With December weather ideal for outdoor activities, event organisers are in full swing with plenty to keep us all busy, mid-week or over the weekend!
Some periods in December are so jam-packed with things to do in Abu Dhabi that we residents and tourists are spoilt for choice this month.
From brunches to music festivals and markets to sports, let’s dive in and look at all the events and offers from across the Emirate.
Don’t forget to read to the end to discover our top picks for Christmas and NYE.
Events & Offers From Across Abu Dhabi This December
Sheikh Zayed Festival, throughout December
The Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival in Abu Dhabi is an evolving celebration of culture and tradition from November to March each year.
It has grown into one of the most significant events on the Abu Dhabi calendar, seamlessly blending technological advancements with deep-rooted culture and traditional showcases.
The festival showcases over 20,000 individuals participating in many activities and 750 performances across different zones.
Sheikh Zayed Festival is well-known for its iconic Emirates Fountain, light shows, international pavilions representing various countries, weekly fireworks displays, and fascinating drone shows.
With a nominal entry fee and extended hours on weekends and public holidays, the festival offers a unique experience in understanding the UAE’s rich heritage and culture while enjoying delicious Emirati cuisine and a variety of activities for all ages.
Read more details on the Sheikh Zayed Festival here.
National Day Celebrations, 2nd Of December
National Day falls on the 2nd of December this year, a Saturday. It has just been confirmed that it will be a 4-day long weekend from December 2nd to December 4th.
With regard to events and festivities, check out this post, which is a detailed guide on National Day celebrations.
Liquid Binge, Each Saturday In December
Indulge in the Liquid Binge offer at Y Bar in Yas Island Rotana, where the pouring never stops!
Immerse in an unforgettable 3-hour experience featuring free-flow drinks, electrifying 80s/90s beats, and an atmosphere cranked up to the max.
For just AED 159 per person, enjoy unlimited house beverages every Saturday from 7 PM onwards, with retro music spanning the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
After Brunch Party, Each Saturday In December
The After Brunch Party Hub has some of the best sunset views in Abu Dhabi. Head to Filini Garden at the Radisson Blu Hotel for this exclusive experience.
For AED 149, enjoy an unlimited 3-hour beverage package between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Let the vibrant tunes of DJ Katrina Live set the vibe perfectly alongside the incredible views and refreshing drinks.
Yas Winterfest, 6-10th of December
Immerse in a winter celebration at the brand-new Yas Winterfest! Enjoy five days of festive delights, including a snow park, daily tree-lighting ceremonies, and nightly fireworks displays!
Guests can enjoy the carnival rides, a snowball fight zone, and snow slides. The main stage will be alive with continuous entertainment, featuring festive live shows, sing-alongs, magicians, Christmas choirs, and more.
There’s a mega winter kids‘ zone and Santa’s Workshop for the little ones, while adults can relish artisan market shopping and indulge in classic winter treats and beverages.
Keep an eye out for surprises, including Santa sightings, artificial snowfall throughout the day, and the chance to write and post a letter to Santa.
This must-attend event caters to all ages. Age 3 and under are free, whilst:
- Ages 4 to 12: Child ticket required 15 AED in advance or 20 AED on the door
- Ages 13 and above, a Standard ticket required 25 AED in advance or 30 AED on the door.
Michelin Guide Food Festival, 8-10th Of December
Experience the inaugural MICHELIN Guide Food Festival Abu Dhabi from December 8th to 10th at the picturesque Louvre Abu Dhabi Park.
Celebrating the “Art of Flavour,” the festival features 16 Michelin-star restaurants offering specially curated menus, allowing participants to embark on a unique culinary journey.
Featured restaurants include JL Studio (Taiwan), La Scene (France), SORN (Thailand), Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, Credo (Norway), Talea (Abu Dhabi), 99 Sushi Bar (Abu Dhabi), and more.
Don’t miss the MICHELIN Star Chef’s Table at Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi, featuring three chef pairings presenting a 6-8 course menu based on Asian, European, and Contemporary cuisine.
Tickets are available at 750 AED per person (excluding beverage pairing), with each ticket including free entry to the festival.
Exciting spaces for the whole family include a dedicated kids’ play area, a café and pastry zone, a marketplace with MICHELIN branded merchandise, and a showcase of local producers.
