For a bang-up Yuletide, it’s imperative the partying doesn’t stop until the new year begins, so head up to Conrad Dubai’s fabulous Purobeach Urban Oasis club for a chilled out Boxing Day brunch and party. The relaxation area is a landscaped fantasyland with lush trees and a snaking pool that immediately transports you to some rocking Caribbean island. Grab a bite from the seafood, salad, olive, soup, grill, Italian food, turkey and dessert stations until you drop on a cocoon bed by the pool and watch the sun go down on yet another spectacular day. But we bet you’re going to be setting the floor on fire instead!
☞ From Dh325 per person, 1-4.30pm. Call 04 444 7444.
The aroma of your grandma’s traditional roast filling up the house, you stuffing your pockets with your Italian aunt’s melt-in-the-mouth struffoli, and Christmas carols on high volume… If nostalgia is dampening your festive spirit, then reserve a seat at Raffles Dubai’s iconic Christmas Day Brunch, where executive chef Tuomas Heikkinen is pulling out all the stops to create a festive wonderland that’ll have you totally mesmerised. Set in the Raffles ballroom and garden under Swarovski chandeliers, the extensive buffet and live cooking stations will not only be serving Christmas favourites from across the world, but the chef’s childhood favourite, Finnish hot smoked salmon, as well. Cooked to perfection over an open-fire pit, it will instantly transport you to Santa’s Lapland. And did we tell you that DJ Jas will be playing old-school favourites, Christmas carols and pop classics while the little ones keep busy in the kids’ zone with bouncy castles, balloon bending and clowns? Oh also, Father Nicholas might stop by to wish you a Merry Christmas.
☞ Dh595 per person, from 12.30-4.30pm. For reservations, call 04 324 8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toro Toro, Grosvenor House Dubai
In honour of rejigging traditions, go for a Latin Christmas brunch this year at Grosvenor House’s superb pan Latin restaurant, Toro Toro. A brilliant menu that will take you on a spectacular culinary joyride from Peru to Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and Cuba is on the cards, with chef Richard Sandoval’s to-die-for churrasco and parrillada, fresh ceviche, beef chorizo empanadas and cachapas. Exquisite beverages and brilliant dancers will liven up your afternoon, and you’ll be doing the samba and cha-cha like a true Latino in no time. Ai caramba!
☞ From Dh450 per person, 12.30-4pm. Call 04 317 6000.
The Address Dubai Marina
Will there be glistening snow and sleigh bells ringing? We hope so. But walking into the winter wonderland that will be The Address’ Constellation Ballroom on December 25 from noon to 4pm, we’re sure to clap eyes on a lavish spread that will feed Scrooge with Yuletide cheer. Think succulent roast turkey, juicy leg of Wicklow lamb and braised veal with black truffles. The halls will be decked to resemble a festive village with a dedicated kids’ area and a special visit from the man himself – Santa! (Dh320-Dh575). Festive cheer at The Address doesn’t end on Christmas Day though. International restaurant Mazina gives Boxing Day a Far Eastern fix with a buffet lunch with fresh noodles, Peking duck and sushi, as well as festive desserts.
☞ Call 04 888 3444 or email email@example.com.
VIDA DOWNTOWN dubai
Watch your kids shape architectural wonders with the fun and messy activity of gingerbread house decorating. The only real challenge will be for them to resist digging in before completing their masterpieces! There are also interesting Yuletide games and a visit from Santa to look forward to at 3in1 restaurant from December 11-12, 10am-1pm and 3-5pm for Dh125 inclusive of snacks, juices, and a gingerbread house kit.
For a fun day in the sun, book Vida’s popular Urban Picnic Brunch on Christmas Day to celebrate by the pool with tunes from an international DJ; 1-5pm, Dh365 for adults, Dh150 for children from six to 12 years, free for those below five years.
☞ For reservations, call 04 428 6888.
Imperium, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
Gilded columns, crystal chandeliers and a decor that takes grandeur to another level, Imperium spells opulence like no other. Come Christmas, the restaurant looks like an illustration from a Hans Christian Andersen book. The extravagant Gingerbread House, complete with a life-size Santa’s sleigh, will have you reaching for your cameras for selfies. Settle in to relish some jazz music and a lavish buffet that includes everything from traditional roasts to delightful desserts that look like works of art. The kitchen crew promises to go all out to make your celebration unforgettable. Book a table on the terrace for stunning views of the Arabian Sea.
