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Things to do in Dubai in December 2022


This post covers things to do in Dubai in December.

We include events, attractions, and holiday celebrations for visitors of all ages, updated for 2022.


With the temperatures dropping, December to March is the ideal time to visit Dubai!

Though it is the peak tourist season, it is the most enjoyable time to be in the city as the weather is pleasant, and apt for sightseeing, and indulging in outdoor activities.

Here are our top ten things to do in Dubai in December.

1. Take a City Tour

Dubai has emerged as a thriving metropolitan city that has become the most popular tourist destination in the Middle East.

The megacity has earned the title of being the land of superlatives because of its affinity to have the best of everything.

From infrastructure to lifestyle, every day, the capital city of Emirate of Dubai sets a new example of excellence for the world.

Dubai’s humble beginning as a fishing village keeps the city grounded and stands in sharp contrast with the level of advancement it has achieved.

The best way to experience what the city has to offer is to go to a Dubai city tour.

Who doesn’t love skyscrapers, high rise buildings, and culture together?

Our city tour is a blend of all, and we make sure to let you have the experience of both sides of Dubai.

One moment you could be among the clouds as you zip through Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and the next you could be sailing through the bustling waterways of Dubai in a traditional Abra ride.

There are the flourishing spice and gold souks that you must visit to get a glimpse of the city’s past.

With so much to see and do, you can make the most of your time in Dubai by booking yourself a place on a Dubai City Tour.

Whet-Your-Appetite City Tour lasts for approximately 5-6 hours. The tour starts with an engaging walk through the old historic neighborhood.

Old Dubai is the center of local trade in Dubai hence there will be plenty of shopping opportunities in the traditional souks.

We then proceed for a fun Abra ride across the Dubai Creek and a lunch break with local Emirati Food.

We then head to the modern developments in Dubai, driving through the coastline, the beaches, the fancy hotels, the Marinas to the Palm Islands.

The tour concludes at the Dubai Mall – the hub for many fun-filled evening activities. There is also time planned for shopping or a visit to the Burj Khalifa.

At the end of the day, you will have so much insight into the city that therefore you will feel like you own this town!

When: Every day at 10 am (Timings can be flexible)

2. Bring in the New Year at the Burj Khalifa

Dubai is a hot spot during New Years' eve!

With insane fireworks and the possibility to enjoy some of the grand New Year's celebrations for free in Dubai, it is no wonder that tourists start pouring into the emirate from the neighboring countries and the rest of the world around this time.

If ringing in the New Year for you is about being out on the streets and celebrating it with friends and strangers alike, there are plenty of places in Dubai, with the best and the most famous one being the fireworks at the Burj Khalifa.

The place gets extremely crowded and therefore turning up earlier than expected is clearly a good idea.

You should aim to make sure you arrive as early as around 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM to take a nice spot otherwise you can book a table at one of the outdoor restaurants of The Dubai Mall.

They do prove to be an extremely costly affair, but at least you have a nice view!

While you are waiting for the fireworks, you can enjoy the dancing musical fountains, the Dubai Fountain on the Burj Lake.

The fountain performs to a range of different songs from classical to contemporary Arabic and world music.

Some popular tracks include Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s Time to Say Goodbye, and most recently Power by Korean pop band EXO.

Shows start at 6:30 pm onwards every day till 11 pm. There are two shows in the afternoon as well at 1 pm and 1:30 pm.

You can also pay for a boat and view the fountain dancing from a very near distance.

To enjoy the new year in Dubai on a budget, here are a few hacks!

  • Take a ferry ride in Dubai Marina: You can watch the night sky and the amazing fireworks of the iconic Burj Khalifa, Atlantis The Palm if you take a ferry ride on New Year’s Eve across Dubai Marina.
  • Bring in the new year on the Beach: If you are a budget traveler, then you can take a place on the Jumeirah Beach which echoes with more than hundreds of people. You can pick a great spot and enjoy the sunset and watch the midnight fireworks of the NYE.

