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

Think Vivaldi on December 24, Cucina on the 25th and Bombay Bungalow for a budget year-end bash

Enjoy turkey with all the trimmings at beach club Koko Bay for Dh300 on Christmas Day. Photo: Koko Bay
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Going out for Christmas brunch or New Year's Eve dinner during the busy, festive season needn't necessarily break the bank.

Although Dubai has a reputation for its extravagant year-end soirees, a number of venues are dishing out more affordable options, priced at Dh500 and below. Here are some to check out.

Christmas Eve

Carnival by Tresind

The Michelin-recommended restaurant in DIFC serves modern Indian cuisine in a carnival-themed space. Dishes include tuna pani puri, galouti kebab rolls, brisket biryani and crab meat in coconut curry, plus a myriad pf vegetarian options from lentil cappuccino and jackfruit croquettes to ghewar chaat and kohlrabi taco.

This year, it's pulling out all the stops by offering multiple-course menus for less than Dh500, not only on Christmas Eve, but also on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.

December 24; 1pm to 4pm; from Dh375 per person for an eight-course meal; December 25; 7pm onwards; from Dh300 per person for a nine-course meal; December 31; 7pm onwards; from Dh425 per person for a nine-course meal; DIFC; 052 242 4262

Cafe de Paris

The Paris-inspired restaurant in Business Bay is serving a three-course set menu on December 24.

Diners can choose from smoked salmon with beetroot focaccia, foie gras with tajine bread or roast scallops with chestnut sauce for starters. The main course includes 180g tenderloin with mashed potatoes and candied onion, tiger prawns risotto with lobster bisque and slow-cooked chicken breast. End the meal with a Christmasberry cake of chocolate yule log.

December 24; 7pm-midnight; Dh199 per person; Business Bay; 050 751 2318

Drift Beach

The beachside venue at One & Royal Mirage Dubai is serving a set menu on Christmas Eve. Dishes include white shrimp with wild mushroom, shellfish nage foam and charred leek, ravioli stuffed with three cheeses, and foie gras with apple mango chutney, toasted brioche and nuts.

For desserts, the restaurant is serving poached pear with gingerbread and chestnut ice cream, a traditional yule log and a fruit platter.

December 24; 7pm-10pm; from Dh385 per person; One & Royal Mirage Dubai; 04 315 2200

The Bay

The Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah restaurant has a Mediterranean set menu on Christmas Eve, with dishes such as burrata and truffle tortellini, insalata di mare and grilled beef strip loin. The meal ends with a traditional panettone for dessert. Live music is part of the experience.

December 24; 12.30pm-11pm; Dh320 per person; Jumeirah 1; 04 777 2233

The Restaurant

Diners at the Address Grand Creek Harbour restaurant can indulge in a four-course Christmas-themed menu, while being serenaded by live entertainment.

On the menu are dishes such as goose terrine, roasted duck breast and a hazelnut chocolate Christmas log.

December 24; 6.30pm-10.30pm; from Dh450 per person; Dubai Creek Harbour; 04 275 8833


Diners can choose from a limited-time festive menu, with relatively reasonably priced dishes at this restaurant at The Opus by Omniyat.

À la carte dishes include slow-cooked beef cheek with grilled parsnips and cranberry sauce (Dh195), sage-rubbed chicken with orange-glazed carrots (Dh140), stracciatella ravioli (Dh95) and smoked duck salad (Dh90).

December 10 to 30; 6pm onwards; Business Bay; 058 101 5649

L’Olivo Ristorante

Against the backdrop of foot-tapping Christmas melodies, diners at this Italian spot in Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites can indulge in a turkey feast, complete with all the trimmings, as well as other festive delicacies. The dinner is suited to families with children, with a surprise Santa visit on the cards.

December 24; 6.30pm-11pm; from Dh380 per person; Palm Jumeirah; 04 457 5454

McGettigan's Factory

The popular pub is serving either a roast rib-eye or a classic roast chicken for diners on Christmas Eve. Both come paired with buttered cauliflower and a choice of beverage.

December 24; noon onwards; Dh129 per person; Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah; 054 994 1461


The Italian-Mediterranean restaurant at Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel is hosting an evening brunch on Christmas Eve.

Start the meal with a selection of breads and cheeses, followed by salads such as lentil and Caprese. Hot appetisers include fried squid and shrimp tempura. For mains, diners can expect roasted beef or turkey and baked salmon, followed by a selection from the dessert table.

December 24; 7.30pm-10.30pm; from Dh249 per person; Port Saeed; 056 216 0072


Diners can expect a four-course set menu at this SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences restaurant, with dishes inspired by traditional Italian, notably Roman cuisines.

The meal begins with carpaccio di polpo and insalata de aranca, followed by tartufo pizza and tortellini. Mains include oven-baked sea bass with grilled vegetables, while dessert is a traditional Italian pandoro.

