Renowned the world over for its beaches, hot weather and luxury hotels, Dubai is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. But how does the city hold up in the winter months, and what’s it like to spend Christmas in the City of Gold?
Glad you asked!
In this article we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about holidaying in Dubai in December, including what you can expect with the weather, where you can secure the best hotels deals, the best day trips and – most importantly – where you can find a good old fashioned Christmas dinner.
What’s the weather like?
Expect highs of between 25 to 28 degrees celsius in the day, and lows of 16 to 19 degrees at night. Dubai’s humidity in December usually sits around the 60% mark, and the likelihood for sunshine is approximately 75%.
Will it be warm enough to sunbathe?
By European standards, most certainly!
What are the best tours in December?
The winter months provide a unique opportunity to enjoy desert safaris without the intense heat, and for that reason alone it’s our top pick. From camel riding to quad bike riding, dune bashing experience to belly dancing under starlight, there are a huge array of options to choose from. Here are our personal favourites:
- Moonlight Overnight Desert Safari – This overnight trip has it all. Starting with a 4 x 4 trip in to the desert, the pedal quickly hits the metal when tires are deflated and 40 minutes of thrilling dune bashing begins. Once the adrenaline has worn off, your 4 x 4 will drive to the top of a nearby dune and you’ll be able to take photos of the sunset over the Arabian Desert. You will then head to a nearby Bedouin style camp where you’ll be greeted with coffee and dates. In the evening there is a BBQ and buffet dinner, with live belly dancing and tanoura dance performances. Overnight you’ll be staying in a cosy tent, complete with a tasty breakfast to enjoy in the morning.
- Camel Safari with Dinner – This authentic experience offers a 45 minute camel desert safari, followed by a sunset falcon show and an evening at an authentic Bedouin camp. Evening entertainment includes henna tattooing, bread making, cultural entertainment performances… oh yes, and a delicious meal!
- 4×4 Dune Bashing – Somewhat self explanatory in that you will be ‘bashing’ dunes in a 4 x 4!
- Sand Skiing – Who needs the alps when Dubai has 300 metre high dunes to ski down? Well, we say ‘ski’ but what you’ll actually be doing is sand-boarding or sand surfing, although the principle remains the same; ascend your chosen dune, affix your chosen board, and glide down the aforementioned dune looking effortlessly fabulous.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more traditional winter activity then look no further than Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. Featuring snowboarding, tobogganing, skiing, and coming complete with a chairlift for that authentic Alp-like experience. Ski Dubai is centrally located in the Mall of the Emirates, and you can check out their website here.
Do any restaurants serve Christmas Lunch?
You may be surprised to hear that there are a number of restaurants serving Christmas Dinner in Dubai, with this website covering some of the very best.
That being said, our personal recommendation is Bread Street Kitchen & Bar at Atlantis The Palm. This Gordon Ramsay restaurant offers the quintessential Christmas brunch with all of the trimmings, including a choice of roast turkey, vegetarian Wellington or – for those looking for something a bit less traditional – seafood. As you would expect, there’s also a huge range of starters to choose from, as well as a cheese and bread station. For dessert, we hear the Eton Mess is especially good!
Where can I celebrate New Year?
Visit Dubai has perhaps the best overview of Dubai’s New Year’s Eve parties, and indeed our personal recommendation comes #1 on their list.
Starting at 7:30pm, the New Year’s Eve Royal Gala at The Atlantis is one of the most prestigious events in Dubai’s calendar. Live music starts at 8pm and there is free-flowing alcohol (including champagne) all night, as well as a luxury buffet serving caviar, lobster, sushi… not to mention a myriad of other culinary delights designed to tickle your taste-buds.
Just don’t forget your posh frocks because this event has a strict dress code!
Where can I find the best hotel deals?
On Best at Travel of course! Here are some of our top deals for December 2018, with prices correct at the time of writing:
Best for Christmas
Basis: Half Board, 7 Nights
Flying From: London Gatwick
Dates: 21st December 2018 to 28th December 2018
Price: From £1,288pp, based on 2 sharing.
Star Rating: 4 star plus
Get ready to be entertained when you stay at this Polynesian-themed hotel just a short walk from Dubai Parks & Resorts’ exciting theme and water parks. Prices for two people sharing start at £2,576, a massive reduction from the normal £4,437.
Best for New Year
Hotel: JA Jebel Ali Beach Hotel
Basis: All Inclusive, 7 Nights
Flying From: London Heathrow
Dates: 27th December 2018 to 3rd January 2019
Price: From £1,2,701 based on 2 sharing.
Star Rating: 5 star
This award-winning family beach resort is surrounded by streams, ponds, waterfalls and a private 800 metre beachfront. Prices for two people sharing start at £5,402, a considerable saving on the normal price of £6,360.
For even more options be sure to check out our full list of Dubai Holidays here.