3. Take the Dhow Cruise or a Yacht

Head on to a relaxing evening with fun and entertainment on a traditional Arabic boat.

Famous for its Tanura dancers and their colorful costumes, a Dhow Cruise cheers up everyone.

Dhow cruises usually includes a three-course dinner buffet. It’s a magical experience drifting along the creek while watching colorful reflections out on the water of the beautifully lit up skyline of Dubai.

Make sure you bring your camera as there are lots of photo opportunities. It's the perfect antidote to a busy city life.

If you would like a more private experience, then we would recommend you take a yacht from the Dubai Marina area.

Sail through the Dubai Marina to Bluewaters Island, and cruise over to the Dubai Eye.

See the famous Jumeirah Beach and the Palm, as well as passing the Atlantis on the breakfast and lunch tours. You can also opt for a yacht experience with breakfast.

You get a lot of opportunities for taking insta worthy photos or take a dip in the sea!

4. Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai is hailed as the 'Ultimate Shopping Destination'.

And it is this reputation that Dubai has, that inspires it to offer even more to the millions of tourists that come flocking to the emirate with every passing year.

Dubai alone has more than 70 malls in addition to new malls that open every year.

However, with the big brands and the high-end stores, this dream often comes with a price. And this is where Dubai Shopping Festival comes to your rescue.

Dubai Shopping Festival is the most-awaited event in Dubai. It's extravagant and amazing!

DSF is an annual month-long event put together by the Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment, which is a part of Dubai’s department of tourism.

During the festival, shops offer discounts on their merchandise, daily car raffles, and prize drawings are held to win items such as gold and cars.

During DSF, the malls also tend to have longer working hours which ensures that you have plenty of time to shop till you drop!

DSF is celebrated like any other festival in Dubai: with pomp and show. This means shopping isn't the only experience to please your soul.

There exists a plethora of activities that go on here which you could participate in, apart from shopping- fireworks, film festivals, music shows, and events!

When: December 15, 2022, until January 29, 2023.

5. Camp at the Al Qudra Lakes

Often, people think they must venture out of the Emirate in order to enjoy a fun-filled camping trip in and among the dunes.

Little do they know that just 40 minutes East of the main city, you’ll find the secluded Al Qudra camping spot in the desert near to Al Qudra Lake.

Disconnect from the digital world, gather your friends and pack the supplies for a night under the stars!

Al Qudra Lakes is the ideal location if you’re new to camping in the UAE, or just looking for a low-key break from the city that won’t require a huge amount of effort.

You won’t need a 4×4 to reach these picturesque lakes, and the area is within half an hour’s drive of the city.

Keep in mind that because it’s so easily accessible, it’s popular with weekend warriors.

Al Qudra Lakes might be manmade but it’s still a picturesque slice of greenery, with plenty of trees and wildlife, especially birds, to be spotted in and around the water.

If you’re feeling sporty you could also go for a bike around the nearby Al Qudra Cycle Track, where you might also spot wild oryx and gazelle (rent a bike from the Trek store).

If the great outdoors gets too much for you, there’s always Bab Al Shams Resort and Spa nearby for a little R&R.

It’s unlikely you’ll need it though, as there are plenty of amenities in the area.

Or if you’re feeling adventurous, see if you can track down Dubai’s new man-made Love Lakes.

6. Visit the Global Village

Global Village Dubai is located on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (E311) Dubai.

Global Village is a multicultural festival park and the region’s first family destination for culture, shopping, and entertainment. It combines the cultures of 90 countries across the world in one place.

There’s something magical about Global Village. Part theme park, part market, Global Village features pavilions with displays from countries near and far where visitors can pick up traditional handicrafts and snacks.

This festival park brings cultures together as visitors discover different parts of the world in just a few hours.

The pavilions are designed in the image of iconic structures or local architecture, inviting all to meander from London’s Big Ben to the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy.

Take selfies against the romantic backdrop of the Taj Mahal or travel back in time to Ancient Egypt.

Children and adults alike will delight in the bright lights and lively atmosphere created by parades and all kinds of shows, from fire-breathing street performances to star-studded concerts.

