Expo City Dubai to transform into magical ‘Winter City’ to celebrate the holidays

Fifty days of free festivities include a 16-metre tall Christmas tree, carol singers, a traditional market and Santa's grotto

Fifty days of winter festivities at Expo City Dubai will centre around a 16-metre tall Christmas tree. AFP
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The holidays are coming early this year as Expo City Dubai is transforming into a Winter City later this month.

From November 23, through UAE National Day and into the New Year, the Mobility District, Surreal water feature and Al Wasl Plaza at Expo City Dubai will host 50 days of festivities.

As well as a chalet-style Christmas market, there will be traditional fairground games, a place for children to post their letters to Santa and plenty of decorated pine trees.

Santa poses for a picture with kids during the official Expo 2020  Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Dubai. REUTERS / Satish Kumar

The festive celebrations will begin on December 9 with a tree lighting ceremony to illuminate the district’s 16-metre tall Christmas tree. The White Christmas theme will be reflected in the projection show at Al Wasl Dome, which will transform nightly into a glowing wintry spectacle.

With the scent of mulled drinks and mince pies wafting through the air, families can try wreath and ornament-making workshops, take part in gingerbread baking classes and visit Expo City’s toy factory where teddy bears can be customised for each child. There’s also a fully-decorated Santa’s Grotto.

Live entertainment is scheduled with a performance called Mrs Claus Christmas Show running from December 20-29, and Carols by Candlelight will place in the five days including and leading up to Christmas Day.

Dogs are also welcome to join the festive fun, as Expo City Dubai is now pooch friendly with complimentary water bowls, treats and waste bags available for all four-legged visitors.

UAE National Day at Expo City Dubai

Winter City is also where UAE National Day celebrations will be under way at Expo City Dubai this year.

Celebrating 51 years since the UAE was founded, it will feature special commemorations for three days — from November 30, culminating in a special concert on December 2.

And for children who can’t get enough of Expo City Dubai, the two-week Winter Camp will be a place where they can have fun outdoors and take part in interactive indoor activities at Terra at The Sustainability Pavilion and Alif at The Mobility Pavilion. It’s open to children aged 6 to 12 years, and prices vary.

As part of the winter season, Expo City Dubai is also hosting a family-friendly Fan City to show all the action from the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022. Opening on November 20, the same day as the footballing spectacle, it will kick-start the seasonal transformation.

Christmas celebrations at Expo 2020 Dubai - in pictures

Updated: November 28, 2022, 6:11 AM
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