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What To Do This Weekend In The UAE

From wellness breaks to scaling gingerbread skyscrapers, here’s what to do with your UAE weekend

DECEMBER 9

Everyone loves a gingerbread house. But how about a gingerbread world’s tallest building? Following last year’s epic gingerbread recreation of Sheikh Zayed Road, this weekend, check out The H Dubai’s whopping 16-foot tall Gingerbread Burj Khalifa. 

Taking 250 hours to complete, and lead by The H Dubai’s Chef Nilesh Darekar and Pastry Chef Heirida Marica, the incredible work of baking and sugar crafting artistry is made entirely from gingerbread and icing, and takes pride of place in the hotel’s glamorous lobby, alongside a glittering 20ft tall Christmas tree. 

DECEMBER 10

Need a little breathing space? Bring the year to a close on a note of hope and serenity with a weekend wellness escape to The Mountain Centre, Ras Al Khaimah. Available as one-night and two-night packages from December 10-12, if you’re looking to leave the chaos of the city to relax, unwind and enjoy an array of wellness activities in a stunning setting, get booking now.

Based in a secluded mountain oasis built on a natural hot-spring, the retreat boasts many types of fruit trees, herbs, and other plants in the extensive grounds and gardens. An excellent two-day disconnect, all meals are included, with the in-house chef serving simple, healthy home-cooked food using only fresh ingredients. From AED782 per person, follow @retreatme or visit retreatmi.com or visit to book.

DECEMBER 11

Abu Dhabi’s third Chef’s Table event – this year themed ‘Art on a Plate’ – comes to a close on December 15, so if you’re in the capital this weekend, don’t miss out on your final chance to indulge in the city’s most artistically-styled and delectable dishes.

Part of Abu Dhabi Culinary Season 2020, the city’s annual six-week food festival, the Chef’s Table sees talented culinary masters create limited-edition five-course set menus that uniquely fuse taste and aesthetics to highlight the array of world-class talent in the emirate’s eclectic F&B fine dining scene. With restaurants including LPM, Shang Palace, Martabaan, Hakkasan, Signature 3 Verson and Li Jaang amongst many others participating, each Chef’s Table restaurant also features artistic collaborations throughout the venues to elevate the dining experiences by taking guests on an all-encompassing sensory journey.

Find out more at adculinaryseason.ae.

DECEMBER 12

Kicking off this weekend, and running until December 26, the spirit of Christmas takes over Souk Madinat Jumeirah as Santa Claus sets up his Dubai workshop. Transforming the central courtyard, Santa’s Workshop is hosting a packed schedule of kids workshops and art stations between 12 pm to 10 pm, with canvas painting, string art, DIY snow globe jars, decoupage with Christmas themed cut-outs, and painting sessions where kids can paint their own Christmas house.

And it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without meeting Santa, so don’t forget to explore Santa’s Grotto while you’re there from 4 pm-7 pm. Entirely manned by elves, and aligned with the COVID-19 safety compliance regulations, entrance to Santa’s Grotto is free of charge, and a must to get kids of all ages in the festive spirit. 

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