Top 10: Al Maryah Island opens its Winter Wonderland with a tree lighting, visit the Dar Al Zain Festival in Al Ain, celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary at events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Your essential guide to what's happening in the Emirates

The annual Winter Wonderland on Al Maryah Island kicks off tonight at 7pm with the tree-lighting ceremony. Al Maryah Island
The annual Winter Wonderland on Al Maryah Island kicks off tonight at 7pm with the tree-lighting ceremony. Al Maryah Island

Abu Dhabi

Festive fun

The annual Winter Wonderland at Al Maryah Island kicks off today with a tree-lighting ceremony at the waterfront promenade at 7pm. Enjoy live performances, storytelling, visit Santa’s grotto at The Galleria and explore a variety of festive foods, arts and crafts and carnival games. Winter cottages host children’s activities including snow-globe-making, face-painting and cookie-decorating.

Daily until December 26, various timings, The Galleria and the waterfront promenade on Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi,

Abu Dhabi

Food festival

Visit Street Fest as part of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival. Discover some of the best local and international street food vendors with more than 40 food trucks, trailers and pop-ups, featuring cuisine prepared by renowned international chefs. Plus, enjoy an urban market, hear live musical performances, see Bboy hip-hop dance battles and street artists from around the world who will present graffiti artworks.

Daily until Saturday, then December 21 to 23, 2pm to 11pm, Dh30, Lake Park, Corniche, Abu Dhabi,

Visit Street Fest at Lake Park on the Corniche as part of Abu Dhabi Food Festival. Truckers DXB
Visit Street Fest at Lake Park on the Corniche as part of Abu Dhabi Food Festival. Truckers DXB

Al Ain


Attend the Dal Al Zain Festival, which features an outdoor village with live entertainment, children’s shows, craft stalls, a retail zone, and culinary selections from kiosks and food trucks. Singer Myriam Fares will perform tonight, Mohamed Al Shehhi will be on stage tomorrow night. Next week sees Balqees Fathi on December 22 and Majid Al Mohandis on December 23. Plus, visit the Glow Theme Flower Gardens and Maze for great photos with the lights and colours.

Daily until December 23, 4pm to midnight Sunday to Thursday; 2pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday, from Dh15 for children; from Dh30 for adults, Al Ain,

Abu Dhabi

Ice hockey event

In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, make plans to visit the Canada 150 Cup Ice Hockey Summit at the ice rink at Zayed Sports City, where all-stars from the women’s and men’s teams in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will play an exhibition showcasing Canada’s national winter sport. Take part in a free public skating event at 5pm before the medal presentation.

Tomorrow, 1pm to 7pm, free entry, Abu Dhabi Ice Rink, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi,

Abu Dhabi

Family fun

Families will enjoy the festive fun at The Mall at World Trade Center, where Santa Claus will greet young visitors and hear their wishes and families can take photos to capture the experience. Britain’s Got Talent finalists Vadik and The Bear will perform a show with laughter and action the whole family will enjoy.

Today and tomorrow for Vadik and The Bear; visits with Santa run until December 24, 5pm to 10pm, The Mall at World Trade Center, Abu Dhabi, 02 508 2400,


Read more:

A guide to the UAE's festive and Christmas menus 2017

2017 in Review: a year of progress and creativity in the arts

From small-town storytelling to Dubai: Danny Bhoy to play Dubai Opera



Cultural event

Attend a Canadian arts and culture programme to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Today’s youth event features a clay workshop with Canadian aboriginal artist KC Adams, an event with Reading Dogs UAE, arts and crafts and parkour. Tomorrow’s family programme includes yoga with lululemon, art with KC Adams, Canadian musical acts Cold Specks and Nuvo Jazz Trio, and a screening of the film Window Horses by Canadian filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming. See art exhibitions and enjoy Canadian food offerings.

Today and tomorrow, 3pm to 5pm today for the youth programme; 10am to 9pm tomorrow for the public programme, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai,



Visit Echo, a multi-sensory festival where art, design and technology intersect. See 20 experiential installations, hear talks by researchers on topics including living tech and interactive experiences, and take part in workshops for creatives that include a variety of subjects including Live Visual Performance, E-textile and Video Mapping.

Daily until Saturday, various timings and prices, D3, Dubai,



Get into the festive spirit at Jingle Bell Favourites at Dubai Opera. Enjoy a family concert of carols and Christmas classics performed by London Concert Orchestra Show Band, Capital Voices and West End soloists, as well as a singalong. Hit include All I Want for Christmas, Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland and more.

Daily until Saturday, 8pm tonight; 3pm and 8pm tomorrow; 11am and 3pm on Saturday, from Dh150, Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai,


Santa visit

Families will enjoy a visit to Le Méridien Dubai where Santa speaks a variety of languages including English and German. There is a soft-play area, gingerbread-making sessions and more for kids, and food and drinks stalls for parents. Entry to The Santa’s Garden is free when a Santa visit is booked for Dh25, which includes a digital copy of the family photo.

Daily until December 24, 4pm to 8pm, Yalumba Picnic Lawn, Le Méridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre, Dubai,

Santa speaks English, French, Spanish and German at Le Meridien Dubai.
Santa speaks English, French, Spanish and German at Le Meridien Dubai.


Comedy show

Get tickets to see comedian Jason Manford as he launches his Muddle Class tour in Dubai on New Year’s Eve. The British comedian returns to Dubai for a gig, in which he explores life growing up working class, then discovering that part of him became middle class, causing much confusion. Then ring in the new year with DJ Gail playing top hits, plus a 360-degree view of the fireworks. Additional shows will take place in Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi.

December 31, doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8.30pm, from Dh195, Al Thuray Ballroom, Grand Millennium Barsha Heights, Dubai; January 4, DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah; January 5, Ballroom, Park Rotana, Abu Dhabi,

Published: December 14, 2017 01:00 AM


Editor's Picks
Sign up to:

* Please select one