Tis’ the season to be jolly and immerse yourself in all things Christmas and what’s a better place to do it than a festive winter wonderland? The annual Madinat Jumeirah Christmas Market is back this Christmas on December 15. Spanning a massive 1750sqm, the festive market is one that’s eagerly awaited by Dubai residents and visitors alike. Spread out across Souk Madinat’s Fort Island area, this fortnight-long extravaganza transports merrymakers straight to an enchanting wintry landscape with its stunning decorations, scrummy festive food and periodic sprinkling of snowfall! We’re pretty pumped for this winter wonderland that is free to enter and is open until December 30! Here are 5 reasons why you should be too:
1. Santa arrives in an Abra
Sleighs are so basic. As are chimneys. The jolly old man makes an appearance from the North Pole via the Madinat’s waterways every evening perched on an abra, bells jingling to herald his arrival. Where else in the world but Dubai can you see Santa Clause ditch his herd of reindeer for a traditional Arabian boat? Even Santa’s grotto is set amidst Arabian burjeels (wind towers) blending the best of balmy Arabian nights and frosty North Pole vibes.
2. A 36-foot Christmas tree
Christmas without a photo-op in front of a towering tree and the Madinat Jumeirah tree is one to always watch out for. Decked from tip to root in dazzling ornaments and lights, it truly sets the mood and serves as the centrepiece of the sprawling winter wonderland.
3. You can bungee jump
Now here’s an experience that blows every traditional Christmas market in Austria or Germany straight out of the water. Bungee jumping. Because we’re all bouncing off the walls with excitement about the festive season and it’s only fair you get to experience the thrills quite literally, under the supervision of experts.
4. Eat, drink and be merry
If there’s ever a time to feast on foot-long frankfurters and munch on roasted chestnuts, candy canes and toasty pretzels, it’s Christmas time. This particular market is known for some of the best wursts served during the festive season. The food stalls around the Madinat Jumeirah Christmas Market keep up with the theme of an Arabian winter wonderland and serve up quirky delicacies like festive shawarmas and doners drizzled with cranberry sauce. This is also your chance to switch up the year-long brunch staple of chilled wine and cosy up with some warm, spiced mulled wine. Meanwhile, a live band will be belting out Christmas classics from Mariah Carrey to Michael Buble and every iconic carol in between.
5. Train rides, merry-go-rounds and shopping
The Madinat Jumeirah Christmas Market has its own version of The Polar Express – a magical little North Pole train that chugs around Souk Madinat, ferrying excited little kids around. There’s also the Venetian Carousel adding that touch of whimsy and magic that sees us all flocking to these wonderful winter markets. For a different kind of dopamine high, indulge in some retail therapy and the wooden chalet-style stalls selling all kinds of Christmas goodies, from mince pies to toys and souvenirs that work as last-minute stocking fillers.