Dubai Shopping Festival: Best family experiences this month

December 23, 2021 | By Justina Eitzinger

The festive weekend is here and why not combine it with your favourite shopping festival. Here is a line-up of some of the best festive family experiences this month at the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Etisalat Market OTB

Dubai Shopping Festival’s flagship alternative shopping destination, Etisalat Market OTB, is back and wowing the crowds in its ninth successive edition at its seasonal home at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai. People can indulge in some shopping, food and festive fun, all while supporting Emirati and UAE-based entrepreneurs and discovering unique fashion and flavours from dozens of homegrown brands.  Etisalat Market OTB fully embraces Asian pop culture, so there’s the chance to enjoy special programming with themed weekends jam-packed with the best acts in music and dance – from K-Pop dance shows to Squid Games inspired activities. It is also the new home of regional contemporary hip hop on 23 and 24 December, at Dubai Beats. A new addition to the DSF calendar, Dubai Beats offers two nights of live music from underground talent whose star is on the rise.

When: Until 30 December, 2021
Where: Burj Park, Downtown Dubai
Price: Free

Nakheel Mall Rooftop Village

Foodies will love this hub at the Nakheel Mall on the Palm Jumeirah, because festivities take on a new meaning at one of Dubai’s latest retail destinations. The mall is celebrating the holidays with an iconic and stylish Festive Village on its rooftop everyday this season.

When: Until Sunday 02 January 2022
Where: Rooftop at Al Nakheel Mall, Palm Jumeirah
Price: Free

Christmas at Expo

One of the most spectacular Christmas spots in the whole of the city is Expo 2020 Dubai. Think nutcrackers, tree lighting and delightful festive snacks. Even better, for the smallest guests, Santa Claus and Expo mascots, Rashid and Latifa, will come together to light up the festive tree and more.

When: Until Tuesday 28 December
Where: Expo 2020 Dubai
Price: Cost of entry to Expo 2020

Festive Cheer at La Mer

The littlest members of the family will love this festive-themed pop up at La Mer. Santa Claus is on hand until Christmas Eve each day, along with an eclectic mix of festive beachside entertainment. Every weekend over the festive period from 4pm-10pm there will be exciting family fun, delicious pop up food stands and surprises for all.

When: Until Friday 24 December
Where: La Mer, Dubai, UAE
Price: Free

Santa’s Grotto at Ibn Battuta Mall

For family-friendly festive cheer, head to Ibn Battuta Mall this month. Each day the mall will be hosting a meet and greet with Santa Claus and his elves. There will also be daily entertainment shows and a winter-themed ice skating rink for all to enjoy.

When: 2pm-9pm, daily until 30 December
Where: China Court, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, UAE
Price: Most experiences free, with minimum spend of AED 150 for the ice skating rink

Got Talents

This winter a showcase of some of the winners and semi-finalists from America’s Got Talent will offer the best live family entertainment in the city. Every weekend until the end of DSF there will be world-class entertainment. From Arabs Got Talent’s beatboxing and musical sensations, Medhat and Rock’n’Roll Oud and juggling stars of America’s Got Talent, Jeff the Juggler and Viktor Kee. To the tunes of Japanese DJ Akira and award-winning singer Danny Aridi,  jokes of comedian Arzoo, and bucket beats of Matthew Pretty a.k.a The Bucket Boy, the entertainment line-up at DSF 2022 is unmissable.

When: On weekends until 30 January 2022
Where: Various locations around Dubai, including La Mer, City Walk 2, Al Seef, Dubai Festival City Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, The Pointe, City Centre Mirdif, Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira, Bluewaters, Al Khawaneej and The Walk
Price: Free

Harry Potter at Mall of the Emirates

This winter there is a one-of-a-kind Harry Potter event coming to Mall of the Emirates. This immersive Hogwarts-inspired pop up is the first of its kind in the region, featuring large-scale artistic installations of some of the most iconic structures from the books and films. Have your phones at the ready, to take pictures of this incredible space with entertainment and activities for all the family.

When: 10 January – 10 February 2022.
Where: Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, UAE
Price: Free entry upon a minimum spend of AED300

Snow White at Mall of the Emirates

This December, a festive favourite is coming to Dubai, as a host of talented performers bring to life the classic tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Mall of the Emirates’ The Theatre. With a star-studded cast, audience participation, colourful costumes and songs to sing along to, it’s sure to be a memorable night for all.