EMG Gaming Festival, 8-10th December
Gamers, mark your calendar for the ultimate gaming celebration from Friday, Dec 8, 2023, at 12:00 PM to Sunday, Dec 10, 2023, at 11:59 PM!
This festival is a gaming enthusiast’s dream, featuring competitive tournaments, laid-back gaming zones, anime cosplay, and various activities. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or just seeking a fun weekend, there’s something for everyone.
Experience three days of non-stop gaming action, where you can showcase your skills and meet gaming influencers.
Spartan World Championships, 8-10th Of December
The Spartan World Championship, hosted by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, is back in the Al Wathba desert venue for the ultimate OCR event of the season.
Just 30 minutes from the city, thousands of athletes and spectators will gather for the chance to achieve Spartan immortality in the 2023 individual and team championship events.
Elite Racers can showcase their championship skills on the challenging 21K Beast or all-new 3K courses.
Age Group Racers, on the other hand, will take on the 21K Beast Course. Grab a friend and represent your country in the exciting 3K Team Championship Event if you prefer teamwork.
The Illusionist, Magic Of The Holidays, 8-10th of December
Don’t miss “The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays” at Etihad Arena! The world’s best-selling magic show is back on Yas Island this holiday.
It’s a fresh production featuring mind-bending illusions, stunning tricks, and breathtaking feats by top magicians.
Known for pushing the boundaries of traditional magic, this show incorporates technology, comedy, and audience participation. Suitable for all ages, it’s the perfect day out.
Moreeb Lights, 8-31st Of December
Experience the magic of the Tal Moreeb Dune as it narrates the tale of the Liwa International Festival through large-scale video animations!
Witness this unique display every night from December 8, 2023, at 8:00 PM to December 31, 2023, at 10:06 PM.
The Dune will illuminate with artistic visuals and audio, showcasing the vision and achievements of the festival.
These special videos will kick off each night of motorsports excitement, concluding with tailor-made firework displays for a memorable finale. Don’t miss this enchanting spectacle at the festival site!
Dear Santa, Cultural Foundation, 10th December
Celebrate Christmas with the “Dear Santa” story at the Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi!
Join the festive fun with Rod Campbell’s beloved tale, known for the popular children’s book Dear Zoo.
Packed with Christmas songs, laughter, and audience participation, this live stage adaptation brings Rod Campbell’s charming style to life.
For more details, contact email@example.com or call 02 6576348.
- December 10, 2023
- Doors open at 2:30 p.m., and the show starts at 3:00 p.m.
- December 10, 2023
- Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 6:00 p.m.
The show lasts 60 minutes and is suitable for ages +2.
Blast Gaming Premier World Final 2023, 16-17th Of December
The ultimate gaming event is back in Abu Dhabi at Etihad Arena, offering even more exclusive experiences!
Join in on an action-packed weekend at the BLAST Premier World Final, featuring the world’s best Counter-Strike teams competing for a $1 million prize pool.
Don’t miss the ‘BLAST Zone’ with open e-sport tournaments, a mobile gaming area, VR park, arcade games, meet & greet with e-sport teams, racing simulators, indie gaming zone, e-sport stage, esports & education zone, merchandise, photo ops, and more.
Both days kick off at noon.
Meteora World Tennis League, 21-24th Of December
World Tennis League Season 2, “The Greatest Show on Court,” is back at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, from December 21 to 24, 2023. Witness 16 of the world’s best tennis players in 4 teams competing for the championship.
Experience four days of tennis extravaganza with epic matches, followed by live entertainment concerts featuring world-class artists.
Some acts include 50 Cent on the 21st of December, Akon and Ne-Yo on the 22nd of December, UB40, The Original Wailers, and The Trojan Sound System.
Whether you’re a tennis enthusiast or new to the game, the World Tennis League is set to be an incredible event.
Festive Party, Saadiyat Beach Club
Get ready for a festive party with special guest DJ Regard on Saturday, December 23rd, around the pool at Saadiyat Beach Club. The event includes a Day Pass from sunrise to sunset and brunch from 10 am to 4 pm.
Brunch will have various dishes, including fresh seafood, grilled meats, and decadent desserts. Pair your meal with a refreshing cocktail or a glass of champagne while enjoying the stunning views.
