Have an amazing celebration with this festive staycations

Celebrate the holidays with a getaway close to home

Abu Dhabi

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort

Sheraton AUH - resort3

One of the city’s oldest hotels is also one of the most festive as the property and outdoor grounds come alive with decorations and activities. Aside from gaining access to the hotel’s beach and pool facilities during your stay, you can choose from various themed activities for the whole family. Join in a Christmas cooking class on 23rd December where you can learn how to make holiday treats like gingerbread cookies and plum cake. On Christmas Eve, choose from various dinner options in the hotel’s restaurants, and feast on brunch on Christmas Day itself, with lobster, oysters and carved turkey complemented by live music, a kids’ play area and a visit from Santa.

After all the festive fun, you can relax poolside, do some watersports, chill in the palm garden, fit in a workout at the gym or even go for a treatment in the spa. Rates from AED 473 per night. Corniche East. Contact: 02 677 3333, sheratonabudhabihotel.com

Tilal Liwa

If you want to get away from the chaos of the city and truly feel that you’ve been on holiday for the festive period, then venture into Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter and enjoy a secluded hideaway at this leisure resort. Catering to families, the hotel invites parents and little ones to explore Al Gharbia, visit camel farms, ride camels and go quad biking. In between your adventures, you can enjoy complimentary breakfast and dinner buffet and enjoy the hotel’s facilities. AED 549+++ for family of two adults and two children under 12. Rub Al Khali, near Mezzaira. Contact: 02 894 6111, tilalliwa.danathotels.com

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Overview at night

Jazz up your Christmas festivities at this beautiful desert resort. Swing Deluxe jazz band will soundtrack your stay with a fusion of French and American jazz and swing on Christmas Day itself, as well as 27th to 30th December. During your stay, you can also relax by the pool, enjoy Christmas Eve offers in the restaurants and treat yourself to a Moroccan hammam or other luxurious spa treatments. On Christmas Day, Santa makes an arrival with gifts for the little ones. Rates from AED 2,232 per night. Prices for meals and jazz concert vary. Contact: 02 886 2088, infoqas@anantara.com

InterContinental Abu Dhabi

IMAGE_ Bayshore at InterContinental Abu Dhabi

You don’t have to venture far to feel like you’ve been on holiday. InterContinental boasts a family-friendly beach club that’s great for soaking up some rays and letting the kids splash around. You’ll be spoiled for choice with food options too. On Christmas Eve, choose from Lebanese delicacies at Byblos Sur Mer, Italian in Circo, pan-Asian in the newly opened Cho Gao Marina Walk, unlimited meats at Chamas or an international spread at Selections. On Christmas Day, it’s all about brunch with the infamous Marina Brunch going festive; dine across three restaurants – Cho Gao Marina Walk, Chamas and Circo – while enjoying music from Latina Band and a DJ. Rates from AED 611, meal prices vary. King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, Al Bateen. Contact: 02 666 6888, ihg.com

Emirates Palace

01 Emirates Palace Fountains Dusk

If the festive season is all about treating yourself and your loved ones to a unique experience then why not take the time to enjoy a getaway in one of the country’s most iconic hotels? Be treated like royalty this holiday season with the VIP experience; make use of the hotel’s amazing facilities including a pristine private beach, lazy river, expansive pools and amazing restaurants, then watch Santa ride in on a camel as you make magical memories with the family.

The Winter at the Palace promotion means you can enjoy 30 percent off the best available rates for a minimum of two nights’ stay. From AED 2,200 for two nights. Offer available until 31st March, subject to availability. Black out dates apply. Corniche West. Contact: 02 690 9000, reservations.emiratespalace@kempinski.com

Yas Viceroy

HIGH-RES-Yas_TYH Exterior4

There’s nothing quite as magical as this iconic hotel that straddles the Formula 1 race track with its illuminated façade that lights up the Yas Island skyline at night.

The hotel is pulling out all the stops for the festive period too, with a Festive Friday Brunch on 22nd December and a Christmas Day Brunch on 25th. You can enjoy a festive spread of Christmas specialities, grape beverages, Christmas crackers, bubbly, music and plenty of holiday cheer. There’s even a face painting station and play zone for the little ones and Santa will drop by to say hi. What’s more, the hotel is running a slew of deals in the 12 days leading up to Christmas, so you’ll have plenty of options during your stay, from ladies night deals to complimentary bubbly and prize draws. Rates start from AED 799 per night, brunch from AED 225 per person. Yas Island. Contact: 02 656 0700, yas.reservations@viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

Further afield

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert

Escape to the Northern Emirates and enjoy a luxurious stay at this newly opened property. The expansive resort sits on a 500-hectare wildlife nature reserve and comprises 101 luxury villas with Arabic decor and private pools. Take your pick of restaurants including the Farmhouse where you can enjoy local produce and homegrown vegetables while overlooking the desert oasis. You can also enjoy desert activities revolving around falconry, equestrian sports, nature and environment, while little ones will be taken care of with the Ritz Rangers programme. If all the horse riding and desert adventures wear you out, you can chill in the luxurious spa. Take advantage of the limited time offer to celebrate the hotel’s opening, valid until 31st Jan, excluding 29th Dec-1st Jan. Rates from AED 2,999 per night. Contact: 07 206 7777, ritzcarlton.com

Al Baleed Resort

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This luxurious resort in Salalah, Oman has been given a festive facelift courtesy of a Christmas tree, gingerbread house and other seasonal decorations.

Enjoy a festive family day with beach and pool access on 22nd December where you can also watch a sand artist create sculptures on the beach. On Christmas Eve, gather the family for a grand buffet and live music and on the day itself, relax in the infinity pool, enjoy a spa session and tuck into a festive meal at one of the resort’s three restaurants. From AED 1,067 per night, additional fees apply for activities and meals. Contact: +968 2322 8222, res.aabs@anantara.com

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