Plus, there’s even more fun to be had with countless games and thrilling rides at the region’s largest funfair.

Keep an eye out for Global Village’s mascot, Globo, and his adventures across the globe with Scaredy Bat and more!

Visit Global Village this season to see all the open-air fun you and your family can have.

7. Party at Barasti

Barasti Beach Bar is world-famous, and hosts some great parties and events in Dubai.

This is for sure Dubai’s most happening place!

The reason for its popularity is multi-faceted.

The massive, sprawling beach bar and club provide whatever you’re looking for – be it lazing in the sun, watching the game, tucking into some decent bar food or partying to top name DJs.

8. Visit the Miracle garden

Dubai Miracle Garden, opened in 2013, is a flower garden located in the district of Dubailand.

The garden occupies over 72,000 square meters making it the world’s largest natural flower garden.

It features over 50 million flowers and 250 million plants!

In 2015, the Dubai Butterfly Garden then opened. It is the world’s largest and the region’s first indoor butterfly garden and sanctuary for over 15,000 butterflies from 26 species. 

Other attractions in the park include a floral clock, peacocks, flower castle and an aromatic garden.

It also has an Airbus A380 which is the biggest flower structure in the world as per the Guinness book of world Record.

Dubai Miracle Gardens also has a Mickey Mouse flower structure weighing almost 35 tons to attract the kids and families.

The tickets for Dubai Miracle Garden are 50AED for adults and children above the age of 2 are 40AED.

9. Staycation at the Atlantis

Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, is a luxury hotel located on the Palm Jumeirah.

There are lots of exciting activities that make Atlantis beach resort the epicenter of adventure and the greatest holiday experience ever.

The hotel has a nautical theme and consists of 1539 rooms. It was the first resort to be built on the island and shows distinctive elements of the Arabian world.

It has two accommodation wings, consisting of an East and West Tower, linked together by a Royal Bridge Suite.

There are also a number of restaurants serving a variety of interntional cuisines.

The hotel also has Nasimi Beach which frequently plays host to concerts and other events.

You can swim with dolphins at Dolphin Bay, meet the sea lion at the Sea Lion Point. or visit the home to 65,000 incredible marine animals in the Lost Chamber Aquarium.

Aquaventure is overflowing with 17 fun-filled hectares of adrenaline-pumping fun.

The water park has record-breaking slides and rides, and offers up close time with sharks and rays. It also has a 700-meter private beach on which to relax, and marine activities and a children play areas.

A one day ticket for the water park is 299AED for adults, and 249AED for kids (under age 2 is free). There are also Super Passes available.

You can also witness the amazing fireworks from Atlantis on New Years Eve.

Often overshadowed by the Burj Khalifa fireworks, the Atlantis Fireworks truly demonstrates a one-of-a-kind show and is something one must experience when looking for things to do during New Year in Dubai.

This is truly an amazing resort with loads to do for everyone.

10. Go on a Desert Safari

Desert Safari gives you the chance to drive over dunes and participate in a variety of traditional desert activities.

Desert Safari is a must-do if you are in Dubai for the dune bashing, camel riding, sandboarding, henna, shisha and some hours of unlimited desert fun.

There are several safari companies that allow you to camp overnight in the desert as well.

Camel rides make for a great hands-on Dubai Desert Tour.

Most desert safaris include a short ride, but you can definitely opt for a tour with extended riding time. Meals are included in most safaris are give you a taste of the traditional local food.

Book you Desert Safari with us on this visit to Dubai!

About The Author


Pri is a true believer in the Rule of Three - she lives between Dubai, Bombay and Washington DC, speaks three languages and has 3 kids under 3. She graduated from Connecticut College and has a Masters Degree from New York University. Pri is a licensed Dubai tour guide, travel blogger, art aficionado, foodie and curious to check out all things new in her city. Pri has been part of the Free Tours By Foot team since 2015 and loves to make customized itineraries for her guests.
Updated: October 6th, 2022
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