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Things to do in Dubai in December

Updated: November 30, 2023
 By Pri

This post covers things to do in Dubai in December.

We include events, attractions, and holiday celebrations for visitors of all ages, updated for 2023.


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. The weather is pleasant and perfect for both sightseeing and taking part 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 for having 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 on a Dubai city tour or the Old Dubai Heritage and Soulks Walking Tours.

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

2. Ring in the New Year at the Burj Khalifa

Dubai is a hot spot during New Year's Eve!

With insane fireworks and the possibility of enjoying some New Year's celebrations for free, it is no wonder that tourists start pouring into the city.

If for you, ringing in the New Year is about being out on the streets and celebrating with friends and strangers alike, there are plenty of places to do that.

The best and most famous one is the fireworks at the Burj Khalifa.

This area gets extremely crowded, so turning up earlier than expected is a good idea.

You should aim to make sure you arrive as early as around 5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. to get a nice spot.

Or you can book a table at one of the outdoor restaurants at The Dubai Mall. It may prove to be a costly affair, but you will be sure to have a nice view.

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

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

This doesn't just happen on New Year. Shows run from 6:00 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

There are a couple of lunchtime shows as well at 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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

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

3. Take a 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 include 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.

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, and pass the Atlantis on the breakfast and lunch tours. You can also opt for a yacht experience with breakfast.

You get a lot of opportunities to take Instagram-worthy photos or take a dip in the sea!

4. Take Advantage of the Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai is hailed as the 'Ultimate Shopping Destination'. It has almost 100 malls, and new ones open up each year.

This dream often comes with a price, however, and this is where the Dubai Shopping Festival comes in.

During the festival, shops offer discounts on their merchandise. There are also daily car raffles, and prize drawings are held.

Malls also tend to have longer hours, which ensures plenty of time to shop.

DSF is celebrated like any other festival in Dubai: with pomp and show. This means shopping isn't the only experience you'll find.

You'll find fireworks, film festivals, music shows, interesting events, and more!

The Dubai Shopping Festival runs from December 15, 2023, until January 29, 2024.

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.

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 Al Qudra Lake.

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

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.

You can rent a bike and go for a ride around the nearby Al Qudra Cycle Track, where you might spot wild oryx and gazelle.

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

6. Experience Global Village

This is the 28th season for Global Village, a multicultural festival park and the region’s first family destination for culture, shopping, and entertainment.

It combines the cultures of 90 countries 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.

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

Children and adults alike will delight in the bright lights and lively atmosphere.

There are parades and all kinds of shows, from fire-breathing street performances to star-studded concerts.

There’s even more fun to be had with countless games and thrilling rides.

This celebration of diversity and creativity runs from October 18th, 2023 to April 28th, 2024.

Visit the Global Village website for more information.

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 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.

You can find the beach at the 5-star Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina.

Visit here to learn more about hours, water sports, and special days.

8. Visit the Miracle Garden and Butterfly Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden is a flower wonderland 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! For more information on the park, visit the Miracle Garden website.

Just next to the Miracle Garden is the Dubai Butterfly Garden.

This is the world’s largest and the region’s first indoor butterfly garden and sanctuary, found inside ten custom-built domes.

You'll find over 15,000 butterflies from 50 varieties.

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

For more information, visit the Dubai Butterfly Garden website.

9. Stay 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 1,539 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 international 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 of 65,000 incredible marine animals in the Lost Chamber Aquarium.

At Aquaventure, you'll find 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, take part in marine activities, or watch the kids have fun in children's play areas.

You can also witness the amazing fireworks from Atlantis on New Year's Eve.

Often overshadowed by the Burj Khalifa fireworks, the Atlantis Fireworks truly demonstrate a one-of-a-kind show.

This 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

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

You can go dune-bashing, camel riding, sandboarding, get henna done, smoke shisha, and spend hours of unlimited desert fun.

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

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 your Dubai 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: November 30th, 2023
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