December 24; 6.30 onwards; Dh394 per person; Business Bay; 04 607 0770


If you're looking for rich, North Indian cuisine for Christmas Eve, this family-friendly restaurant at Dukes The Palm has a set menu with dishes such as turkey vindaloo, kundan kaliya and kandhari murgh among others.

December 24; 6.30pm-11pm; from Dh245 per person; Palm Jumeirah; 04 455 1101

Christmas Day

Trader Vic's

Celebrate Christmas tropical-style at this Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah gastropub.

Its Tiki brunch features a seafood bar including green-lipped mussels, smoked salmon and oysters There is also a salad bar, cheeseboard and live grilling station that serves different meat cuts, from lamb chops to chicken kebab. There is also a Christmas carving station with roast turkey, Angus strip loin and bone-in lamb leg.

December 25; 1pm-4pm; from Dh399 per person; Palm Jumeirah; 04 230 0050


The restaurant at Bluewaters is hosting a Christmas brunch, serving Chinese and Japanese dishes, from sushi and dim sum platters to wok wild rice and slow-cooked duck. There is also a vegan menu option.

Children aged six and under dine for free, and they will also be treated with gifts from under the restaurant's Christmas tree. A live singer will serenade the guests with holiday tunes.

December 25; 1pm-4pm; from Dh300 per person; Bluewaters; 04 393 9990


Expect a four-course dinner featuring South American flavours at Asado on Christmas Day.

Starters include quail egg with avocado cream, beef tongue slices with garlic-parsley vinaigrette, roasted beef with anchovies and tuna dressing among other appetisers. For mains, guests can choose from grilled meats such as chorizo and strip loin, served with rocket Parmesan salad, truffle fries and grilled vegetables.

The meal ends with a sweet treat such as caramel mousse, dulce de leche, raspberry silk and white chocolate ganache.

December 25; 6.30pm-11.30pm; from Dh450 per person; Downtown Dubai; 04 428 7961


The Italian restaurant at Marriot Resort Palm Jumeirah is hosting a family-friendly brunch, complete with an appearance by Santa.

Dishes include roast turkey with all the trimmings, alongside a selection of focaccia, cheeses, pizza and pasta, as well as classic Italian desserts such as tiramisu and gelato. A musical duo is on-site to provide entertainment, and there is a dedicated play area for little ones.

December 25; 1.30pm-4.30pm; from Dh495 per person; Palm Jumeirah; 04 666 1408

Koko Bay

Brunch by the beach is how Koko Bay is celebrating Christmas Day this year.

While a DJ and live performers set the mood, diners can indulge in sharing-style starters, including Alaskan crab maki roll, smoked tomato and basil arancini or king oyster mushroom and halloumi kushiyaki. For mains, there's robata sea bream filler, Wagyu beef galbi and roasted turkey breast. End the meal with Christmas pudding and coconut lemon grass basque cheesecake.

December 25; 1pm-4pm; from Dh300 per person; Palm West Beach; 04 572 3444

Raffles Dubai

Held in the hotel's ballroom and garden, the Christmas Day brunch features a selection of roasted meats and live carvery, plus some seafood options, fine cheeses and an array of desserts.

The hotel is replete with festive decor and offers live entertainment as well as a visit from Santa bearing gifts for children.

December 25; 1pm-4pm; from Dh450 per person; Wafi; 04 324 8888


The Rixos Premium Dubai restaurant has a three-course festive meal for diners on Christmas Day. Classic Greek flavours are features on the menu with dishes such as truffle tzatziki, melitzanosalata or smoked eggplant spread, crispy anchovies and more.

There's also Greek-style beef carpaccio, grilled octopus, meat platter with lamb chops, baby and ribeye served with grilled vegetables, as well as seafood platter with seabream, king prawns and lobster. For vegetarians, there is a truffle mushroom orzo on the menu.

December 25; 1pm-4pm; from Dh295; Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR; 052 777 9473

Mott 32

Curated by chef Frankie Yang, the festive brunch menu at this Address Beach Resort restaurant features Asian flavours, from soft shell crab and sweet and sour chicken to 42-day aged Peking duck salad.

For dessert, diners can expect sesame tart with lime, sea salt and pine nuts, as well as a sweet version of a xiao long bao, with an almond and chocolate ooling tea filling. Live entertainment includes Chinese calligraphy artists crafting bespoke fans for guests.

December 25; 12.30pm-4pm; from Dh475 per person; Dubai Marina; 04 278 4832

The Crossing

The Indian restaurant at The H Dubai is serving an eight-course festive menu featuring South Asian flavours.

Chef Jitin Joshi blends influences from traditional and modern Indian cuisine, inspired by quintessential festive ingredients. Dishes include lamb mince and potato croquette, turkey kofta and beetroot chops. Guests can also indulge in the restaurant's popular dishes, such as twisted papdi chaat and Kerala fish curry.

