15 amazing things to do in Dubai this weekend: Dec 8 to 10

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The search for the best things to do in Dubai at the weekend isn’t exactly the easiest endeavor. Why? Because there are so many options – like the return of Sole DXB festival, an open-fire food festival in the desert, a Santa-themed fun run inside Ski Dubai, a festive cooking class, the world’s largest cheese-tasting event, and more.

Here is our shortlist of 15 amazing things to do in Dubai this weekend:

Friday, December 8

Make your own Christmas wreath at Harvey Nichols

Learn how to create the perfect centrepiece for your dining table at Harvey Nichols in the Mall of the Emirates. The Christmas wreath-making workshop is in collaboration with Dubai’s urban florist, goshá, and will take place from December 8 to 10, from 4pm to 6pm. Spaces are limited so to reserve a spot, send a direct message to @gosha.flowers

Harvey Nichols, Level 1, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. December 8 to 10, 4pm to 6pm. @harveynicholsdubai

Enjoy sundowners at Drift Beach

Drift Beach has long been popular with Dubai’s IT-crowd and for good reason. With amazing sea views, a luxe infinity pool and a beautiful restaurant, it’s certainly a wow-worthy place to spend a weekend at. For those who are looking to end the week in style, Drift Beach’s newly launched L’Apéritif Français: La Vie en Rosé, is the perfect place to unwind every Friday from 5pm, with an extensive rosé selection, Provençal bites, and pétanque courts for a quick game with friends.

Drift Beach Dubai, One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai. Fridays from 5pm. Tel: (0)4 315 2200. @driftbeachdubai

Take the family to see a Christmas show


Looking for somewhere fun and festive to take the little ones this weekend? Look no further… Dear Santa, based on the popular children’s festive story by Rod Campbell, is being brought to life on stage at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray this weekend, December 8 and 9. Ideal for children aged two to six years old, expect a show packed with songs, laughter, and audience participation. What’s more? The audience will get to meet Santa himself after every show. Tickets are on sale from Dhs150.

Dear Santa, Zabeel Theatre, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Crescent Road, The Palm Jumeirah, Dec 8 at 3pm and 5.30pm and Dec 9 at 11am and 2.30pm. From Dhs150. Tel: (0)4 453 0000. artforall.ae

Attend the world’s largest cheese-tasting event

Spinney’s supermarket is attempting the Guinness World Records title for the World’s Largest Cheese Tasting Event this weekend. Hosted by Kris Fade, the cheese tasting will take place on Friday, December 8 from 5.30pm at Mercato Mall. Guests will be able to enjoy delicious French cheeses, cheesey live entertainment, and Dhs30,000 worth of prizes to be won. The more the merrier!

Mercato Mall, Dubai. Friday, December 8, 5.30pm.@spinneysuae

Get your geek on


Grab your friends and head to The Coterie for the Big Fat Quiz of the Year hosted by Dane Bowers and Chris Sibley, from 8pm to 10pm this Friday. For the special Christmas edition, there will be over Dhs5,000 worth of prizes to be won. And don’t forget to wear your ugliest Christmas jumpers and festive attire, as the best-dressed table will win a round of drinks on the house. Guests can enjoy fish & chips and a complimentary house beverage for just Dhs95 per person.

The Coterie Social & Kitchen, Ibn Battuta Mall, Precision Football, Dubai. Friday, December 8, 8pm to 10pm. Dhs95. Tel:(0)4 570 807. @the.coterie.group

Saturday, December 9

See what’s hip-hop happening at Sole DXB

sole dxb

Get excited music fans…Dubai’s top festival, Sole DXB, returns to Dubai Design District this weekend. The three-day festival is taking place from Friday to Sunday with an epic lineup of headliners including Busta Rhymes, Joey Bada$$, Big Daddy Kane, Nadine El Roubi, and more. Tickets are on sale now priced at Dhs175 for the Friday and Dhs345 per day on Saturday and Sunday. The full weekend pass price will be Dhs545.

Sole DXB, Dubai Design District (d3), Dubai, December 8 to 10, 2023. @soledxb

Take part in Ski Dubai’s festive fun run

Santa ski dubai festive fun run

There are plenty of reasons to visit Ski Dubai over the festive season and the popular Dubai attraction has just given us yet another – a festive fun run. Taking place on December 9, participants can choose from two options – 300 meters or 1km. To further make this a festive event to remember, all participants are urged to come dressed in their festive best. So be sure to don your ugliest Christmas jumpers, elf costumes, Santa hats, and more. Registrations can be done here for a starting price of just Dhs31.50 for children and it’s Dhs115 per adult over the age of 18.

