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Hey there, holiday enthusiasts and curious souls! If you’re wondering whether Christmas is a holiday in Dubai, you’ve come to the right place. 

Dubai, the dazzling city of skyscrapers and cultural fusion, is known for its vibrant multiculturalism. But is this season a public holiday in Dubai? What are some fun things you do in this bustling emirate? 

This blog will dive into the magical world of Dubai during the most wonderful time of the year so tune in!

Is Christmas in Dubai a Public Holiday?

Christmas is not a public holiday in Dubai, as the United Arab Emirates is a predominantly Muslim country. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and the main religious holidays observed in the country are Islamic holidays such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. 

However, Dubai is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse population, and there are many expatriates and tourists from around the world who celebrate Christmas. As a result, you may find Christmas decorations, events, and celebrations in hotels, shopping malls, and some residential areas catering to the expatriate community and visitors during the holiday season. Let’s dig deeper.

Deck the Halls, Dubai Style

Christmas celebration in Dubai


While Christmas isn’t a public holiday in Dubai, this city sure knows how to embrace the spirit of the season.

Dubai takes pride in its extravagant light displays during the holiday season. The city comes alive with breathtaking illuminations that adorn the streets, buildings, and landmarks. From shimmering LED lights to mesmerising projections.

One of the most iconic displays is the giant Christmas tree at the Emirates Towers. Standing tall and shimmering with thousands of lights, it is a focal point for visitors and residents alike. The tree becomes a gathering spot for families and friends to capture festive photos and bask in the joyous ambience.

Yep, you got it right—Dubai loves to celebrate in style!

A Touch of Winter Magic

Christmas in Dubai


Dubai doesn’t shy away from creating immersive experiences for all ages. During Christmas, several venues transform into enchanting winter wonderlands, offering a range of activities and entertainment.

Dubai Winter Festival, held annually, is a prime example. This event brings together holiday-themed attractions, including ice skating rinks, snow zones, carnival rides, and live performances. It’s a fantastic opportunity for families to revel in the festive spirit and create lasting memories.

Mall Marvels

Mall of the Emirates


Dubai’s shopping malls are a sight to behold during the holiday season. The Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall, for instance, go all out with their festive decor. 

You can expect stunning displays, elaborate Christmas-themed installations, and Santa’s grottos where the little ones can meet the man in red. It’s a shopper’s paradise with a Christmassy twist!

Santa’s Grand Entrance

Santa's Grand Entrance


Santa Claus is undoubtedly a star during the Christmas season, and Dubai goes all out to welcome him in style. Malls and entertainment centres organise grand Santa parades, complete with marching bands, colourful floats, and, of course, Santa himself.

Witnessing Santa’s arrival is a joyous spectacle for children and adults alike. The jolly old man in his red suit and white beard spreads happiness and cheer as he greets the crowd and poses for photos. It’s an experience that captures the essence of Christmas magic.

Festive Feasting

Festive Feasting


Dubai is a city that loves to indulge in culinary delights, and Christmas is no exception. Many hotels and restaurants offer special Christmas menus and brunches featuring everything from traditional roast turkey to delectable mince pies and yule logs. 

So, gather your loved ones and treat your taste buds to a festive feast fit for a sultan!

Fireworks Extravaganza

Fireworks Extravaganza


Dubai is renowned for its breathtaking fireworks displays, and Christmas provides yet another reason to light up the night sky. As the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, several locations across the city dazzle spectators with magnificent pyrotechnic shows.

The iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, often takes centre stage during these fireworks extravaganzas. The synchronised bursts of colour and light create a stunning backdrop against the city’s glittering skyline, marking the arrival of Christmas with a bang.

The Joy of Giving


Christmas is a time for giving, and Dubai embraces this spirit wholeheartedly. The city’s numerous charity events and initiatives during the holiday season provide opportunities to spread joy and make a difference in the lives of those in need. From toy drives to fundraising galas, Dubai’s philanthropic side shines brightly during Christmas.

Community Celebrations

Community Celebrations


Dubai’s expatriate community plays a significant role in keeping Christmas traditions alive. Churches across the city hold festive services, bringing together people from different backgrounds to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Expats also organise Christmas markets, carol-singing events, and social gatherings that create a sense of community and warmth during the holiday season.

Retail Therapy and Festive Sales

Festive Sales


Dubai is a shopper’s paradise all year round, and Christmas brings with it exciting retail experiences. The city’s malls and souks offer enticing discounts, promotions, and sales during the holiday season, attracting shoppers from far and wide.

Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), which usually takes place from late December to early February, adds an extra layer of excitement. DSF is a shopper’s dream, with massive discounts, raffles, and entertainment events. It’s an opportune time to find unique gifts for loved ones and indulge in some retail therapy while immersing yourself in the festive ambience.

A Glimpse of Global Traditions

Global Traditions


One of the most remarkable aspects of Dubai is its multicultural tapestry. During Christmas, you’ll witness the diversity of celebrations as different nationalities come together to share their traditions. From Christmas Eve mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church to the lighting of the menorah for Hanukkah, Dubai showcases a beautiful mosaic of festive customs.

Closing Thoughts

While Christmas may not be an official public holiday in Dubai, the city’s exuberance and inclusivity make it a delightful place to experience the holiday spirit. Whether you’re a resident, an expatriate, or a visitor, Dubai offers a unique blend of festive cheer, cultural diversity, and warm hospitality that will make your Christmas celebrations truly memorable.

So, if you find yourself in Dubai during the holiday season, don’t fret about missing out on the Christmas magic. Embrace the joy, immerse yourself in the festivities, and create cherished memories in this enchanting desert city. Merry Christmas, Dubai-style!

Note: Remember to check local guidelines and event schedules for the most up-to-date information on Christmas celebrations in Dubai.

About Author

Hanna Rico

About Author

Hanna Mae Rico is a skilled content writer. With a bachelor's degree in English Language Studies, Hanna has spent over three years working in the digital marketing industry. Her versatility shines through her ability to captivate audiences with lifestyle, travel, and other engaging topics. Her love of written words and her innate ability to transport readers to different places make her a true wordsmith.