Best Ways To Celebrate Christmas in Abu Dhabi 2022


On December 25, people around the world celebrate Christmas, which is among the merriest occasions. Despite being a Muslim nation, Abu Dhabi has many places to celebrate Christmas.

This festive occasion comes to life thanks to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Everything from the lights and ornaments adorning the city’s most stunning landmarks to the decor in shopping centres, dining establishments, and hotels. It’s a fantastic chance to travel to Abu Dhabi with friends or family. As opposed to this, if you reside in Abu Dhabi you can participate in the celebrations almost anywhere in the city.

Both children and adults will have a joyful Christmas in Abu-Dhabi thanks to festive tree lightings, Christmas markets, and winter wonderland shows.

What are Some Christmas Activities Happening in Abu Dhabi?

  • Al Maryah Island’s Winter Wonderland

Al Maryah Island's Winter Wonderland

Even though it may not feel like winter outside—the average temperature for Christmas Day is around 26 degrees—the Winter Wonderland festival on Al Maryah Island makes an effort to infuse the city’s centre with a little bit of enchanted holiday cheer.

The Galleria promises a variety of holiday treats, including lovely decorations, wandering entertainment, a winter village, and the chance to see Santa! The decorations in 2021 were noticeably less elaborate than in prior years.

Between the Four Seasons and the Rosewood Hotel, there is an outdoor Winter Wonderland. The Ripe Festive Market will be present in conjunction with the Winter Wonderland in 2022. Live performances, an ice rink, activity huts, and a petting zoo will all be present.

  • Magic Phil’s Starlight Safari

On Saturday, November 26th 2022, Theatre by Earth will present Magic Phil, the most popular children’s performer in the UAE, in “Magic Phil’s Starlight Safari,” a joyous Christmas extravaganza.

  • Santa’s Invitation

This December at Theatre by Earth, accompany Holly on her adventure to the North Pole! From December 4 through December 7, enjoy this musical romp through the snow.

  • Santa Chase’s Raha Beach/Aldar Community (2022)

Santa Chase's Raha BeachAldar Community (2022)

Santa will land in Al Bandar on December 10, 2022, and then lead runners along the canal paths that connect Al Bandar, Al Muneera, and Al Zeina in the neighbourhood of Raha Beach in Abu Dhabi. Along with a race for kids, there are distances of 2.5, 5, and 10 KM. 10 AED from each entry fee is donated to Operation Smile in support of the event. Santa hats and holiday attire are welcomed!

  • Holiday Craft Market at the Le Royal Meridien (2022)

On December 3, Le Royal Meridien will kick off the holiday season. In addition to Santa’s visit, there will be more than 40 craft booths and food and beverage booths. There is no charge for admission, and on-site food and beverage stall voucher purchases are also possible.

From 3 to 3.45 PM, there will be children’s entertainment on stage, and at 4, Santa will lead a holiday sing along.

  • The Christmas Market at The Swiss Business Council (2022)

The popular Swiss Christmas Market is coming back to Abu Dhabi after a pandemic hiatus! Between Thursday, December 8 and Sunday, December 11, 2022, the market will be held in the Khor Al Maqta neighbourhood at the Venetian Village at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Open Thursday and Friday from 2 PM to 10 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 10PM.

  • Festival of St. Joseph at Christmas (2022)

This parish event takes place every year and features a full day of festive activities, unusual shopping, food stalls, and enjoyable kid-focused activities. Sunday, December 11th, 2022, starting at 10 A.M.

  • Festive at Abu Dhabi City Golf Club’s The Green (2022)

On December 11th, the Green will transform into a beautiful Christmas market brimming with handcrafted items and holiday cheer. There will be live performances, face painting, holiday movies on a big screen, and a visit from Santa Claus. 1 P.M. to 5 P.M.

  • Market at Al Muneera Beach Plaza

The seasonal market is back at Al Muneera’s laid-back beachfront location. Every night, while watching the sunset over the water, take in crafts, food, and live entertainment.

  • The Sanderson’s Holiday Market

In this one-day event, a festive fair featuring local handicrafts, fun activities for kids, and delicious food will be held at one of Abu Dhabi’s favourite neighbourhood cafes.

  • Dubai Mall Holiday Market

A collection of more than stalls, as well as workshops for making crafts and photos with Santa.

