Celebrating Christmas in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, one of the more known cities in the UAE is viewed as the more “traditional” place in the country. So when it comes to holidays, one of the main things people want to know is what exactly happens during the Christmas season in Abu Dhabi.

This post will look at some of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi during Christmas. If you’re planning on spending the holidays here or are simply interested, keep reading.


Celebrating Christmas in Abu Dhabi

Christmas in Abu Dhabi

Christmas is celebrated all across the world on the 25th of December. Although the UAE is a Muslim nation, there are plenty of places to celebrate this holiday in Abu Dhabi.

The city of Abu Dhabi is known for its vibrant and festive atmosphere. This is because the various decorations and lights that are displayed throughout the city make it a perfect Christmas destination.

It’s a great opportunity for families and friends to celebrate Christmas in Abu Dhabi. If you live in the capital city, then you can expect to see the festivities taking place all around the area.

Christmas markets, tree lightings, and winter wonderland shows are some of the activities that can be enjoyed in Abu Dhabi during this season.

The various celebrations held in the UAE and Abu Dhabi during the Christmas season are considered to be some of the most popular events of the year.

In the following sections, we’ll talk about all the fun activities that you can expect to enjoy during the Christmas season in Abu Dhabi, which include:

  • Festive Tree lighting
  • Christmas markets and winter wonderlands
  • Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas day brunches

Where to Find the Best Christmas Trees in Abu Dhabi

Christmas tree lighting is one of the most popular events during Christmas in Abu Dhabi. This is actually the first event that’s held during the season, and it has been going on for several years now. With the help of good old-fashioned Christmas tree lighting, you can make your holiday time-off a bit more festive this season. It’s also a great way to spend time with your loved ones. Check out these:

Celebrating Christmas in Abu Dhabi

1. Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort

The hotel will host a Christmas Tree Lighting on 7 December starting at 6 pm. With Christmas carols setting a serene mood and Santa (plus gifts!) scheduled to arrive, let the merry-making begin!

2. Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

Gather your family and friends at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club to ring in the holiday season. As the Christmas tree lights up in all its glory, there’s a delicious BBQ dinner for you to enjoy. And then of course, what celebration is complete without carolers and Santa? Definitely a must-visit!

3. Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi

The entire Dubai Mall will be transformed into a stunning winter wonderland this December. Families will love the Christmas Tree, which was installed on Friday, November 17. The tree is over 62 metres tall, with thousands of twinkling lights and a star at the top that weighs over 90 kilograms! It’s surrounded by carolers who sing Christmas songs every day from 7 to 10 December. There’s also a beautiful Christmas market to explore. From treats, games and activities for the whole family to a special visit from Santa himself, there’s cheer in abundance.

4. Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi

Gather around the lobby and usher in the festive season with a gorgeous Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi Corniche on 8 December. The event will begin at 7pm, when you can enjoy cinnamon-infused mocktails and hot chocolate while listening to carols. Then, from 8.30pm to 9pm, watch as the hotel’s gorgeous Christmas tree is lit in true holiday spirit.

5. Radisson Blu Al Ain

The Garden City of Al Ain will be in full festive swing when Radisson Blu Al Ain hosts a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on 8 December. Starting at 6pm, the evening’s festivities will feature performances by the hotel’s in-house band and an appearance by Santa Claus, who will treat everyone nice enough to attend to some holiday cheer. In addition to the tree lighting, there will be tasty treats available throughout the night in the hotel lobby. More information is available by calling 056 6853832.

6. Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort

As the sun sets, you will be able to see a magnificent Christmas Tree. They will have a festive shop in place! It will be filled with traditional delicacies and a spectacle limited to in-house guests and invitees scheduled for 11 December 2022. For more information, please call 02 811 4342.

7. The WB™ Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton

Meet your favourite characters and loved ones at the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, featuring the choir singing your favourite carols and festive treats. The event will take place in the lobby from 5:30 – 6:30 pm, and is suitable for children.

8. Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island

On 9 December, Osmo – Lounge & Bar will host a Christmas tree lighting. From 6pm to 6:30pm, guests can enjoy complimentary treats and beverages while singing along to their favorite holiday songs and meeting Santa. To plan your visit, please contact Osmo – Lounge & Bar at 02 208 6900.

9. Yas Links Abu Dhabi

The best way to kick off the season of merriment is obviously with a Christmas Tree Lighting. On December 9, gather your family to attend the annual festive tree lighting on the Lawn of Yas Links Abu Dhabi. Enjoy Glühwein, festive cookies and kids’ activities, including a Santa visit and giveaways. All while the choir keeps spirits up of course.

10. Yas Acres Golf & Country Club

On 17 December at 6 pm, the Christmas tree lighting here will be a full-fledged event. The whole family can indulge in a festive roast while listening to carols performed by a traditional choir. Plenty of activities will keep the kids occupied, so it’s shaping up to be quite a magical time of the year.

Where to Buy Christmas Decorations in Abu Dhabi

Shopping for Christmas decorations in Abu Dhabi can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the city. However, with some effort and research, you’ll find plenty of shops that sell everything from traditional Christmas trees to handmade ornaments. Here are some of our top picks:

1. Lulu Hypermarket

2. Nestlé Hypermarket

3. Spinneys

4. Carrefour

5. Marina Mall

6. Al Ain Mall

7. City Centre

8. Yas Island

9. Abu Dhabi Mall

10. The Galleria

11. Al Wahda Mall

12. Festival City

And if braving through shopping malls isn’t your thing, you can always find Christmas decorations online. We recommend checking out the following websites:

1. Amazon.ae

2. Awok

3. Carrefour UAE

4. Desertcart

5. DODuae

6. Dubizzle

7. Gadgetby

8. Jumbo

9. Kibsons

10. Namshi

11. Noon

12. Ounass

Best Things To Do This Christmas In Abu Dhabi

Have Breakfast With Santa

Le Royal Meridien Dubai is hosting a Breakfast with Santa event this December. The hotel is offering up a festive breakfast buffet with fun sing-alongs, storytime, activities, and of course an opportunity to meet Santa Claus himself. Tickets must be purchased in advance online.

Gingerbread House Decorating At Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi

The Grand Hyatt in Abu Dhabi is offering a holiday workshop for kids on December 4. Children can unleash their creativity and decorate gingerbread houses with an assortment of sweets in Santa’s interactive workshop.

Gingerbread Factory At B-Lounge

For kids ages 5-12, B-Lounge offers gingerbread house-building parties. Children can build their own gingerbread houses and take them home. In addition to assembling the walls and decorating with colorful frosting and candy, the chefs will cook a kid-friendly Christmas buffet for them to enjoy. Santa has also promised to stop by on December 7th and bring gifts to all participating children as part of this festive event. For more information, please call +971 55 367 5083 or email blounge@sheratonabudhabi.com.

Festive Afternoon Tea At The Pearl Lounge

A family-friendly event, the Festive Afternoon Tea brings the Christmas spirit to life through delicious cookies and cakes. Guests can enjoy this special occasion from December 4 onwards between 3 PM and 7 PM. AED 160 per person gets them a selection of treats along with hot beverages, while AED 199 nets them an afternoon tea, sparkling wine or mocktail and a decadent dessert for two people.

The Best Christmas Markets and other Fun Events in Abu Dhabi

Christmastime in the capital is filled with exciting events and activities, some of which are free. From the beautifully decorated city center to the malls hosting their own fairs, there is no shortage of things to do.

Winter Wonderland – Al Maryah Island

Even though the outside temperatures are expected to be around 26 degrees Celsius on Christmas Day, Al Maryah Island’s Winter Wonderland event aims to bring a touch of winter to the city.

The Galleria promises a variety of festive attractions, such as a winter village, roaming entertainment, and a chance to meet Santa himself.

The Winter Wonderland takes place along the waterfront between the Four Seasons and the Rosewood Hotel. This event is free and open to the public.