☞ From Dh425 per person, 6-11pm. Call 04 453 0444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
InterContinental Dubai Festival City
Spend an exciting Christmas Eve at the waterfront French restaurant Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire with a four-course meal created by the Michelin-starred chef (Dh790, 7-11pm). On Christmas Day, head to Blades restaurant at Al Badia Golf Club for a picnic-themed brunch from noon to 4 pm – perfect for bringing together family and friends. With such gorgeous weather, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the cooking stations and live music while the kids enjoy special activities. From Dh350; Dh175 for kids aged five to 12 years. The celebrations don’t have to end there, of course. Enjoy Boxing Day at Anise’s seafood-themed brunch with its sashimi and sushi specials. From Dh275, 1-4 pm.
☞ To reserve, call 04 701 1127/28.
Ruth’s Chris Steak house, The Address Dubai Marina
The steakout begins early this festive season at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Our taste buds are in a tizzy at the thought of jump-starting the celebrations on December 14 at the restaurant’s four-course Christmas Dinner Party (Dh550, from 6pm). Indulge in creative canapés, barbecued shrimp lashed with garlicky butter and mashed potatoes, and luscious bone-in rib-eye with sides of potato gratin and sautéed mushrooms. Cap off the experience with a caramelised banana cream pie. Santa won’t be the only one with a jelly belly.
☞ For traditionalists, the stuffed turkey-led Christmas Day brunch (Dh550) and Christmas Eve menu (Dh450) should do the trick. Call 04 454 9538 or email email@example.com.
Bread Street Kitchen, Atlantis, The Palm
What merry meals do Michelin-star celebrity chefs conceive for Christmas? Our burning question has been answered by Gordon Ramsay – a three-course traditional Christmas Eve dinner at his new Dubai restaurant, Bread Street Kitchen. We’re in love with this short, simple and delicious menu that leaves all the decorations for the tree and trimmings for the turkey. There’s Scottish salmon, crème fraiche, and watercress and fennel salad for starters, roast turkey wellington with cranberry sauce for mains and caramelised banana bread with Christmas pudding ice cream for dessert. We expected nothing less.
☞ ’Tis the night before Christmas so you might miss Santa and his reindeers while savouring this gourmet meal as a live performer regales you. Dh250 per person, from 6pm. Call 04 426 2000.
Top Turkey takeaways
All you all want for Christmas is a delicious turkey dinner without slaving over a hot stove. We understand, which is why we’ve picked these delectable takeaways to make your wish come true.
Intercontinental Dubai Festival City
Turkey troubles are solved with a roast takeaway from Anise. Order 48 hours in advance and pick up a turkey stuffed with sage and cranberries, sweet and sour braised red cabbage, oven-roasted chunky potatoes with shallots, roasted root vegetables with thyme butter, Brussels sprouts, sauces and cranberry chutney (Dh650-Dh875). And why just limit yourself to turkey? You can also take away roast grass-fed strip loin (Dh950). December 15-31. Call 04 701 1127/28 or email firstname.lastname@example.org diningdfc.com.
Mövenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel
Santa’s got his elves, and you’ve got the amazing chefs at Mövenpick to prepare your Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch. Order roast turkey dinner for eight to 12 people at Dh650 or 14-18 people at Dh850. Trimmings include chestnuts, oven-roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots, cinnamon pears, gravy and cranberry sauce. An extra Dh100 will have it delivered at your doorstep. December 1-26 . Advance notice of 72 hours required. Call 04 444 5613 or email email@example.com.
Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre
Grab-and-go turkey boxes need to be ordered 48 hours in advance. Roast turkeys weigh seven to eight kg, and serve 10-12. Stuffing includes chestnuts, pecan, shallots, raisins and truffle oil and accompanied by gravy, sweet potato wedges, sweet peas casserole, roasted carrots, sautéed Brussels sprouts, cranberry relish and ciabatta bread loaves. Dh575. Call 04 294 1222.
JW Marriott Marquis
La Farine bakes Dubai’s best baguettes, but this holiday season it will craft delicious turkey stuffed with apple, celery and chestnut, and served with veggies, mashed potato and cranberry sauce. Dh620 for a small turkey for six to eight; large bird serves 10 to 12 and costs Dh740. Order 48 hours in advance at www.jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com/dining/festive. Until December 24.