  • Winter Shams Boutik Festival

There will be several days of holiday entertainment inside the “Waitrose Mall” on Reem Island, including choir performances, gingerbread and cupcake-making activities, and rumours that Santa himself will appear, though there are no confirmed times just yet. 

  • Yas Island Holiday Activities

Winter Carnival – Gateway Park South is the location of this sizable outdoor event. daily at 2 P.M., with a tree-lighting ceremony every evening at 7 P.M. and fireworks at 9 P.M.

Expect kid-friendly amusements and rides (some of which are fee-based), a Christmas Market, and other entertainment options, such as a snow zone.

From November 12 through January 6, 2023, Ferrari World will also host its own “Winter on Italian Street” celebrations, which will feature socially isolated performances, handicrafts, and a gingerbread factory. 

Batman and Bugs Bunny will be joining you for Christmas at Warner Brothers World’s Winter Spectacular! There are numerous other festive treats, as well as lovely decorations and enchanted Christmas performances. The 2022 celebrations will begin on November 12 and last through the early hours of January 8, 2023.

  • Christmas Disco Night and Karaoke at Stills

This Christmas Eve, join DJ Sharara at Still’s for a fun night of holiday karaoke. At Still’s, The Crowne Plaza, Yas Island, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

  • A Merry Sweater Party (2021) TBC in 2022

Wear your glitziest holiday sweater to PJ O’Reilly’s evening brunch on Thursday, December 9 from 7 to 10 P.M. for an evening of festive fun. Package prices for soft drinks and house beverages begin at 149 AED and 225 AED, respectively.

  • The Christmas party at work is a murder mystery! (2021) TBC 2022

Christmas murder mystery parties will be available in 2022 through “In the Detail Events.”

  • Holiday Bake Sale

Along with their holiday events like gingerbread workshops and tree lighting ceremonies, many hotels will also hold Christmas bake sales. Up until the end of December, the Emirates Palace Hotel and the Rosewood Hotel both offer some of the best sweets.

  • Religious Services and Christmas carols

The city’s most well-known race, the Annual Carols in the Desert, is run by St. Andrews Church.

The 9th of December 2022 will feature Grace Evangelical Church’s own Carols in the Desert, which will run from 4pm to 8pm

    • Timings for St. Joseph’s Mass
    • Timings for St. Paul’s, Mussafah Mass
    • Timings for St. Andrew’s Mass
    • Information about Grace Church generally

Many of the tree-lighting ceremonies and Christmas Day brunches we list below will also feature carolers:

    • 8 December 2022 The WB, Yas Island 5.30-6.30PM
    • 8 December 2022 Conrad, Etihad towers 7PM – 8PM
    • 9 December 2022 Fairmont, Bab Al Bahr 7PM – 9PM
    • 9 December 2022 Shanghai-La, Qaryat Al Beri, 6PM
    • The Emirates Palace, 9 December 2022, at 6 P.M.
    • St. Regis Saadiyat, December 9, 2022, 5.30–7.00
    • The Hilton, Yas Island, 9 December 2022, 6 P.M. to 6.30 P.M.
    • 9 December 2022, 6-7 P.M., Yas Links Golf Club
    • Dusit Thani, December 10, 2022, 6-7 P.M. 
    • Jumeirah Saadiyat 11 December 2022 (in-house guests only)
    • Anantara, Eastern Mangroves TBC; the event took place on December 12, 2021.
    • Yas Acres Golf and Country Club, December 17, 2022, 6 to 10 P.M.

Always confirm the timings and if the reservations are required directly with the venue. Some events might have a cost, while others might be free. 

Where Can You Find Santa for a Picture in Abu Dhabi in 2022?

In addition to the aforementioned occasions, Santa will also stop by a number of the city’s malls.

    • Santa Claus will be in his enchanted grotto at the Abu Dhabi Mall from December 14 through December 25 from 11 AM to 8 PM. 
    • Additionally, there will be holiday parades on December 15th, 17th, and 19. To learn more, click here.
    • Santa Claus will be present at the Galleria Mall’s Winter Village from December 9 through the 25. Santa visits must be scheduled in advance.
    • The Winter Wonderland celebrations at Yas Mall take place from December 10 through December 25 in 2021. Santa will be present, but his “office hours” have not yet been disclosed.

Events Involving Gingerbread in Abu Dhabi

Attending a workshop or party for gingerbread is a seasonal family favourite in Abu Dhabi. During the pandemic, many locations had to cancel their workshops; thankfully, most are already open and operating through 2022.

