Start feeling festive with these weekday happenings

It’s starting to feel like Christmas in the capital this week. Don’t believe us? Read on and thank us later…. 

Sunday, 8th December

Cook and win

Inclusive is running its first recipe contest for teams of determination. How to join? UAE residents are asked to form a team, which must include a person of determination, with friends and family and submit a creative, well thought-out culinary recipe and an image of their food or beverage creation to enter the recipe contest. Three winners will be chosen to win mall shopping vouchers worth AED 1,000 each. Competition closes on Thursday, 12th December.

For more information and to submit entries, visit:

Monday, 9th December

Hit the lights

Get into the spirit of the holiday season with a grand tree lighting ceremony at Bab Al Qasr Hotel & Residences. Carols will be sang by a choir, the beautifully decorated Christmas tree will be illuminated, and you’ll have a chance to meet, greet and take a photo with Santa.

Free. Corniche West. 6.30pm-8.30pm. Contact: 02 205 3026

Tuesday, 10th December

Time capsule 

Take a step back in time and indulge in Emirati culture at this year’s Al Dhafra Festival. The 17-day event will host a variety of activities including camel auctions and races, traditional market, dates competition, poetry, photography, folk music, falcon competition and saluki and horse races, among others. Visitors will go home with a deeper understanding of local culture and tradition.

Free. Madinat Zayed, Al Dhafra region. 10am-10pm. Visit: 

Book it

Catch the How To Maneuver: Shape-Shifting Texts And Other Publishing Tactics, curated by Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis, at Warehouse421. The exhibition reflects on the space before and beyond the book – the act of publishing itself. How do artists subsist in producing their work and sharing it with a public? How do they situate themselves in the shifting terrain between the private and the public… and many more. Until 16th February 2020.

Free entry. Mina Zayed. 6pm-9pm. Visit: 

Wednesday, 11th December

Winter fun 

Winter-themed fun will happen in the desert courtesy of Yas Winter Carnival. The returning event will feature snow slides, gingerbread making, a fair and daily festive tree lighting ceremonies. There will also be a snow play zone, kids’ zone, magicians and carnival rides. Do your Christmas shopping at the winter market and cap off every evening with a thrilling fireworks show. Until 15th December.

Free. Gateway Park South, Yas Island. 2pm-11pm. Visit:

Work of (eco-friendly) art 

Sustainability fashion takes the spotlight every Hakkatini Wednesday at Hakkasan Abu Dhabi. The dining spot will present an array of art and fashion talents including acclaimed designer Canella Hostal and emerging talent Thomas Salamonski aling with 15 sustainable fashion brands. Some of the highlights include Filoco handmade bags and accessories made from recycled can openers, and Twisted Kelly, which is a unique jewellery pieces made out of zinc plates. Until Ramadan 2020.

AED 96 inclusive of two selected beverages and one food. Emirates Palace, Corniche West. 6pm-2am. Contact: 02 690 7739


Savour local flavours

Relish the flavours of Arabia as you head on an exceptional culinary journey in a breathtaking beachside setting at the Taste of Arabia at Mezlai. With a choice of flavoursome pan-Arabian and Levantine specialities, diners will encounter an evening evocative of 1,001 Arabian Nights amid breezy tents and candlelight while dancers sway to undulating ancient rhythms.

Emirates Palace, Corniche West. 7pm-11pm. Contact: 02 690 7999 or email

Thursday, 12th December

‘Tis the season

The annual Winter Wonderland returns on Al Maryah Island. From 12th to 26th December, the Promenade will transform into a winter village complete with snow covered cottages and festive decors. Guests especially kids can try the sliding slope park, snow zone and wax ice rink. There’s also a train ride designed for little ones and workshops such as festive bath bomb making, slime making, gingerbread house making and many more.

Free entry. 4pm-10pm. Visit: 

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