When: Until Tuesday 28 December
Where: Mall of the Emirates Dubai, UAE
Price: Tickets from AED 175, available from Dubai Calendar and Platinumlist


Late Nights at Expo  

As part of Expo’s music festivities, Expo 2020 will connect artists and people from across the world, breaking barriers between musical styles, generations and cultures. Magical encounters will create impossible mashups and original artistic collaborations. International DJs Van Buuren and Dimitri Vegas will light up Expo 2020’s NYE Celebration on 31st December.

When: 30th December – 1st January 2022,

Al Forsan Zone, Expo 2020 Dubai 

From 9:30pm 

NYE Concerts  

Enjoy a gala celebration for New Year’s Eve as Lebanese singer Najwa Karam and Syrian sensation Nassif Zeytoun take to the stage to bid farewell to 2021 in style at the Festival Arena at Dubai Festival City Mall.  Karam, who is also known as The Sun Of Lebanese and Arabic Song, is a best-selling artist with over 60 million records sold worldwide while Zeytoun was the winner of the show Star Academy Arab World and gained popularity with his song Mesh Aam Tezbat Maae in 2014.

When: 31st December 2021, Festival Arena, Dubai Festival City Mall
Tickets available from Dubai Calendar and Platinumlist
Doors open at 8pm

NYE Fireworks

Usher in the New Year with spectacular firework displays by Al Zarooni Group in front of spectacular city and coastal skylines. This year, the DSF New Year’s Eve fireworks will take place at the historic neighbourhood of Al Seef and buzzing beachfront destinations of La Mer and The Beach opposite JBR and Bluewaters. Enjoy delicious dining and some retail therapy whilst toasting a good year ahead for 2022.

31 December, 11.59pm at Al Seef, La Mer and The Beach opposite JBR and Bluewaters
Free entry

Al Seef – Al Hai  

Al Hai will be lighting up DSF Market at Al Seef until 30 January with a network of illuminated installations that tell the story of Emirati heritage spelled out in buzzing bulbs and sculptures crafted from sustainable materials.  Created by Emirati and UAE-based artists: Raghad Al Ali, Fatima Alawadhi, Eman Al Rahma, Rowdah Alsayegh, Ahmad Geaissa, Abdullah Khouri and Yara Manla, the pieces are inspired by urban layouts and domestic events that make Dubai’s districts truly distinct.  Each installation will depict an element of a traditional Emirati neighbourhood that captures the essence of domestic and architectural events.

Until 30 January
DSF Market Al Seef
Sunday – Wednesday: 6pm-10pm
Thursday – Saturday: 4pm-11pm
New Year’s Eve: 4pm-1am


DSF Skywards Millionaire  

Head to The Dubai Mall and Emirates Skywards Everyday partners citywide for the opportunity to become   a DSF Skywards Millionaire with one winner each week in January  earning 1 million Skywards Miles. Until 30 January, spend at least AED100 at The Dubai Mall and double your chances of winning when you shop with Skywards Everyday partner brands at The Dubai Mall. Pay with an Emirates Skywards Credit Card you earn even more Skywards Miles and get 1 Tier Mile for every 4 Skywards Miles you earn.

Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group Raffle
Be in with the chance to win up to quarter kilogram of gold every other day for every AED500 spent on gold and diamond jewellery, pearls and watches throughout DSF. x Club Apparel / 24/7 / DSF  VAT on US week

Dubai Shopping Festival is the home of incredible sales and from 27 December to 2 January Club Apparel and are giving DSF shoppers even more savings for just one week. Seven days of extra discounted shopping in stores and online at on brands like Aldo, SKECHERS and Beverly Hills Polo Club, where you pay exactly what you see on the tag.  Spending AED 200 or more will also put shoppers in the running to win AED100,000 worth of Club Apparel points.
Club Apparel Stores and; 27 December to 2 January.


Festive Season at The Dubai Mall  

The world’s largest mall, Dubai Mall celebrates the festive season in style with stunning decorations during Dubai Shopping Festival. And just when we thought Dubai couldn’t break another world record, the most visited retail center has set up the world’s largest Christmas bauble ornament—situated at the Star atrium along with giant characters representing various Christmas-themed stories. This year, get that festive glow with the Christmas twinkle lights at the Grand Atrium, the Fashion Catwalk, and Bloomingdales, adding a warm feeling to the interiors. Attention to detail is highly noticeable with the ornate fairies and snowflake decorations hanging from the ceilings at the Fashion Dome. From the incredible décor to the fantastic offers and entertainment, there is something for everyone to look forward to during this festive season at The Dubai Mall.



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