Festive Fun Run, Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai; Dec 9; race begins at 8am (arrive 45 minutes in advance); @skidxb

Head into the desert for a BBQ food festival

Foodies and adventurers, we have your weekend plans sorted: Cucina Del Sul’s popular Meats & Mountains food festival is back this weekend, taking place at the stunning Jebel Hafit Desert Park in Al Ain. The popular open-fire food festival is back for two weekends only, this Saturday, December 9 from 4pm. As well as all the unmissable food pop-ups, there will be plenty of activities for the whole family including kite-flying for the little ones, hiking options for those who want to explore some more of the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, soulful live music, camel rides, and an outdoor art exhibition showcasing Emirati artists.

Meats & Mountains, Jebel Hafit Desert Park, Al Ain. Saturday, December 9 and Saturday, December 16 from 4pm. Dhs360 for adults and Dhs90 for children aged five and above. @cucinadelsul

Cosy up and watch Home Alone at the cinema

Ugly Christmas jumpers at the ready… Roxy Xtreme is hosting a special screening of the classic holiday movie, Home Alone, on the region’s largest screen for all the family. Taking place on Saturday, tickets start from Dhs61 including plenty of surprises in store from entertainment, the chance to meet Santa, and delicious treats including hot chocolate and mince pies.

Roxy Cinemas, Dubai Hills Mall, Dubai. Saturday, December 9, 2pm. From Dhs61. theroxycinemas.com

Run for a good cause

Al Maha, in association with Al Jalila Foundation is holding its annual fundraiser to support charities in Africa and the Middle East. The 10-kilometre fun run will be held at the stunning Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve on Saturday, December 9 from 3pm. Participants are invited to experience a unique trek across the captivating scenes of the desert. It will cost Dhs100 per participant including a race kit and raffle draw. Walk, jog or run at your own pace while enjoying the picturesque views of the conservation and nature.

Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Al Ain Road. Tel: (0)4 832 9900, Dhs100 registration fee per person, December 9 from 3pm. 10 years and above. aljalilafoundation.com 

Watch a Christmas movie in the sky

This Christmas, Aura Skypool invites guests to get into the festive spirit with a Christmas movie night taking place on Saturday, December 9 from 8pm to 11pm. Wrap up under the stars with free-flowing bubbles, festive canapes, a bento box, and more surprises throughout the night as you watch a special one-off screening of Home Alone, for Dhs600 per person.

Aura Skypool, St. Regis Hotel, Palm Jumeirah, Saturday, December 9, 8pm. Dhs600. (0)4 566 2121,auraskypool.com

Sunday, December 10

Take part in a festive cooking class at Mamalu Kitchen

There are plenty of tasty festive cooking classes taking place at Mamalu Kitchen at Depachika Mall on the Palm this month. On Sunday, little ones can take part in a gingerbread house class where they will make, shape, and bake their very own gingerbread house. Taking place from 3pm to 4.30pm,  the price for the class is Dhs275 per person.

Mamalu Kitchen, Nakheel Mall, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Sunday, December 10, 3pm to 4.30pm per person. mamalukitchen.com@mamalukitchen

Check out this new breakfast spot

A gorgeous Italian eatery on Wasl Road, there’s now more reasons to visit Monno than just their incredible pizzas, as the cosy Italian eatery now serves up breakfast on weekends. With all the charming allure of a naturally lit Italian trattoria, the restaurant serves up international breakfast dishes like benedict avo-egg and Wagyu salami shakshuka, alongside some more Italian twists, like a range of breakfast sourdough pizzettas. From toppings like bacon and scrambled eggs to sunny side up eggs flaked with generous truffle shavings, it’s as indulgent as it is authentic.

Monno, 304 Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, breakfast served 8am to midday, Sat and Sun. Tel: (0)4 332 2255. @monnodubai

Meet Santa at the Green Planet

Dubai’s Green Planet is ready to welcome the festive season transforming the Nature Park into a magical winter wonderland. From meet-and-greets with Santa to real eco-friendly snow, there will be plenty of festive activities that will have both the adults and children feeling merry and bright. Taking place from December 6, entry to the Winter Wonderland costs Dhs69 or visitors can also get access to the indoor rainforest for Dhs175.

Green Planet, City Walk, Dubai. December 6 to January 7, 2024, 10am to 6pm. Dhs69 per person for Nature Park or Dhs175 for rainforest and Nature Park access. @thegreenplanetdubai

Watch a spectacular drone show


Back by popular demand… Lighting up the skies at Bluewaters and The Beach opposite JBR, the Dubai Shopping Festival drone show is back, taking place each evening from December 8 until January 14, 2024. This year there will be two all-new displays across each of the 38 days, taking place at 8pm and 10pm each evening. The 800-piece drone shows will illuminate the skies with a symphony of colours and shapes, telling two exciting new stories through the pretty display.

The Beach opposite JBR and Bluewaters, daily, Dec 8, 2023 to Jan 14, 2024, free. visitdubai.com

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