On Sunday, November 20 and Sunday, December 18, 2022, Jones The Grocer’s Al Mamoura location will host a decorating event for gingerbread houses. The workshop is 149 AED and comes with all the supplies you will need to create a gingerbread house.

On December 4, 2022, the very same branch shall also host a class teaching how to make Christmas cookies and reindeer brownies. There are additional dates available for various Jones the Grocer locations throughout the city.

Additional workshops scheduled for 2022 include:

    • On December 7, 2022, at 3 P.M., a workshop to make gingerbread houses will be held at the St. Regis on the Corniche. Each child is charged 150 AED. You might want to stay for the 7th because it’s also the day of the St. Regis Christmas tree lighting ceremony!
    • From 6 to 8 P.M. on December 17, 2022, The Anantara at Eastern Mangroves will be open for business for 150 AED. Santa’s visit will be enjoyed by the kids as well.
    • On December 18, 21, 24, and 29 of 2022, The Ritz-Carlton will host separate workshops. Each house will pay 175 AED to attend.
    • On Saturday, December 17 at 1 PM, a workshop for making gingerbread houses was also scheduled at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island resort. While afternoon tea is not included in the $250 AED price per child, it is.
    • On December 11 and December 18, 2033, from 3 PM to 5 PM, the Saadiyat Rotana Resort will offer gingerbread house workshops for 135 AED per child.
    • On December 23rd, 2022, at 4 P.M., the Emirates Palace will host a cookie decorating party. On December 24th, 2022, at 3 P.M., there will be a competition to build the best gingerbread house. For more information, speak to the Emirates Palace.
    • Ferrari World’s gingerbread factory has a 200 AED per project cost that must be added to the cost of your park admission. Although it has a lovely setup with lots of extras and a cosy atmosphere, reservations are required in advance because it can get busy. 
    • Always reserve a spot for these sessions in advance! The cost is per child, but if you ask nicely, siblings might be able to work on the same project together.

Abu Dhabi Shopping For Christmas Decorations and Gifts

You can purchase decorations for Christmas and other items in the UAE. Although they might not be as common in some other nations, finding them does not require much searching. Every year, the number of options increases. Our best advice is to buy items as soon as you see them.

It’s well known that ACE Hardware starts preparing its plastic trees and holiday decorations around September.

From November, you can also find the majority of what you need at Carrefour, Lulu’s, and numerous other grocery stores and specialty stores, such as Pottery Barn, Marks & Spencer (Yas Mall and Dubai Marina Mall Branches), and West Elm. You could also try the tried-and-true IKEA!

Do you think anyone from abroad will be arriving soon to give the kids Christmas presents? Despite the fact that there are many malls here with international brands, be prepared to pay top dollar.

Although you can use Shop & Ship services, and some large companies do deliver directly to the UAE, it might be less expensive to book a flight, stock up on supplies overseas, and bring your purchases back yourself. From now on, make plans! before!!

Abu Dhabi’s Christmas Day

While keeping in mind that UAE is still a Muslim nation, the day of Christmas is NOT considered a public holiday.

Nevertheless, many considerate employers, though not all, give their employees of the Christian faith a day off during a child’s school break.

To Sum it Up! 

Abu Dhabi may be a strict Muslim country, but they sure know how to celebrate! The Christmas Gala is a sight to see if you’re in the province!

Some More Useful Articles For You : 

Celebrate Christmas in Dubai 10 Places to Celebrate Christmas in Dubai
Christmas Tree in Dubai Places To Buy Christmas Tree in Dubai
Christmas Tree Décor All About Christmas Tree Décor
Abu Dhabi Mall Guide To shopping For Christmas

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) 

Which resorts can I book in Abu Dhabi for Christmas?

The majority of Abu Dhabi's hotels and resorts provide festive staycation options. Some of the top hotels in Abu Dhabi for Christmas staycations include Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi Edition, and Sofitel Abu Dhabi.

Where can I purchase Christmas trees in Abu Dhabi?

In Abu Dhabi, you can purchase Christmas trees at a number of stores, including LuLu Hypermarket, Ferns N Petals, and Carrefour.

Meghna Chakraborty Definitely on the spectrum of being socially awkward, Meghna prefers to write over clumsily explain what she wants to say! No matter how much she says she likes you, if you have a dog, she'll probably like your dog better.... A couch potato, she chills harder than you party! She's also a very proud Hufflepuff!
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