As you indulge in your meal, DJ Regard sets the vibe with the hottest tracks, creating an upbeat and lively atmosphere that will have you moving to the beat. Prices start from 570 AED.
Christmas Eve, 24th Of December
Tons of Christmas events happen on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We’ve selected a few of our favourites below.
Christmas Eve Drunch, Andaz
Cyan Brasserie’s “Countdown to Christmas Drunch” occurs on December 24th.
This evening brunch on the 18th floor of Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi offers a modern twist on Christmas Eve dinner, featuring a live turkey, festive duck specials, and decadent dishes with a contemporary flair.
Enjoy a Live mulled wine station, Christmas-themed cocktails, live music, and the chance to win a staycation.
Prices start at AED 250 for food and soft beverages, AED 350 for house beverages, and AED 450 for premium beverages, with an exclusive 25% Off on champagne bottles.
Oléa’s Festive Feast, Christmas Eve, St.Regis
Experience Christmas Eve at Oléa, surrounded by the stunning white marble interior and a charming palm tree-lined terrace. Savour seasonal delights while enjoying the live three-piece band, The Youngers Trio.
The festive feast will feature succulent roast turkey, decadent foie gras, a bounty of seafood, mouth-watering grills, and an array of sweet treats.
Kicking off at 8 pm to 12 am on December 24th, prices start at 325 AED with options of festive drinks and house beverages at 450 AED. Children between 6 and 12 cost 150 AED.
For reservations, contact +971 2 498 8443 or email.
Christmas Day, 25th Of December
Christmas Day Brunch at Cooper’s, Park Rotana
Cooper’s invites you to an amazing Christmas Day Brunch on December 25th from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
The festive buffet includes barbecue stations, and the atmosphere will be fun with live music and tunes from the house DJ.
Prices range from AED 299 for soft beverages to AED 429 for premium selected beverages. Book your Christmas Day Brunch at Cooper’s by calling 0097126573335.
Christmas Day Brunch at Grills @ Chill’O, Sofitel
Indulge in all your holiday favourites at Sofitel’s Grills @ Chill’O festive Christmas Day brunch! Enjoy the delightful tunes of the talented duo singing Christmas songs while savouring a brunch filled with all-around good vibes.
Christmas Day brunch kicks off at 1 pm until 4 pm, and prices start from 325 AED with the add-on of 145 AED for free-flow beverages or 445 AED for the champagne package. Kids aged 6 to 12 get 50% off.
For more information, please call 0097128137777 or email.
Saadiyat Beach Club Christmas Day Brunch
Celebrate Christmas Day with a festive brunch at Safina Restaurant Tromionozona on December 25th.
Indulge in a feast featuring fresh seafood and a lavish barbecue that caters to every palate, where you can watch your food being prepared to order.
Enjoy live entertainment, saxophone player and Santa will appear. If that wasn’t enough, enjoy refreshing cocktails by the pool with views of the Arabian Gulf.
Prices start from 570 AED. For reservations, call 0097150152842 or email.
Sole and Nahaan Christmas Brunch
After unwrapping your presents, take your Christmas celebration to the next level with an indulgent brunch at Nahaam and SOLE. Join a festive feast that spans two restaurants, featuring a delectable Christmas spread accompanied by live music.
Choose from the brunch packages starting from 535 AED for soft beverages and 695 AED for house beverages and bubbles. It’s 895 AED for the premium package, and kids aged 6 to 12 cost 200 AED.
Online bookings can also be made through Nahaam at Conrad Abu Dhabi via the following link: Nahaam Online Bookings.
Monster Jam, Liwa, 27-28th Of December
Gear up for an exciting motorsport extravaganza on December 27-28! Witness 5-ton trucks defy gravity in thrilling competitions like racing, freestyle, and skills contests.
Experience insane stunts with world-class freestyle motocross performances. For just 15 dhs more, join the Monster Jam Pit Party to get close to the vehicles, meet the drivers, and learn about truck preparation.
NYE Celebrations, 31st Of December
There are tonnes of events and offers available this New Year. We have selected a few of our top picks for this NYE below!
NYE Under The Stars 2024, Park Rotana
Book before December 10th and enjoy a 10% discount on your ticket to celebrate New Year’s Eve under the stars at Park Rotana in Abu Dhabi.
