day.

Christmas Day at The Ivy: If you’re looking for a traditional British dinner, book a table at The Ivy. The restaurant will host three sittings of their three-course Christmas menu. On the menu: a traditional roast turkey, foie gras, pan-fried sea bass, chargrilled halibut and more — along with a range of your favourite Christmas desserts. There will also be an unlimited artisan cheese trolley. Live music by Ciaran Fox during the day and Paul Bester at night will help set the festive mood. Seatings are from noon to 3:30, 4pm to 7:30pm and 8pm to 11:30pm. From Dh599 per person. The Ivy is located in Jumeirah Emirates Towers. For reservations, call 04 319 8767.

Atlantis, The Palm: For a picturesque holiday celebration, dine at one of the many restaurants in Atlantis, The Palm. The hotel’s elaborate Winterland Festive Village includes a snow-covered area adorned with sleighs, trees, life-size gingerbread houses, Santa’s elves and a chocolate river flowing with 100 litres of chocolate. Guests can buy authentic Christmas treats at the Festive Shop through January 7. Many of the hotel’s restaurants have special Christmas lunches and dinners. For a traditional dinner, book a table at La Brasserie for their roast night on Christmas day from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. Dh295+ per person. For reservations, call 04 426 2626.

Brunch at Fairmont The Palm: Make a reservation for the special Christmas brunch at Flow Kitchen at Fairmont The Palm. Highlights of the brunch include mince meat tarts, panettone bread pudding, gingerbread cookies and eggnog crème brûlée. Santa Claus will also make an appearance. The hotel has set up a Christmas market so after you fill your belly, you can browse traditional market stalls selling a range of gifts. The Christmas market runs Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 5pm to 9pm through December 27. The Christmas day brunch is from noon to 3:30pm for Dh295 per person. Children can sign up for the Christmas day package for Dh200 and have access to the Fairmont Falcons Juniors’ Club, which includes games, entertainment, face painting, gingerbread decorating workshop and plenty of festive treats. For reservations, call 04 457 3457.


Published: December 17, 2014 04:00 AM


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