Until December 25; noon-1am; Dh175 per person; The H Hotel; 04 491 9695

Lucky Fish

A Christmas turkey feast awaits at The Palm Jumeirah West Beach restaurant.

The meal includes oven-roasted turkey, served with roasted baby potatoes, mixed vegetables and berry compote. For groups of four or more, the whole turkey is served on the table, while smaller groups can indulge in shared platters. The restaurant is only preparing three turkeys per hour, so advanced booking is encouraged.

December 24 to 26; noon onwards; Dh495 per person; Palm Jumeirah; 04 569 3447


The Siberia-inspired restaurant at Souk Madinat Jumeirah has a festive set menu for diners on Christmas Day. On the menu is tabbouleh and muhammara for starters, followed by a signature Shishka mushroom soup. For mains, guests can choose between Uzbek pilaf or stuffed turkey, a golden panna cotta is served to conclude the meal.

Until December 26; 3pm-11pm; from Dh285 per person; Souk Madinat Jumeirah; 055 1638 8216

New Year's Eve

Claw BBQ

Ring in the New Year with an all-American buffet at this Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah restaurant.

Live entertainment aside, brunch includes a seafood bar with oysters, shrimps, white clams and black shell mussels. There is a live carving station with herb-marinated roasted beef and slow-roasted turkey with all the trimmings. Also on-site is a salad bar, guacamole station and a table full of sweet treats.

December 31; 8pm-midnight; from Dh399 per person; Palm Jumeirah; 04 230 0054

Honeycomb Hi-Fi

For those looking to party, this izakaya-style venue at Pullman Dubai Downtown is offering an unlimited drinks package to welcome 2024.

Music from resident DJs will dominate the dance floor, and those who want to have some bites can also opt for another package that includes free-flowing drinks and a selection of dishes such as chicken karaage and mochi stuffed wings.

December 31; 9pm-1am; from Dh450 per person (drinks only); Pullman Dubai Downtown; 04 412 6666

Miss Lily's

Also one for partygoers, the Caribbean-inspired venue at Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai has various drinks packages in store for guests on New Year's Eve. The evening will be livened up by New York DJ Juss who will be spinning tracks until late. Guests can opt to extend their packages after 12.30am for an additional fee.

December 31; 8pm onwards; from Dh250 per person; Trade Centre; 04 356 2900

Mumbai Bungalow

The Indian restaurant at The Beach Mall is serving a five-course dinner on New Year's Eve.

There are two seating options, indoors and outdoors, and the menu features dishes such as lentil soup, aloo tiki chaat and guacamole pani puri for starters. For mains, diners can expect buratta butter chicken, veg jalfrezi and a kebab platter. The meal ends with moong dal kunafa or kufi falooda. A vegetarian menu is also on offer.

December 31; 8pm onwards; from Dh500 per person; JBR Walk; 800 6928779

Virgin Izakaya

This restaurant at Bluewaters has two seating options for its New Year's Eve celebration, with the outdoor area providing front-row seats to the fireworks show on the Dubai Marina skyline.

Both packages come with a set menu, with dishes such as caramelised miso eggplant, Wagyu steak and bluefin tuna steak. Other Japanese delights, such as sashimi, tataki and hand rolls, are also on offer.

December 31; 8pm onwards; from Dh500 per person; Bluewaters; 058 523 1702

Chutney's Restaurant

The Bur Dubai venue is hosting a New Year's Eve gala with North Indian dishes such as shahi paneer, gosht dum biryani, dal makhni and an array of South Asian sweets.

There is a live DJ, and guests can enjoy the view of the Dubai skyline from the pool deck.

December 31; 8pm-3am; from Dh300 per person; Movenpick Hotel & Apartments, Bur Dubai; 04 336 6000

High Five Bar & Lounge

Another one for the partygoers, the rooftop restaurant at Holiday Inn Express has a jampacked entertainment schedule to welcome 2024, from DJs spinning beats to captivating belly dancers. Various packages are available for drinks and light bites.

December 31; 10pm-3am; from Dh199 per person; Dubai Internet City; 055 537 7714

Bliss Pool Bar and Lounge

The rooftop pool bar is hosting a gala dinner under the stars on New Year's Eve, complete with an international buffet featuring a selection of kebabs, grilled seafood, steaks and more. There's also a live DJ to set the year-end ambience.

December 31; 9pm-12.30am; from Dh299 per person; Four Points by Sheraton Production City; 052 564 5681


The Italian restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah has tapped Italian violinist Pietro Bosacci to serenade guests on New Year's Eve and welcome 2024 with classical pieces.

Diners can order limited-edition dishes such as hand-made tortellini with beef oxtail stuffing in veal broth (Dh140), Swordfish roll filled with bread, caciocavallo cheese, raisin, pine nut and garlic (Dh170) and toasted panettone with zabaione (Dh75).

December 31; 7pm onwards; minimum spend of Dh300 per person; Restaurant Village, Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah; 04 349 0068

Updated: December 22, 2023, 8:39 AM