Magic Phil’s Starlight Safari

Magic Phil, the UAE’s favorite entertainer for children, will be presenting his Christmas show, “Starlight Safari,” at the Theatre by Erth on November 26, 2022.

Santa’s Invitation

Join Holly as she makes her way to the North Pole in Theatre by Erth’s “The North Pole Musical Adventure”, which will be running from December 4 to 7.


This December, the pantomime Aladdin will be bringing some magic to the Capital. Performances will be held at the Theatre by Erth from December 20 to 26. Tickets start at AED 96 and are available online.

Raha Beach/Aldar Community Santa Chase (2022)

On December 10, 2022, Santa will make his way through Al Bandar before leading runners on a course through the canal paths between Al Zeina, Al Muneera, and Al Muneera in Abu Dhabi. There are also various races for children. All of the proceeds from the event will be used to support the work of Operation Smile. Participants are encouraged to bring their Santa hats and costumes.

Le Royal Meridien Festive Craft Market (2022)

The Le Royal Meridien will be holding its annual Christmas fair on December 3. This event features over 40 craft stalls, as well as food and beverage stalls. The entrance fee is free, and vouchers can be purchased for the food and beverage stalls.

Children can enjoy a variety of activities on the stage from 3 to 3.45 pm. Then, they can join Santa for a sing-along at 4 pm.

Al Muneera Beach Plaza Market

The market takes place in Al Muneera, and it’s a great way to enjoy the summer season. It features a variety of food and craft stalls, as well as live entertainment.

Sanderson’s Christmas Fair

A community cafe in Abu Dhabi’s Al Barsha district will be hosting a festive fair that will feature local products and entertainment for children. The event will be held on Saturday, December 8.

Abu Dhabi Mall Festive Market

The Abu Dhabi Mall will be home to a collection of more than 100 unique shops and restaurants, along with Santa photo sessions and crafting workshops.

St Joseph’s Christmas Festival

This annual parish event features a whole day of festive activities, including shopping at local businesses, food stalls and fun activities for children.

Shams Boutik Winter Festival

The Waitrose Mall on Reem Island will be holding various activities for its Christmas season, such as a cupcake-making contest and choir singing sessions. It’s also rumored that Santa will be making an appearance.

Video: Christmas is coming ft. Abu Dhabi Night Market

Spending the holidays in Abu Dhabi? Here’s what you can expect as the city is gearing up for a big celebration this season with events and activities happening almost every day, as experienced by our kababayan in the city.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does it snow in Abu Dhabi?

No, it does not snow in Abu Dhabi. However, the city will be celebrating the winter season with festive lights and decorations.

2. Can I swim in Abu Dhabi in December?

Yes, you can swim in Abu Dhabi even in December. There are some great beaches to visit and many hotels have their own swimming pools where you can enjoy a dip.

3. Is Abu Dhabi still hot in December?

YesNo, Abu Dhabi is no longer hot in December. So you can enjoy the outdoors already.

4. Is shopping in Abu Dhabi expensive in December?

The prices are similar to any other month of the year. However, you can find plenty of bargains and sales in December if you know where to look.

5. Do the Emirates celebrate Christmas?

Although the United Arab Emirates is an Islamic country, Christmas decorations can still be seen in shops and hotels throughout it. Streets are also adorned with trees and lights.

6. Do Muslims celebrate Christmas?

Although Muslims do not celebrate Christmas, they try to help those who are alone by attending church services and participating in food drives.

7. How can I celebrate Christmas in Au Dhabi?

The Christmas season in Abu Dhabi’s a popular time of year. The city’s major landmarks and malls are adorned with decorations and festive lights, while many Christmas markets provide shoppers with a wide selection of gifts.

Final Thoughts

Celebrating Christmas in Abu Dhabi

Regardless of your religious beliefs, Christmas in Abu Dhabi is a significant holiday event for both tourists and residents. This is why various events and activities are held in the city to celebrate the season. If you’re planning on visiting or residing in the capital, we hope that you’ll take the opportunity this Christmas to experience the city’s festive atmosphere.

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