The event features a stunning buffet by the pool with sushi & sake, oyster & caviar, carvery, Peking duck, dessert, and more.
Sip on signature cocktails and beverages while enjoying live music by Lebanese singer Cynthia and DJ Frankey.
Prices start at AED 584 for buffet, house beverages, and soft drinks (AED 719 for premium beverages). For inquiries and bookings, visit the website or call 0097126573335.
NYE Eve Gala Dinner at Grills @ Chill’O, Sofitel
Start your New Year’s Eve with a Bouillabaisse Station-rich seafood soup with fresh fish, shellfish, and vegetables. Indulge in foie gras, scallops, oysters, and a mix grill at Grills @ Chill’O.
Enjoy festive surprises with New Year crackers on the tables, and keep the party going with live entertainment to get you dancing.
The DJ will lead the countdown for a stylish welcome to the New Year. This event starts at 8 pm with a live band at 9 pm and a DJ at 1130pm.
Prices range from 395 AED for soft drinks up to 495 AED for unlimited champagne.
For more information, please call 0097128137777 or email.
New Year’s Grandeur: The Grand Opus Celebration
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort invites you to welcome the New Year with grandeur, offering three exceptional experiences at Olea, MAZI Abu Dhabi, and Sontaya.
Olea will feature a lavish international buffet and live entertainment by The Youngers. MAZI will allow you to indulge in classic Greek specialities with live music this New Year’s Eve.
Prices for Olea start at 350 AED and begin at 7 pm, whilst MAZI pricing starts at 500 AED and begins at 8 pm.
If Asian dishes tickle your fancy, head to Sontaya to ring in the New Year with rhythmic beats by DJ Nurai and two pricing options for indoor (starting at 700 AED) and outdoor (starting at 600 AED) celebrations.
For reservations, call +971 2 498 8443 or email.
Cafe Del Mar New Year’s Eve
Enjoy a moonlight dinner and fireworks show at Cafe Del Mar this New Year’s Eve! Live entertainment will be as you indulge in a 3-course dinner featuring highlights like Wagyu beef skewers, Lobster risotto, and the divine Golden Moon dessert.
Elevate your experience with free-flowing beverages, all set against the backdrop of a dazzling double fireworks display at 9pm and midnight.
Choose the Gourmet Extravaganza package for 950 AED (Early Bird Offer: 750 AED) or opt for the Fireworks Spectacular at 699 AED (Early Bird Offer: 599 AED) with complimentary beverages starting from 11:30pm.
New Year’s Eve at Siddharta Lounge by Buddha Bar
Elevate your New Year’s Eve at Siddharta Lounge by Buddha Bar, a rooftop bar with a Boho-themed celebration. Enjoy live entertainment, panoramic marina views, and double fireworks.
Choose Boho Bliss (950 AED | Early Bird: 899 AED) for a 3-course set menu dinner with unlimited beverages from 8pm. Or go for Fireworks & Libations (750 AED | Early Bird: 650 AED) for entry and unlimited beverages after 11:30pm.
Rays Bar New Year’s Eve
Ray’s Grill stands out as a sophisticated spot to celebrate NYE. The 360-degree panoramas of the city skyline and the glistening waters of the Arabian Gulf set the stage for an ideal New Year’s celebration.
From 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, guests can indulge in a sumptuous 4-course set menu priced at AED 400. Alternatively, from 9:30 pm to 12:00 am, a grand 7-course set menu awaits at AED 690.
For further details or to make reservations, call +971 (0)2 811 5666 or visit Ray’s Grill Online Bookings.
New Years Day
Whimsical Wake Up New Year Breakfast
Experience “Whimsical Wake-up to 2024” at Cyan Brasserie & Terrace, an exclusive event by Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi.
Break from tradition and enjoy a special breakfast menu with global delights. From Huevos Rancheros to Ménage A Trois, the chef offers a diverse range, including Asian specials and vegan options.
Healthy choices like vegan smoothies and an anti-hangover station will also be available. Live music enhances the laid-back feel.
Join in on 1st January 2024, 10:00-14:00, at Cyan Brasserie. Packages start at AED 225 per person or can be upgraded to AED 175.
Dress in morning fashion flair to welcome 2024 with a rule-breaking celebration. To reserve, call +971507656435.
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