The best Christmas lights in the Middle East

Around 15 million Christians live in the region but Christmas is popular with families of various faiths

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As the region in which Jesus was born begins celebrations of Christmas, cities and towns are lighting up in celebration.

Here are the best from the Middle East:


Lebanon's ancient city of Byblos made its best effort to put on a show despite a protracted economic crisis that caused the city to skip decorations in 2020.

Regulars commented that the tree was smaller than last year and the celebrations muted compared to five years ago, but still, it warmed locals' hearts. Residents will also be hoping the tree and its accompanying Christmas market will attract some much-needed tourism.

Around 32 per cent of Lebanese are Christian, according to a US report on religious freedom from last year.

Achrafieh and Beirut also showed off their light displays this year.


Fireworks lit the sky near the Church of the Nativity this month to kick off Christmas celebrations under the theme of “From Bethlehem to the World: The spirit of Christmas Brings us Together”.

The festivities took four months to prepare and coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Church of the Nativity making the Unesco World Heritage list.

Christians make up 1 per cent to 2.5 per cent of the West Bank population and less than 1 per cent in the Gaza Strip.

The town also holds a Santa parade.


A Christmas tree stands out in the bombed-out city of Aleppo in Syria this year. There is little for residents to be hopeful for as the civil war continues to drag on, particularly in the north.

The UN found attacks in northern Aleppo had killed or injured at least 92 civilians in the first six months of this year, destroying homes, schools, mosques, medical facilities and administrative buildings in the process.


As usual, the UAE is committing to the festive season with fervour. All around the Emirates, trees are springing up and lights festoon shopping centres and streets.

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

The British import Winter Wonderland is making its mark in Saudi Arabia for the third time, and has been brought to Kuwait for the first time.

Updated: December 13, 2022, 3:53 PM